Portions of Mississippi Declared Federal Disaster Areas Following Severe Storms and Tornadoes

JACKSON‹Seven counties in Mississippi have been declared federal disaster
areas following devastation from severe storms and tornadoes that swept
through the state beginning April 28. Gov. Phil Bryant requested the
expedited declaration from the president on April 29, and Mississippi¹s
congressional delegation on Wednesday sent a letter to the president in
support of the governor¹s request.

³We have experienced tragic loss of life as a result of these storms and
tornadoes, and many Mississippians have lost their homes and all that they
own,² Gov. Bryant said. ³We have a strong working relationship with our
partners at the local and federal levels, and I appreciate Senators Thad
Cochran and Roger Wicker and the Mississippi congressional delegation for
aiding in this quick response from the federal government. This assistance
will help Mississippi do what it does best‹rebuild and rebound in the face
of adversity.²

The following counties are eligible for the Individual Assistance Program:
Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Rankin, Wayne, and Winston. Individual
Assistance is aid provided to individuals and households and can include
housing assistance, unemployment assistance, and money to replace damaged or
destroyed belongings.

The same counties are also eligible for certain types of aid through FEMA¹s
Public Assistance program. FEMA¹s Public Assistance program administers aid
to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations. Through
this program, costs incurred since April 28 by the eligible counties,
governments and non-profits could be reimbursed by FEMA through its 75
percent cost-sharing program.

The Public Assistance aid available at this time includes assistance in
Categories A and B. FEMA Category A Public Assistance includes 75 percent
reimbursement for eligible costs incurred from removing and disposing of
storm debris from public properties and rights of way. FEMA Category B
Public Assistance includes 75 percent reimbursement for eligible emergency
work, including actions to prevent threats to life and property and overtime
incurred by emergency responders.

Mississippi also received approval to administer FEMA¹s Hazard Mitigation
Program. This program provides assistance for actions that reduce the risk
to life and property from natural hazards.

As more thorough damage assessments are completed by state and federal
inspection teams, additional categories of assistance, such as aid in
repairing or replacing public buildings and aid in repairing damaged roads,
may be added. Further damage assessments could also warrant an updated
request from the state to extend Individual Assistance and Public Assistance
aid to additional counties.