Residents apply for storm aid

Published 12:04 am Thursday, September 20, 2012

NATCHEZ — Hundreds of Adams County residents have made their way through the lines at the Disaster Recovery Center for Tropical Storm Isaac.

Located at Parkway Baptist Church, the DRC opened Saturday. Since then, the number of people who have visited for assistence has slowly increased each day, averaging between 30 and 50 people daily, said site manager and Federal Emergency Management Agency individual assistance program specialist Eva Clark.

“We have had a lot of homeowners looking for home repair assistance or help filing claims for personal property insurance,” she said.

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“Renters can come in and, if their landlord is not making repairs, they can look to us for help in finding them a new place to relocate.”

Adams County was added to the disaster declaration for Tropical Storm Isaac after damage assessments were made following the storm. Clark said local governments first log the damage, which is then viewed by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. FEMA also views the damage and then and opens a disaster recovery center once a federal disaster has been declared.

Homeowners and renters in a declared disaster area who qualify may get help paying for temporary housing, home repairs or other disaster-related expenses that insurance doesn’t cover.

Some storm-affected businesses may qualify for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to cover their losses not covered by insurance.

But the center isn’t solely focused on providing monetary or insurance assistance. Clark said the center has a hazard mitigation specialist on hand to make sure homeowners cover all of their bases when making repairs.

“He provides them with information and teaches them about mold and mildew and how to handle (those issues) when making repairs,” Clark said.

The disaster recovery center is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Though it was initially set to be open on Sunday, Clark said that has been discontinued.

The DRC is tentatively open until Sept. 28.