FEMA Relief Centers Open In Mississippi

People waited in the hot afternoon sun just to get a number to get inside the FEMA Disaster Relief Center.

"Some people need immediate shelter. Some people need their roofs repaired and need money for that," FEMA public relations officer Patricia Brach says.

The destruction at Live Oaks apartments is probably the worst in Jackson County, but state emergency officials say 15 homes in the county did have major damage like a tree through a roof or water in the home. Another 490 homeowners told MEMA they only had minor damage, and those homes are still liveable.

"The damages were minor here, but when it happens to you, it's a major disaster," Brach says.

One impact of the storm that many don't think about is the fallout from the mandatory evacuation order.

"You've got to realize, a disaster isn't just someone's home. We had mandatory evacuations on the Gulf Coast. That means businesses shut down, schools shut down, and there were people who didn't have an income. There were people who didn't have electricity for days and days. As of yesterday, I believe, all of the power in the state was restored. That can really affect people's lives," MEMA public information officer Lea Stokes says.

FEMA official have logged more than 2,000 calls from Mississippians since the storm hit. And though not everyone will qualify for federal help, the disaster team will be in place until Ivan's impact is tallied and the people get the help they need.

FEMA has three disaster relief centers open in Mississippi. In Jackson County at the Fairgrounds, in George County at the Senior Citizens's Building and at the Wayne County Courthouse.

Officials say it's best to call the FEMA hotline to register before you go to a center. That number is 1-800-621-FEMA.