Two Months After Katrina

By: Renee' LaSalle
By: Renee' LaSalle

Despite criticism that the response was to slow, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has come to the rescue of many in the storm ravaged area.

Just in from the Gulf Coast, Meridian's director of Homeland Security says he's glad for whatever assistance the FEMA can provide.

"FEMA has been a big help, once they got here," Partridge said.

Slow or not, the amount of assistance provided by FEMA is staggering.

The total number of applications for FEMA assistance in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi is more than 1,660,000. Alabama applications for FEMA assistance totaled more than 110,000.

In Mississippi, FEMA registrations were almost 500,000 and the total dollar amount of assistance was over $700 million.

Compared to Louisiana, those figures seem relatively small. That state made in excess of 1, 050,000 applications for FEMA assistance. The total individual assistance approved was over $1.2 billion.

Even with all the devastation, Partridge says he's encouraged by the recovery.

"You've seen brotherhood and sisterhood. People pulling together, getting things done," said Partridge. "Down on the coast, words can't describe it and pictures can't describe it; you have to be there and actually see."

FEMA Officials say many people are waiting to register until they have settled with their insurance companies, but the agency advises that it's better to register now and then reactivate that registration once your insurance settlement has been made. The deadline for registration has been extended until Jan. 11, 2006.

Registration can still be made online or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA, or 1-800-621-3362.

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