University of Southern Mississippi students, faculty and staff who incurred damage to their residences or loss of personal property such as automobiles, furniture, books, musical instruments and clothing as a result of the Feb. 10 storms and tornadoes may be eligible for disaster aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Small Business Administration (SBA).
To find out if you qualify for disaster relief, you must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Registration with FEMA may be done by phone at 1.800.621.3362; the TTY (text telephone) number is 1.800.462.7585; or register on your smartphone at m.fema.gov. For more information or to register online, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
When registering, have the following information available:
*Social Security number (including that of your spouse, if applicable)
*Private insurance information, if available
*Address and zip code of the damaged property
*Directions to the damaged home or property
*Daytime telephone number
*A telephone number where you can be reached or to leave a message
*An address where you can get mail
*If you want disaster funds sent directly to your bank, provide the FEMA agent with your bank account type (savings/checking), account number and routing number.
Disaster Recovery Centers in the Pine Belt include those at the following locations:
*Ben McNair Recreation Center, 300 N. 12th Avenue, Hattiesburg; open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
*Petal Civic Center, 714 Main Street, Petal; open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
*Lamar Park, 226 Pinewood Drive, Hattiesburg; open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance
Disaster relief may also be available to students, faculty and staff through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA provides low-interest loans not only to businesses but to homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses, as well as private nonprofit organizations with property damaged by disaster. For more information, call 1.800-U ASK SBA (800.827.5722); online, visit www.sba.gov.