April 27, 2006 – Posted at 5:49 p.m. CST
POCAHONTAS, AR -- FEMA, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the Small Business Administration are all working together to provide recovery relief for residents in Region 8 and they are encouraging individuals to register for assistance as soon as possible to avoid delays.
Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers (MDRC) have been operating in five counties in Arkansas to help those business owners, home owners and renters who were affected by the storm damage and tornados that rolled through earlier this month.
Residents in Randolph, Lawrence, Fulton and White counties have been getting help from MDRC. A fixed site has been set up in Greene County to operate until further notice.
"People have 60 days to apply from the declaration," said FEMA public information officer Brad Craine, "The presidential declaration came down on April 12th. So, many people may say, 'Oh, I need to get down to a MDRC and apply today or I might get left out.' No, they have another six weeks or so to apply for assistance."
"The roof and some of the glass was knocked out, the roof was damaged very badly," said Pocahontas resident and tornado survivor Margaret Anderson.
Disaster relief is helping Anderson and many more like her put the pieces back together.
"I was trying to get help. My insurance, you know, doesn't pay that much and I was just signing up over here to get some disaster services," said Anderson.
"I think we've had a lot of good response, a lot of good cooperation with the federal agencies," said ADEM Operations Officer Paul Hogue.
Disaster relief is available for more than just tornado damage...hail damage is also covered.
"Particularly to a home owner if they've had tremendous damage to the roof or the house or something. Perhaps they are under insured. We'll, they can come down and they can apply with FEMA. We can work with their insurance company and many times we can pick up with the help of the Small Business Administration. We can pick up where the insurance company leaves off, you never know," said Craine.
While the Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers maybe moving soon, the effort isn't going anywhere.
"We're going to be here in Arkansas just as long as we're needed," said Craine.
Due to the number of people applying for assistance, the Randolph County Mobile Disaster Center in Pocahontas will be open on Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to until 5:00. They are stationed at City Hall in Pocahontas.