The media sponsors, Journal Inc., WTVA, Tupelo Radio Broadcasting and Mississippi Radio Group partnered with CREATE Foundation, which will administer all funds collected.
Tornadoes on April 26-28 roared through the region, devastating the town of Smithville and heavily damaging residences, structures and forests in other parts of Monroe, Chickasaw, and other counties across the region.
The storms killed at least 32 people statewide, 16 in Smithville.
April 2011 set a new record for the month with 875 tornadoes. The previous record was set in April 1974 with 267 tornadoes, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has reported. The season apparently has become the deadliest in 61 years, with more than 520 deaths, compared to 519 in 1950.
The Tornado Relief fund will help the survivors of the storms in Northeast Mississippi cope with recovery and renewal.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency can provide up to $30,300 in grants for home repairs, rental assistance and other disaster-related losses in declared disaster areas, and insured homeowners can qualify for FEMA aid, but the assistance is reduced by the amount of the insurance settlement.
While many property owners in the storm-damaged areas of our region had insurance coverage some did not. Mississippi has the second-highest rate of uninsured property in the nation.
The state and federal emergency management agencies have announced that the deadline for residents to register for federal disaster assistance for survivors of the April 15-28 storms is June 28.
"We want all Mississippi residents and business owners affected by the disaster to call or go online to register before the deadlines pass," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack last week.
The Tornado Relief fund cannot match the resources of the federal government, but private-sector help can assist people in ways government cannot and, in some cases, help people whose needs are real but overlooked.
The 29 counties with the June 28 deadline for submitting applications for assistance from the April 15-28 disasters include from the region: Alcorn, Chickasaw, Clay, Lafayette, Marshall, Monroe, and Tishomingo.
Contact the CREATE Foundation for information on making donations to Tornado Relief 2011: (662) 844-8989, or send checks or money orders to CREATE, P.O. Box 1053, Tupelo, MS. Donations to CREATE for relief are tax deductible.