Baton Rouge, LA -- Following the floods generated by Tropical Storm Allison, President Bush declared a federal disaster in Louisiana, on June 11. 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 declaration covers 23 parishes.
More than 11,000 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.
Almost $2.8 million has been disbursed to help individuals make emergency repairs to their homes or to find adequate temporary living space.
Six disaster recovery centers, which provide recovery information to those affected by Tropical Storm Allison, are currently in operation. More than 1,300 storm victims have sought help and program information at these centers. Current hours for all Disaster Recovery Centers are Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Recovery specialists take calls at the toll free registration number from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven 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 3,000 housing inspections have already been completed.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available through Louisiana Department of Labor Job Center Offices. This program provides unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not normally qualify for state benefits, such as farmers, farm workers, migrant farm workers and other self-employed individuals.
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 $1.1 million in loans has been approved; the first checks were presented Friday, June 22.