Thursday, May 15, 2014

Agricultural and Aquaculture Business May Be Eligible for Disaster Aid

JACKSON, MS – Mississippians engaged in agriculture or aquaculture who sustained damage from recent tornadoes or storms might be eligible for financial assistance for damage or losses occurring during that period.

Along with residents of the 12 counties named in the presidential major disaster declaration for tornado and storm damage April 28 through May 3, they may be eligible for federal help to repair or replace their primary residence.

Additionally, there are federal programs directed specifically at some categories of farm and ranch disaster losses. Those benefits do not require a presidential disaster declaration and thus could be available for storm losses in any Mississippi county.

FEMA grants to help repair damage to a primary residence are available from FEMA’s Individual Assistance program. Additionally, long-term, low-interest disaster assistance loans may be available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help repair or replace their primary residence. The starting point for both funding sources is registration with FEMA.


Individuals and households in those counties can register for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program online at DisasterAssistance.gov, via smartphone or tablet at m.FEMA.govor by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY should call 800-462-7585. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (central time) and assistance is available in multiple languages.

Producers who suffered production agriculture losses, including loss of livestock, honeybees, farm-raised fish, orchards, bushes or vines, may be eligible for federal disaster program assistance as well as low-interest farm loans from the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Information is available from local Farm Service Agency offices or USDA Service Centers. For local FSA Service Center contact information, please visit: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app .

While the SBA is not authorized to provide loans to individual farmers, ranchers or agricultural producers, it is authorized to make Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small agricultural cooperatives or small aquaculture enterprises to help meet working capital needs caused by a disaster.

For more information on SBA disaster loans, visit sba.gov/disaster, send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov, or call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339)  

For more information on Mississippi disaster recovery, click fema.gov/disaster/4175. Visit the MEMA site at msema.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/msemaorg.