Mobile recovery center opens in Smithville

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Storm survivors in Smithville can now apply in person for federal assistance at a new mobile Disaster Recovery Center, Gov. Haley Barbour announced Monday.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency mobile center is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. It is located at 60017 State Highway 23, Smithville.

"Residents in and around Smithville need to visit the Disaster Recovery Center or call the FEMA hotline to register for assistance to begin the recovery process," Gov. Barbour said. "We continue to pray for the families who have lost loved ones and property. I appreciate the work of the first responders and volunteers who are helping these communities recover from this disaster."

Residents also can register online at or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are staffed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. Assistance is available in many languages.

Also, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security began accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance from those living or working in counties that received a federal disaster declaration because of tornadoes and straight-line winds.

Affected workers have until June 1, 2011, to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Self-employed workers also may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Workers can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security website, Workers also may call the agency's call centers at (601) 855-3133 or (888) 844-3577, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

MEMA also has received updated storm damage reports from counties impacted by the recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. There are 1,019 residences reported destroyed or sustained major damage in 36 counties throughout the state. MEMA has received confirmation of 35 storm-related deaths and 162 injuries.

The federal disaster declaration covers counties impacted by storms on April 15 and April 26-27. There are 11 Mississippi counties eligible to receive assistance: Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Greene, Hinds, Jasper, Kemper, Lafayette, Monroe, Neshoba and Webster counties.

These counties are eligible to receive FEMA Individual Assistance, which provides grants for individuals and families, and Public Assistance, which provides for debris removal and emergency protective measures. The U.S. Small Business Administration will provide low-interest loans. Hazard Mitigation has been granted statewide.

Counties with damages not listed may still qualify for federal assistance following ongoing damage assessments.

For volunteer information contact the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services at (888) 353-1793 or For more information call MEMA's Public Information Line at 866-519-MEMA.

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