FEMA to provide individual assistance to Adam County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 4, 2008

NATCHEZ — More than one month after Hurricane Gustav passed through, Adams County has been approved for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jeannie Mooney, FEMA’s public information officer, said the assistance is meant for individuals and business owners that sustained damage from Gustav.

But to even be deemed eligible for any type of assistance, applicants must first complete one critical step, Mooney said.

Email newsletter signup

“They have to register,” she said.

To register, individuals can visit the FEMA Web site at www.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.

“That’s the first step,” she said.

And contrary to popular belief, those with insurance should also apply for assistance if needed, Mooney said.

“They should still call and register,” she said. “They could still be eligible.”

Mooney said the federal assistance can cover a wide range of losses and will come in either the form of a grant or U.S. Small Business Administration loan.

Mooney said things like damage to a home or business, medical emergencies related to the storm and even food and clothing lost in the storm could be eligible for reimbursement.

“Keep your receipts,” she said.

Mooney said once an applicant has completed the application process a FEMA representative will contact them within approximately one week to set up an appointment to view their damage.

From there, applicants should have an answer on their eligibility within two weeks.

Mooney stressed that applicants who receive an SBA loan application, even if they do not want a loan, must fill out and return the application to be able to receive any benefits.

And to further assist county residents FEMA will set up a disaster response center to help residents register and make any changes to their application.

Mooney said the center is scheduled to be opened early next week.

On Friday evening Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton said he was pleased to hear the area had been made eligible for individual assistance benefits.

“I think it’s wonderful the federal government is going to chip in and help these people out,” he said.