FEMA Application Deadline Is Saturday

Mary Steel armed herself with Polaroid proof of her personal property damage. She had a handful of post Katrina pictures that depicted the trouble she encountered at her Trawler Lane residence.

"All this stuff on the road is all mine," she said as she showed a FEMA agent a picture of her devastation.

Steel's already gotten a FEMA grant.

"They only gave me like $7,800," she said. And Steel felt she deserved more.

So she came back to the Biloxi disaster recovery center and argued for more federal aid, "because I felt like the amount I got for my personal property damage wasn't substantial," she said.

Steel is the kind of client the Biloxi disaster recovery center sees these days. She already filled out a FEMA application. So her visit was to appeal for more assistance.

If you still haven't applied for FEMA, or you haven't filled out paperwork for an SBA loan, you have until Saturday to do so.

Gene Romano is FEMA's spokesman.

"The assistance will continue beyond the deadline date," Romano said. "But March 11 is the deadline for any new applications."

Romano said 516,000 Mississippians had already applied for disaster assistance either on line, over the telephone, or in person at a DRC.

"We would certainly encourage anyone who suffered any losses or may suffer losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina to go ahead and contact us," the FEMA spokesman said.

Despite her pictures, FEMA denied Mary Steel's appeal. But the day wasn't a total loss. She just found out she could be back in her Hope VI house by the fall.

"So I've got my hopes up for that. I can't wait to get back home," she said.

To apply for assistance from FEMA, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) or visit www.FEMA.gov.