Operation Respond • Recover • Rebuild

Disaster Recovery

On Friday, March 24, 2023, high winds and devastating storms swept through the Mississippi Delta. In response, President Biden declared a major disaster and ordered Federal aid to be released to assist ongoing local recovery efforts. This federal funding will help to ensure four counties, Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey, receive immediate aid.

In the wake of this tragedy, the Mississippi Center for Justice is committed to supporting the ongoing recovery efforts taking place in the affected communities. We offer free legal services in a variety of areas, including Heirs’ Property. The Heirs’ Property Campaign works to alleviate the issues that surround heirs’ property ownership.


What is Heirs’ Property, and how does it affect Disaster Recovery Efforts?

Heirs’ property is land passed down informally from generation to generation, often because the original landowners died without a will. While their descendants may have assumed the mortgage or tax payments and may have been living on the property for generations, there is no clear title or legal record proving they own the property.

Without a clear title or legal deed, these landowners may not be able to collect federal or state disaster relief funds or insurance benefits. They won’t be able to suspend mortgage payments on houses no longer standing. They won’t even be able to sell their property in order to rebuild their lives elsewhere.

Heirs’ property issues most often affect racial minority groups, low-income households, and other vulnerable groups less likely to engage in estate planning – a similar demographic affected by the tornados.


How We Can Help

Here at the Mississippi Center for Justice, our Heirs’ Property Campaign offers services that will help heirs’ property owners keep, protect, and utilize their land for generations to come. We work to clear land titles for landowners and draft wills. In the wake of the recent storms and the devastation that has followed, MCJ has mobilized to assist the residents of Rolling Fork, Silver City, and other affected communities in resolving heirs’ property issues.

MCJ will offer boots-on-the-ground help, including legal clinics in the affected communities and free legal assistance for individual property owners. We’ll also be working at the policy level, asking title companies, government agencies, and others involved in the process of properly titling land to waive their fees for those affected by the storm.

As part of our mobilization efforts, the Mississippi Center for Justice has established a hotline, for individuals and families who face issues related to heirs’ property ownership. You can call the MCJ Rebuild Hotline at 662-577-4529 or email us at mcjrebuild@mscfj.org.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, SBA, the American Red Cross and others will have a Resource Fair in Rolling Fork for ALL residents impacted by the severe weather and tornadoes on March 24th. This fair will help residents find resources for any unmet needs.
The event will take place Saturday, June 24th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at South Delta Elementary, located at 138 Weathers Avenue in Rolling Fork. Refreshments will be provided.

We have also created a list of resources for those impacted by the tornadoes below:

Disaster Recovery Efforts and Locations are below:

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson

United States House of Representatives- Mississippi Second Congressional District

The office of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson has created a Disaster Resources & Assistance guide for affected communities. The guide offers resources for the counties of Carroll, Humphreys, Montgomery, Panola, and Sharkey, with information on ways to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance, FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers, SNAP Assistance, and more.


FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers and Information

The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is May 25, 2023. If your primary residence (owned or rented) in Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe,
Panola, Sharkey or Montgomery counties was damaged in the March tornadoes, you can apply for FEMA assistance by visiting a Disaster
Recovery Center or by calling 800-621-3362. Impacted residents may also go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or use the FEMA App.

Click FEMA Update for Survivors now to for more disaster resource information.

FEMA has opened Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in six Mississippi counties. Sharkey, Monroe, Humphreys, Carroll, Montgomery, and Panola. Listed below are the locations for the Disaster Recovery Centers in each county.

Mississippi Department of Education

Families of K-12 students who are now displaced due to recent storms can enroll their child in a nearby school district. According to the Mississippi Department of Education, verification documents such as birth certificates and vaccination records are NOT needed.

To contact the school district nearest you, please view the Displaced Families with Students flyer or visit the School District Directory page.

Mississippi State Department of Health

Birth Certificate Replacement

If you or a family member need to replace a birth certificate lost during the recent tornadoes, you can order a replacement at no charge. Please visit the temporary Multi-Agency Coordination Center in Rolling Fork located at 19881 Highway 61 South (parking lot of Redmon Funeral Chapel) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 10, or Tuesday, April 11 to place your order. Representatives from other agencies will also be on-site to provide assistance.

  • FEMA has made available federal assistance for affected individuals in Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey counties.
  • MDHS has allowed SNAP households that lost food to receive replacement food if they submit a MDHS-EA-508 form at their local MDHS office within 10 days of the disaster.
  • MS Division of Medicaid has enacted a state of emergency that allows affected Medicaid patients to receive early refills and additional prescriptions above the standard monthly limits.
  • There is a mobile hospital in Sharkey County at the National Guard Armory operated by Pafford Ambulance Service

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

MEMA is encouraging residents who can to report their damage using MEMA’s Self-Report Tool. MEMA has provided deadlines for storm disaster victims below:


  • SNAP Replacement Benefits Deadline: April 24, 2023
  • Capital Disaster Loan: May 1, 2023
  • SBA Physical Property Loan: May 25, 2023
  • FEMA Application Deadline: May 25, 2023
  • IRS Filing Deadline (STORM VICTIMS ONLY): July 31, 2023

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health is providing free services and referrals to children and individuals affected by the March storms. A list of resources and locations can be found below.
– Panola County: Region 2- 866-837-7521
– Monroe County: Region 3 Lifecore Help Group — 866-255-9986
– Carroll, Humphreys, Sharkey and Montgomery County: Region 6 Life Help Community Mental Health Center – 866-453-6216
– The Department of Mental Health at 877-210-8513 (the statewide number) provides information and referral services
– The 988 Suicide and Crisis Line is also available for you to speak with trained crisis counselors by simply dialing 988.

Insurance Coverage for Tornado Damage

Follow these steps when filing a claim:

  • Prepare to file an insurance claim by gathering all relevant policy numbers.
  • File your claim as soon as possible. Your policy may require that you make the notification within a certain time period.
  • Be aware, if a widespread disaster has occurred, the company may set up special procedures.
  • Be sure you cooperate fully with the insurance company. Ask what documents, forms and data you will need to file a claim. Keep a record of all conversations with insurance companies, creditors or relief agencies.
  • Ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses, if your home is damaged to the extent that you can’t live there.
  • Take photographs/video of the damage. Inventory your home for damaged or lost items before your adjustor arrives. This will speed up your claim process.
  • Make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property (cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls).
  • Don’t have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. Be prepared to provide the claims adjuster with records of any improvements you made prior to the damage.
  • Maintain any damaged personal property for the adjuster to inspect.
  • Ask the adjuster for an itemized explanation of the claim settlement offer.
  • Be patient and assist claims adjusters assigned to your case. Small losses may be settled quickly; extensive claims will take longer.
  • Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your insurance policy.


Shelter locations:

  • South Delta Middle School– 86 Middle School Road, Anguilla, MS
  • The Old Amory National Guard Building– 101 South 9th Street, Amory, MS
  • Silver City First Baptist– 257 Main Street, Silver City 39166


Clinic Locations Opening in Rolling Fork, MS

  • Complete Care– 25 S 4th Street, Rolling Fork, MS 39159
  • Sharkey Issaquena Medical Clinic– 283 Race Street, Rolling Fork, MS 39159
  • Pain Treatments Center of America and Family Medicine– 29 South 4th Street, Rolling Fork, MS


Feeding Centers

  • Humphreys County Multipurpose Building – 417 Silver City Road, Belzoni, MS
  • The Salvation Army and Walmart are providing food and water at South Delta Elementary School –138 Weathers Avenue, Rolling Fork, MS
  • Mercy Chefs is providing meals and water daily from 1:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Sharkey-Issaquena Academy –272 Academy Drive in Rolling Fork. MS


Donation Locations:

Location Address Point of Contact Hours of Operation
Humphrey’s County Emergency Management Agency 106 East Street Silver City, MS Tamekia Jones 662-836-8347 8:00a- 6:00p

Crossway Church

1825 Hwy 61 South Vicksburg, MS 39180 TJ Tennison


8:00a -4:30p


Mississippi Fairgrounds 1207 Mississippi Street Jackson, MS 39202 MHP Troop C 601-420-6342


8:00a – 6:30p

MHP Patrol Troop K

16741 Highway 67, Biloxi, MS 228-534-8619 9a-3p (March 28 -March 30)


MHP Patrol Troop F 1103 Bratton Road, New Albany, MS 662-534-8619 9a-3p (March 28 -March 30)



 Old Amory Garment 902 Main Street South Amory, MS Patty Parker 662-257-2474



9:00a – 6:30p
Amory Regional Museum 801 3rd Street South Amory, MS Wayne Knox 662-315-1849, 662-256-276 9:00a- 6:30p
Carroll-County-Old Vaiden High School Gym 504 Mulberry Vaiden, MS 39176 Stella Bell 662-897-0511


Types of Donations Needed:

  • Non-perishable food
  •  Sunblock
  • Feminine products
  • Baby wipes
  •  Cleaning supplies
  • Paper products: toilet paper, tissues, plates
  • Plastic cutlery


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD announces a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD Announces Waivers to Help Mississippi Communities Recover From Storms and Tornadoes

Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims Section 203(H) Under HUD

  • The Section 203(h) program allows the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure mortgages made by qualified lenders to victims of a major disaster who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home.
  • Through Section 203(h), the Federal Government helps victims in Presidentially designated disaster areas recover by making it easier for them to get mortgages and become homeowners or re-establish themselves as homeowners.
  • Homeowners are encouraged to contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, for assistance with disaster related issues or call toll-free at: (800) 569-4287.


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans: 

  • Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for residents in Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe and Sharkey counties.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that these disaster loans will be low-interest and available to residents and business owners.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for residents in Attala, Chickasaw, Clay, Grenada, Holmes, Issaquena, Itawamba, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Montgomery, Sunflower, Washington and Yazoo counties.
  • Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan to meet working capital needs caused by the storm, regardless of if the business experienced physical property damage.
  • To apply, residents must first register at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ and then apply using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ using the SBA declaration # 17836
  • Applications can also be mailed to:

U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155

  • Deadline for Physical Damage Loans applications is May 25, 2023
  • Deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is December 26, 2023

Need Assistance?


The Mississippi Department of Employment Security Relief Efforts:

  • If you are out of work because of the disasters resulting from tornadoes occurring on March 24, 2023 you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance Assistance or Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Click here to file a claim.
  • MDES is opening all WIN Job locations to assist residents with filing unemployment claims and will soon have a dedicated phone line to help as well.


Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

  • The Mississippi Department of Human Services has announced that residents whose electrical meters were damaged could be eligible for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. This program assists individuals with affording the meters’ repair costs. To check eligibility, residents must go to www.access.ms.gov. Eligible houses must be 60% or below the state median income.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • If households need assistance applying for replacement SNAP benefits, they need to call the Economic Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-948-3050. Households can also apply for SNAP benefits at their county’s Department of Human Services office. Clink the link here for more information.

American Property Casualty Insurance Association Tornado Recovery Tips:

  • Secure property from further damage or theft.
  • Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible to report damage.
  • Inventory losses and photograph damage to provide to your insurance adjustor. Save receipts.
  • If you are a businessowner, keep detailed records of business activity that is negatively affected due to the tornado or storm and keep a list of extra expenses during the interruption. Prepare records to show the income from the business before and after the loss.
  • Many standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies provide reimbursement of additional living expenses when the property is determined to be uninhabitable due to a covered loss. This provision helps with paying for increases to necessary living expenses such as temporary housing and restaurant meals. 
  • Be careful about unscrupulous contractors following a natural disaster. Contact your insurer, agent or local business bureau for references on potential contractors and ask for certificates of liability and workers compensation before signing contracts.


Click here for more information.

Mississippi Insurance Department (MID)

The Mississippi Insurance Department will be in Amory at the Justice Court Building located at 1619 Highway 25, Amory, MS, Tuesday, April 18 until Thursday, April 20, from 10 am-2 pm to assist storm survivors with insurance questions.

Details can be found here: MID Press Release

Mississippi Department of Human Services

MDHS officials have annouced they will begin the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) operations in the following counties affected by the March 24-25 tornado in Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, Montgomery, Panola, and Sharkey counties. D-SNAP provides eligible households who do not currently receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.

D-SNAP applications will be taken in Montgomery, Humphreys, Sharkey, and Carroll counties the week of April 17-22. Applications will be taken in Monroe and Panola counties the week of April 25-30.

MDHS will take in-person D-SNAP applications at the following sites and times:

  • Carroll County: Vaiden Gym, 504 Mulberry Street, Vaiden, MS 39176 from Tuesday, April 18, 2023, through Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 7:00am to 7:00pm
  • Humphreys County: Humphreys County Neighborhood Facility Building, 505 North Hayden Street, Belzoni, MS 39038 from Tuesday, April 18, 2023, through Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 7:00am to 7:00pm.
  • Monroe County: West Amory Community Center, 713 11th Street, Amory, MS 38821 from Wednesday, April 26, 2023, through Sunday, April 30, 2023 – 7:00am to 7:00pm.
  • Montgomery County: Winona Community House, 113 Sterling Avenue, Winona, MS 38967 from Monday, April 17, 2023, through Friday, April 21, 2023 – 7:00am to 7:00pm.
  • Panola County: Extension Building, 394 Highway 51 South, Batesville, MS 38606 from Wednesday, April 26, 2023, through Sunday, April 30, 2023 – 7:00am to 7:00pm.
  • Sharkey County: MS Christian Family Services, 394 Pine Street, Rolling Fork, MS 39159 from Tuesday, April 18, 2023, through Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 7:00am to 7:00pm.