FEMA Officials: Help is on the way

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - With President Barack Obama amending the disaster declaration for Mississippi, FEMA says federal assistance for some individuals affected by the storm is on the way.

"The individual assistance program is now available for individuals in Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, as well as Pearl River Counties," said FEMA spokesman Ted Stuckey.

That assistance will provide federal grants for temporary housing and home repairs. Residents will also be able to apply for uninsured property losses and grants to help pay for some medical expenses or certain household items.

Disaster Recovery Centers will soon go up throughout the Coast, allowing the people hardest hit by the storm to apply to get the help they need.

"The federal assistance that is available specifically from FEMA is meant to get you back on your feet and get you started on your recovery. This is money for immediate needs," Stuckey said.

Many of those needs still haven't been met. While the sting of what Isaac did to this area is still fresh, there's no time to waste. Damage assessments are going forward everywhere and FEMA reps say it's time to get the ball rolling.

"Really, I can't stress enough the importance of making that first step," Stuckey said. "Call FEMA and register. Consider that a gateway to all assistance because it's not just FEMA. It's FEMA, small business administration, the state, as well as a lot of aid organizations such as a Red Cross or The Salvation Army. Also other charitable organizations who use that assistance as a means to achieve their assistance as well."

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