President Joe Biden to visit Mississippi to assess storm damage and recovery

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Rolling Fork, Mississippi, on Friday to assess damage and visit communities struck by deadly storms last week.

Biden declared a "major disaster" in Mississippi because of "severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes from March 24 to March 25, 2023," according to a White House release.

The Mississippi visit comes as Biden also said planning is underway for a possible visit to Nashville, Tennessee, after a mass school shooting this week killed six people, including three children.

Here's what to know about the president's visit:

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What happened in Mississippi?

Tornadoes killed at least 26 people across rural Mississippi and Alabama overnight Friday.

Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the U.S., and the majority-Black Delta has long been one of the poorest parts of Mississippi – a place where many people work paycheck to paycheck, often in jobs connected to agriculture.

Why is Biden going?

"The President and the First Lady will visit with first responders, state and local officials, and communities impacted by the devastation from recent storms, survey recovery efforts, and assess what additional Federal support is needed," according to a release from the White House.

Before-and-after the tornadoes: Maps and satellite images show aftermath in Mississippi, Alabama

How can people in affected areas get help?

"Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or by using the FEMA App. Anyone using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, can give FEMA the number for that service," noted the emergency declaration from the White House.

Contributing: ThAssociated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden to visit Mississippi to assess storm damage, recovery efforts