For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
VILONIA, Ark. — Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today joined former President Bill Clinton, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, Senator Mark Pryor, Congressman Tim Griffin, and Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern to survey the damage in Mayflower and Vilonia, Ark. from the severe weather last weekend. While on the ground in Arkansas, Secretary Johnson met with Mayflower Mayor Randy Holland, Vilonia Mayor James Firestone and Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson as well as first responders and survivors to discuss the ongoing response, and reiterated the Department’s continued support of state and local recovery efforts throughout the region.
“I want to thank the first responders, volunteers, and others in this community who are still supporting the response and recovery efforts,” said Secretary Johnson. “FEMA has more than 160 staff on the ground in Arkansas to support response efforts, and we will work closely with the Governor, Mayors, and other officials to ensure you receive the support you need and recover from this terrible storm.”
In advance of the severe weather last Sunday, FEMA deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to Arkansas, and within hours of the storm the Texas Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team (US&R) was deployed to the region. Currently, more than 240 FEMA staff are on the ground in Arkansas and Mississippi, there are five locations for survivors to register for assistance, and four Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are meeting with survivors and traveling door-to-door in the impacted communities in Arkansas and Mississippi—helping individuals register for federal assistance.
Last week, FEMA Administrator Fugate traveled to Arkansas to ensure the appropriate federal resources were available to support the state and local efforts, and President Obama has declared a Major Disaster for the States of Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, making federal funding available to affected individuals in counties severely damaged by the recent severe weather.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the affected region can begin the disaster application process by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by registering via web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Online registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.