HURRICANE KATRINA UPDATE
Jackson, Miss. – Disaster victims are urged to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at www.fema.gov. A total of 71,225 Mississippi disaster victims have registered for a total of $4.8 million obligated for victims. Disaster victims should NOT call 1-800-222-MEMA to register, because it is an emergency phone number.
Preliminary damage assessments that are reported from 44 counties include:
No damage reports are available from Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson or Stone counties.
The most current reports indicate a total of 212,566 meters without power. Reports from power companies are:
Commodities to counties to date:
In Mississippi there are 165 American Red Cross shelters open with 13,262 evacuees. American Red Cross’s Family Links Hotline: 1-877-LOVED-1S (568-3317) or www.redcross.org.
Contractors interested in information for debris removal should call Ash Britt at 954-545-3535 or go to www.ashbritt.com. Contractors interested in information for temporary roofing should contact Carothers Construction, Inc. at 662-473-2525 or go to www.carothersconstructioin.com.
Donations numbers are:
Federal Emergency Management Agency Hurricane Katrina Donations Hotline: 1-800-440-6728.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the response efforts to get people out of harms way and placed in safe clean environments continues, the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency is reaching out to individuals and assisting them in the application process for disaster assistance. The registration process is one of the first steps in receiving aid through FEMA's programs, and assistance is being expedited to assist those in need.
Expedited assistance to help people with their emergency needs of food, shelter, clothing, and personal necessities is being made available to individuals as they apply to FEMA on line at www.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585. FEMA personnel are fanning across the nation visiting shelters and setting up disaster recovery centers staffed with individuals to assist in the process of providing expedited assistance.
"We realize that many victims do not have access to the usual means of even registering for assistance, and FEMA is initiating efforts to bring the registration process to those in need," said Homeland Security's Principal Federal Official for Hurricane Katrina response and head of FEMA Michael D. Brown.
Currently, the amount of money being distributed through the expedited assistance program is $2,000 per household. This expedited assistance is made available by FEMA to those residents severely impacted by disasters from Mississippi and Louisiana who do not have the usual means of identifying damage to their property or unable to provide the immediate documentation necessary.
This emergency assistance is provided to help with disaster needs such as transportation, clothing, rental housing, other housing accommodations, and food, and is included in the calculation of total benefits for which victims are eligible.
Once individuals register with FEMA for assistance, funds will be made available either through the use of electronic transfer to put funds directly in individuals' bank accounts, debit cards in some locations, or by check that can be delivered directly to individuals through the US Postal Service. The US Postal Service and FEMA have been coordinating to be sure mail is able to be forwarded and delivered to individuals staying in shelters.
In instances where individuals do not have access to direct deposit banking means, or are unable to receive checks, FEMA is also implementing a new assistance delivery tool of issuing debit cards to the thousand of evacuees at the Houston Astrodome. The program at the Astrodome, in coordination with the US Treasury, will consist of FEMA teams assisting people in the registration process, with additional assistance from the banking community to deliver the debit card on site.
Once the registration process is complete, individuals without electronic funds transfer (EFT) will receive their card with a personal identification number (PIN) and the assistance will be loaded onto the card within 24 hours, allowing the debit cards to be used at any automated cash machine (ATM), or at any location accepting bank cards with the MasterCard logo. Those with EFT capabilities do not have to wait 24 hours as their funds will transfer quickly.
The use of the debit card program may also be offered in other large shelters where FEMA has assisted in moving the evacuees into those areas.
The emergency funds distributed through debit cards do not provide victims with more assistance than what others may get, but simply utilizes a new delivery method for expedited assistance. The expedited assistance being made available to individuals will only be a portion of the total assistance many people may need, and normal eligibility determinations will result in subsequent payments of assistance in the future.
Affected individuals in designated counties can register online for disaster assistance at www.fema.gov or call FEMA's toll-free registration line 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) - TTY 800-462-7585. Victims are encouraged to register on-line due to the possibility of high call volume. If registering by phone, owners of commercial properties and residents with only minor losses are urged to wait a few days before calling so those whose homes were destroyed or heavily damaged can be served first. Phone lines are open 24-hours, 7 days a week.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal
response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA
also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works
with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood
Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.
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Individuals and business owners can apply online at www.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number for those with speech or hearing impairments is 1-800-462-7585. The Web site and toll-free numbers can be used to also check on the status of an application or update applicant information.
Those who have access to the Internet are encouraged to use the online “Individual Assistance Center” at www.fema.gov to alleviate congestion on the phone lines. The Web site is available 24/7. Applicants can review their application and update it with any new information, whether they applied by phone or through the Web site.
Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property and businesses of all sizes must also be submitted by the Sept. 8 deadline. SBA officials encourage anyone who has received a disaster loan application to turn it in as soon as possible. Failure to complete and return your SBA home loan application will stop consideration for other assistance programs, including additional grants.MEMA -- Hurricane Katrina Missing Persons Report Form
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY HURRICANE KATRINA NEWS RELEASE
“Disaster Preparedness Saves Lives and Property”
Visit us online at www.msema.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10 p.m. Aug. 30, 2005
HURRICANE KATRINA UPDATE
Jackson – Officials continue to urge Mississippi Gulf Coast evacuees not to attempt to return
home. Evacuees or residents attempting to get to the Gulf Coast could be impeding rescue
missions. Several search and rescue teams, task forces, incident management teams and
emergency commodities from Florida are now in position on the Gulf Coast aiding other federal,
state and local authorities.
Non-emergency vehicles should remain off
the highways south of Jackson. Non-emergency
traffic is making it extremely difficult for emergency response vehicles to travel. Generally,
highways north of and including Interstate 20 are open. Interstate 55 is open, and Interstate 10
will be closed for the foreseeable future. Highway information is listed for the public by calling
Patients accounted for in Gulf Coast
hospitals and special needs shelters:
• Singing River Hospital: 160 patients.
• Ocean Springs Hospital: No patient numbers, but operational.
• Biloxi special-needs shelter: 80 patients with an additional 500 people walk-in and receive treatment.
• Keesler Medical Center: No patient numbers, but operational.
• VA Hospital in Biloxi: hospital full except for two beds.
• Biloxi Regional: 160 patients.
• Garden Park: 65 patients.
• Hancock County Medical Center: treated 125 patients in last 24 hours.
• Hancock special-needs shelter: 125 patients.
• Gulfport Memorial Hospital: 270 patients.
MEMA is only reporting confirmed deaths
from county coroners’ offices. There are still no
confirmed deaths from the Gulf Coast area, but a total of 13 deaths are now confirmed from
other counties throughout the state. Adams County reports two deaths, Jones County reports six
deaths and one death is being reported from each of the following counties: Hinds, Lauderdale,
Leake, Simpson & Warren.
Power outages will be released from MEMA at
noon and 9 p.m. each day. At 9 p.m. today,
power outage totals were reported from the following power companies:
• Electrical Power Associations of
Mississippi reported 426,000 meters without service,
which is approximately 50 percent of the electric meters.
• Entergy reported 268,600 meters without service.
• Mississippi Power reported more than 195,000 meters are without service.
• Tennessee Valley Authority: 100,000 meters are without service.
The Mississippi State Department of Health is issuing boil water notices for several communities
and cities. Those notices and news releases can be found at the department’s Web site at
MEMA and Adventist Community Services are working to establish a facility to receive, process
and disburse donations to send to other areas of the state. They are seeking donation of a
50,000-100,000 square foot warehouse facility in Mississippi for this purpose.
A private corporation has begun an online survivor database for citizens at
National Guard troops will distribute water
and ice, beginning Wednesday in the following
County Location City
Amite Amite County Court House Liberty
Attala Attala County Court House Kosciusko
Claiborne Claiborne County Parks & Recreation Port Gibson
Clarke Quitman National Guard Quitman
Copiah North Fire Station Hazlehurst
Forrest Bobby Chain Airport Hattiesburg
George National Guard 786 Trans. Co. Lucedale
Hancock Hancock County Livestock Arena Kiln
Harrison County Farm Gulfport
Hinds To be announced
Jackson Jackson County Fairgrounds Pascagoula
Jasper John R. Sims Livestock Facility Bay Springs
Jones Magnolia Center Laurel
Lauderdale Lauderdale County Agri Center Meridian
Lawrence Super Value Parking Lot Monticello
Leake Carthage Coliseum Carthage
Lincoln Brookhaven Recreation Dept. Brookhaven
Madison Madison County Road Dept. Canton
Neshoba Neshoba County Coliseum Philadelphia
Newton Civic Center/Show Barn Newton
Pearl River McNeill Elementary School Carriere
Pike Pike County Fair Grounds McComb
Rankin Rankin County Multi-Purpose Building Brandon
Stone Stone County Fair Ground Wiggins
Walthall Southwest Event Center Tylertown
Wayne Mississippi National Guard Waynesboro
Yazoo National Guard Armory Yazoo City
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You know, there's a lot of sadness, of course. But there's also a spirit here in Mississippi that is uplifting. I want to thank the governor for his strong leadership. He set some clear parameters, and has followed through on helping calm everybody's nerves. I want to thank the mayor. Neither of them asked for this when they got elected. Now they're called upon to help solve the problem.
And I've come down here, one, to take a look at the damage first hand. And I'm telling you, it's worse than imaginable. And, secondly, to tell the good people of this part of the world that the federal government is going to help. Our first job is to save life. And earlier today, I had a chance to meet with some chopper drivers, guys dangling off of cables that are pulling people out of harm's way. And I want to thank them for their hard work.
We're going to stabilize the situation, and then get food and medicine and water. I traveled today with the head of the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, and people here are going to see compassion pour in here. There's a lot of folks in America that want to help. If you want to help, give cash to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. We can ask for other help later on, but right now we need to get food and clothes and medicine to the people. And we'll do so. And one of the main delivery systems will be the armies of compassion.
We're going to clean all this mess up. The federal government is going to -- will spend money to clean it up. The first down payment will be signed tonight by me as a result of the good work of the Senate and the House, $10.5 billion. But that's just the beginning. But the people have got to understand that out of this rubble is going to come a new Biloxi, Mississippi. It's hard to envision it right now. When you're standing amidst all that rubble, it's hard to think about a new city. But when you talk to folks that have been through Camille and have seen what happens, and you listen to the spirit of people, you realize, Mr. Mayor, that after a lot of hard work, people are going to be -- people will be proud of the effort. And I want to thank you for your leadership here. And Haley, I want to thank you for yours.
Again, I want to thank Trent and Thad. They're going to be very important members of the -- they are important members of the Senate, and they're going to be an important part of this -- making sure that we fund this recovery effort.
I'll answer a couple of questions, then I'm going to go.
Q Mr. President, were you prepared for the vastness of the destruction?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't think anybody can be prepared for the vastness of this destruction. You can look at a picture, but until you sit on that doorstep of a house that used to be, or stand by the rubble, you just can't imagine it.
And we took a low -- we took a low chopper ride from here --to here, and we're going to take it on over to New Orleans here. And the destruction is unbelievable. And it's destruction on the coast, and it's destruction off the coast. And we've got a lot of work to do.
Q One of the things you hear is people saying a lot of resources are being devoted to Iraq, now this country needs them. And they're frustrated about that. What do you say to the people who say, there's too much money being spent on Iraq and it's time to bring them home?
THE PRESIDENT: I just completely disagree. We've got a job to defend this country and the war on terror, and we've got a job to bring aid and comfort to the people of the Gulf Coast, and we'll do both. We've got plenty of resources to do both.
Somebody questioned me the other day about -- do we have enough National Guard troops? Of course we do. These governors have got compacts with other states. If they need to call upon another state, the state will send Guard troops. And the people have just got to know, we've got what it takes to do more than one thing, and we'll secure our country from the terrorists, and we'll help rebuild this part of the world.
Q This morning, when you said the results are not acceptable, what specifically were you talking about?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm talking about the fact that we don't have enough security in New Orleans yet. Results are acceptable here in Mississippi. You know, the results are acceptable in New Orleans when it comes to the hard work of the Coast Guard. But we need to get troops -- we had 1,200 troops arrive yesterday, I'm told. We're going to have 1,200 today, 1,200 more. These are troops especially trained for military police work. They need to get in there. They need to stabilize that situation. They need to make sure that the food and medicine that is in place is given to the people that need the food and medicine.
I got a good report today about food and medicine getting to people that weren't getting it, but we'll find out if it's true when we get to New Orleans.
You know, this is a huge task that we're dealing with. And our jobs, as people in positions of responsibility, is not to be satisfied until the job is done as good as it can possibly be done. And that's what I was referring to. I'm certainly not denigrating the efforts of anybody. But the results can be better in New Orleans. And I intend to work with the folks to make it better.
And again, in Mississippi, we've got a different situation. We've got a Guard that is in place, activated. Haley made some clear rules and is following through on them. But the task, in both places, the tasks are enormous. And it's going to take a while. This is -- our fellow citizens must understand that we're talking years. Now, we're not talking years to get people rescued, we're talking days. And we're not talking years to get infrastructure back up here. We're talking weeks to get the electricity running.
I got some good news on the pipeline, the Colonial Pipeline. We thought it would be at 47 percent, at least I was briefed that yesterday. I'm told it's going to be significantly more than that, which is good news. It means that one of the problem areas that Haley was talking to me about is how -- and the Mayor -- was how do you get fuel to these communities. And obviously, the more fuel going through pipelines, the more fuel will be available not only here in the affected areas, but up and down the Southeast of the country.
And, listen, we're going to have a problem this weekend when it comes to gasoline, just like they've got a problem here. But we're addressing it. We're -- the EPA suspended rules so that we could use -- which attracted -- suspended rules for types of gasoline which attracted fuel from overseas. That's good. We're swapping oil out of the SPRO. We're making sure that there's oil to be processed in the refineries. They're working hard to get these ports open.
Trent was telling me that we got to get that port of Pascagoula open so we can get ships of foreign crude oil to the refinery. And we're -- we just got a lot of work to do. The good news is we know what we're going to do, and we're going to get it done.
Q Sir, you talk about fixing what's wrong and you talk about the results not being acceptable, but there are a lot of people wondering why you weren't fixing the problems yesterday or the day before, and why the richest country on Earth can't get food and water to those people that need it?
THE PRESIDENT: The levees broke on Tuesday in New Orleans. On Wednesday, we -- and Thursday we started evacuating people. A lot of people have left that city. A lot of people have been pulled out on buses. It's -- I am satisfied with the response. I'm not satisfied with all the results. They started pulling people off roofs immediately. They started rallying -- we started rallying choppers to get people off rooftops, started savings lives. I mean, thousands of peoples' lives have been saved immediately, and that's good news.
This is one of the worst storms in our nation's history. New Orleans got hit by two storms, one the hurricane, and then the flood. And it's going to take a monumental effort to continue moving forward, but we will. And this is a nation that has done a lot of big things before, and this is going to be one of the biggest, which is to recover from one of the worst storms, if not the worst storm. Haley called it the worst, I'm calling it one of the worst storms in the nation's history.
Q Mr. President, thank you for coming. We appreciate it very much. There's a need for immediate housing and long-term housing. Many people right now have no shelter, and on top of that, many people do not have flood insurance. They never expected a tidal surge of this magnitude. What can you say about housing efforts?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate that. The -- FEMA will be providing a lot of temporary housing. And that's one of the responsibilities that FEMA assumes, to find shelter for people.
And in terms of the longer term, the government has got the capacity to make low-interest loans and help businesses get back going. And there will be a -- again, once the situation gets stabilized, there will be the appropriate authorities here to start passing out the forms necessary for people to apply for the relief and the help they can get. But the federal government will be providing the temporary housing.
Q Mr. President, I realize the first priority is, obviously, saving lives. But let me ask you about long-term planning in New Orleans. There are some who are starting to say that since we're going to be spending billions in tax dollars to rebuild that great city, that we might want to think about building it in such a way where it's not below sea level again, whether it's somehow moved around or relocated or moved up. What are your thoughts on that?
THE PRESIDENT: My thoughts are, we're going to get somebody who knows what they're talking about when it comes to rebuilding cities. I'm going to delegate. I'm going to call upon the best experts, starting with the people of New Orleans, and get opinions as we work with the local folks. We're going to help people rebuild, Stretch. That's what we're going to do. And we're going to listen to people who know what they're doing.
But my objective now, of course, is to save lives and get people out of New Orleans, and then -- and make sure that those who are out of New Orleans and in New Orleans get food and help, just like in Mississippi. Mississippi people have got to understand that I know a lot of the focus is on New Orleans, but I'm thinking about Mississippi, as well. I'm not only thinking about coastal Mississippi, I'm thinking about rural Mississippi, places in this part of the state that are remote and don't have electricity. And they just got to know that the governor talked to me about it, and I listened very carefully about the problems facing these good folks. And one of the things we're going to concentrate on is getting these -- getting these electric plants up and running and getting the power to the people so that they can have the electricity necessary to live a more normal life.
It's -- these are tough times. This is a storm the likes of which, you know, I pray I never see again. It's the like -- it's a storm the likes of which the people who have been through Camille, they said, you know, Camille was terrible; we're never going to see anything like Camille again. Camille was in '69. And a guy said, you know, we felt safe here in this part of the neighborhood because Camille didn't hit it. And sure enough, we witnessed a storm worse than Camille.
And again, I want to thank all the people that are working hard. You -- we've seen line crews, we've seen firefighters from around the country. People around here are going to be amazed at the compassion that pours into this community. First things first, we've got to make them safe.
Mr. Mayor, again, thank you for your hospitality, thank you for your compassion.
MAYOR HOLLOWAY: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Governor, thanks for your leadership.
GOVERNOR BARBOUR: Thanks for your help.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all.
END 12:32 P.M. CDT
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