CATEGORY: Charities

AUTHOR: EILEEN

HED:Center to assist victims of tornadoes

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

The American Red Cross has operated two centers in Pontotoc and Union counties since tornadoes touched down in the counties the morning of March 1.

But after Saturday, both disaster relief centers will be combined and moved to the American Red Cross of Northeast Mississippi at the McLean Building at 213 W. Main St. in Tupelo. They will be open from Monday through Friday. The centers will be open on weekends depending on need.

At the combined center, each individual or family will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a trained interviewer to help determine needs and provide immediate assistance.

Assistance may include providing residents with the means for needed items such as groceries, new clothing, rent, emergency home repairs, transportation, household items, medicines and tools.

Those applying for Red Cross assistance must bring identification showing their address as proof that they live in the area affected by the disaster. The two communities hardest hit by Saturday's tornadoes were Pontotoc County's Randolph community and Union County's Martintown community.

There is no charge for Red Cross assistance. For more information, call 844-0416.

Also, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has activated a hot line for homeowners and renters to receive applications for the Disaster Housing Program.

This program is in addition to any Red Cross or other organizational assistance that may be offered. Its purpose is to meet any unmet needs citizens may have following insurance settlements or assistance from the Red Cross or any other organization.

MEMA's hot line number is 1-800-434-43442. Callers should have social security numbers and insurance settlement information prior to calling.

Home owners may qualify for up to three months of rental assistance and minimal repair assistance if they choose not to apply for rental assistance, according to a MEMA news release.

Renters may qualify for one month of rental assistance. They are not eligible for minimal repair assistance.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency hot line number for applications for the Disaster Housing Program is 1-800-434-4342.

For more information about the American Red Cross service centers, call 844-0416.

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