Baton Rouge, LA -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness are opening Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in East Baton Rouge, Lafourche and Vermilion Parishes at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 15.
The centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. However, Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Carwile emphasized that the first step for people with flood losses is to call FEMA at 1-800-462-9029 to register for assistance. The number is 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired.
The Disaster Recovery Center locations are:
East Thibodaux Junior High School Cafeteria
802 East 7th Street
East Baton Rouge
Robert E. Lee High School
1165 Lee Drive
Erath High School Gymnasium
808 South Broadway
"A variety of federal, state and voluntary agencies will be available at the DRCs to answer questions about assistance programs, check on the status of your application, and direct you to voluntary agencies which may be able to assist with needs not met by state or federal programs," Carwile said. "However, the recovery centers are primarily a source of information once you have registered for assistance."
Assistance programs that may be available to eligible applicants include:
Disaster Housing Assistance, administered by FEMA, for individuals and families whose homes were destroyed or made unlivable as a result of the flooding. The program provides funding for temporary accommodations or repairs needed to make a home safe, secure and livable.
- Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters or business owners for the repair, replacement or rebuilding of disaster-damaged property.
- Grants through the Individual and Family Grant program for people who have serious immediate needs resulting from the disaster that cannot be met by other sources.
- A variety of state programs and voluntary agency resources may also be accessed at the DRCs
The Disaster Recover Centers will be open to everyone, however under the disaster declaration signed by President Bush only residents and business owners in the designated parishes (Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, St. Martin, Terrebonne, and Vermilion.) are eligible for federal disaster assistance.
Damage assessments continue in several other parishes to determine if they will eligible federal aid. State and voluntary agency representatives will also be at the DRCs and may be able to provide assistance to a wide variety of flood victims.