“We have been working with the office of Governor Haley Barbour and with MEMA, and we have had officials in attendance at the FEMA meetings,” said George. “We are preparing for an immediate role in this matter, much like we did in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Our goal is to offer our programs and services quickly to assist those persons who might need shelter and other short-term help.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, USDA Rural Development placed hundreds of evacuee families in vacant units at multi-family apartment complexes financed by USDA in Mississippi, as well as at those in other states. Also, the agency worked with FEMA to identify places to locate Disaster Recovery Centers in the affected counties and cities. USDA personnel were assigned to operate and manage some recovery centers. Also, the USDA national office gave a moratorium on debt payments to all hurricane-affected borrowers for 180 days.