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R3SM to help in recovery from tornadoes

With the donation center at Jefferson Davis High School closing this week, JDC Emergency Management Director Jocelyn Ragsdale is in the process of collaborating with R3SM to start the long-term recovery process for Jefferson Davis County after the Easter tornadoes.

R3SM (Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi) coordinates restoration, rebuilding and disaster recovery services to low-income families and individuals living in Mississippi’s Pinebelt.

R3SM’s major focus now is recovery efforts following the catastrophic 2020 Easter tornados that devastated Jefferson Davis County.

R3SM, along with Pine Belt Foundation will establish a local long-term recovery committee composed of volunteers.

Community involvement is one of the most important parts of recovery.

“There is a long road ahead, but Jefferson Davis County is well on its way towards recovery,” said   R3SM Executive Director Mavis A. Creagh.

“We are pleased to be a part of the long-term efforts and look forward to partnering in the days, weeks, months and years to come.”

One of the most vital parts of recovery is the fundraising aspect. Donations are vital to rebuilding a community.

The Pinebelt Foundation has agreed to partner with the recovery efforts for the counties that were impacted by the most recent disasters.

The Pinebelt Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, designed to receive gifts to support nonprofit organizations or charitable causes in the Pine Belt.

A fund has been established specifically for disaster recovery following the 2020 tornados.

Anyone who wants to donate can make a donation directly to the Pinebelt Foundation and designate it to Jefferson Davis County.

Donations are accepted online at www.pinebeltfoundation.org. Click the Disaster Recovery 2020 Tornado link and specify in the memo blank which county your contribution should go to.

Checks are also accepted.

There has already been just at $100,000 donated for Jefferson Davis County to date.

Follow the Pinebelt Foundation and R3SM on Facebook for up-to-date information.

The donation center at JDCHS will be open May 7 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and May 9 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. These are the final two days the center will be open to disperse donations.

Tornado victims can also go this week to L.L. Roberts in Bassfield for assistance.

The Jefferson Davis County Mississippi State Extension Service has created a list of important tornado resources for local citizens affected by the severe tornadoes on April 12.

Forestry resources: Landowners seeking advice of programs with recovery can contact their local MFC forester at www.mfc.ms.

AG damage assesment: msuext.ms/eatorn.

MEMA self-report: If you received damage from Sunday’s storm, you can report it through MEMA’s citizen self-reporting tool. Find your county and fill out the form at www.msema.org/contact/crisistrackcsr.

FSA assistance: For ag or forestry damage such as fences, dead livestock, barns, etc., please report to the Farm Service Agency. FSA is working to get emergency money to help with costs. Please call 601-792-8601 to be placed on a list.

MSU Extension Service: The MSU Extension Service has information and resources to respond and recover. Please visit extension.msstate.edu for more information.

FEMA assistance: Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7858 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Information can also be found at www.disasterassistance.gov.