Federal disaster declaration extended to Jasper and Newton counties after tornadoes strike southwest Missouri

May 23, 2011
Federal government will reimburse eligible individuals for uninsured disaster losses
Jefferson City, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended disaster assistance to individuals and families in Jasper and Newton counties, which bore the brunt of last night's devastating severe storms and tornadoes. 

Under this declaration, individuals may be eligible for federal assistance to cover uninsured losses or expenses, such as temporary housing, home repair and replacement of household items.

"Missouri continues to respond with every available resource to the deadly storm that left so many residents in need of assistance," said Gov. Nixon. "Our priorities are search and rescue operations, providing medical care to the injured, and providing a safe environment for the affected communities. This quick federal action will help provide the resources to assist Missouri families with their recovery in the tough days ahead."

Gov. Nixon is traveling today to areas hit by last night's storm to survey damage and meet with emergency personnel.

For questions about individual assistance and to register, Missourians can contact FEMA directly at 1-800-621-3362. They may apply for disaster assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

In addition to granting individual assistance, the federal government also granted a public assistance declaration for Jasper and Newton counties for costs associated with debris removal and emergency protective measures. That designation will allow local governments there to seek assistance for response and recovery expenses associated with yesterday's severe storm and tornadoes.

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211. The 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626. Weather and emergency information also are available on the state of Missouri's website, MO.gov. For those with insurance, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to start the claims process.

On May 9, President Barack Obama granted a request by Gov. Nixon for a major disaster declaration for areas across Missouri hit in April and May by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. That declaration provided individual assistance for Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid, St. Louis and Taney counties. On May 20, this declaration was extended to Cape Girardeau, Howell, McDonald, Pulaski, Ripley, Scott, Stoddard and Stone counties.