Baton Rouge, LA -- Less than 10 days after President Bush declared a federal disaster for Louisiana, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness (LOEP) have teams in the field inspecting damages, and many disaster assistance programs are in action. The disaster area includes 23 parishes in southern Louisiana.
More than 6,000 storm victims have registered for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-462-9029. For those who are speech or hearing-impaired the number is (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Teleregistration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily.
More than $1 million has been disbursed to help individuals make emergency repairs to their homes or to find adequate temporary living space.
Four disaster recovery centers, which provide recovery information to those affected by Tropical Storm Allison, are currently in operation. Another will open June 20.
Hours for teleregistration have been extended. Recovery specialists now take calls from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, 7 days a week until further notice. Anyone who suffered damages from Tropical Storm Allison is encouraged to register.
Inspectors are examining flood-damaged property of those who have registered for disaster assistance through the toll-free registration number.
More than 100 federal personnel have arrived in the state from around the country and more are on the way. Community Relations field officers are contacting local officials in designated parishes to make sure storm victims are getting all the information they need.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) personnel are busily reviewing loan applications. If applications are not completed and returned it could delay further assistance. The SBA offers low interest loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses that have suffered uninsured or underinsured losses in the disaster. More than $225,000 in loans have been approved; the first checks will be delivered this week.
To date, volunteer organizations have served over 92,000 meals to disaster victims, opened 12 shelters and are continuing to provide other types of assistance. These organizations include American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Convention, Church World Service, and TRAC (Terrebonne Readiness & Assistance Coalition). The American Red Cross has set up a helpline to assist victims at 1-800-306-2029, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week until further notice.
Disaster Recovery Centers are at the following locations and operate from 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
East Thibodaux Junior High School Cafeteria
802 East 7th. Street
Erath High School Gymnasium
808 South Broadway
East Baton Rouge
Robert E. Lee High School
1165 Lee Drive
St. Tammany Parish
520 Old Spanish Trail
St. Mary Parish
Berwick Civic Center
300 Patti Drive