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 active. The disaster declaration now covers 27 parishes.
Almost 34,000 people 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 TTY number is 1-800-462-7585. Recovery specialists take calls at the toll-free registration number from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., CDT, seven days a week until further notice. Anyone who suffered damages from Tropical Storm Allison is encouraged to register.
Nearly $18 million has been disbursed under the Disaster Housing program to help individuals make emergency repairs to their homes or to find adequate temporary living space.
The Individual and Family Grants Program has approved nearly $13.4 million to help meet disaster-related serious needs and necessary expenses not covered by other programs.
More than 2,800 people have sought help and disaster recovery information from six Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). One of these remains open as a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) workshop, four have closed, and one will convert to SBA workshop on July 21. Specialists in the recovery center provided answers to applicants' questions and recovery information to those affected by Tropical Storm Allison.
Inspectors are examining flood-damaged property of those who have registered for disaster assistance through the toll-free registration number. More than 25,000 housing inspections have already been completed.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available in 15 parishes 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 continue to review 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. Nearly $15 million in loans have been approved.
Note to editor: The following is the disposition of DRCs:
DRC - Closing 1 p.m. 7/21/01
Convert to SBA Workshop
East Thibodaux Junior High School Cafeteria
802 East 7th Street
Erath High School Gymnasium
808 South Broadway
East Baton Rouge Parish
SBA Workshop 6/30/01
Robert E. Lee High School
1165 Lee Drive
St. Tammany Parish
520 Old Spanish Trail
St. Mary Parish
Berwick Civic Center
300 Patti Drive
Municipal Training Academy
401 City Park Ave.
DUA is currently available in the following 15 parishes: Beauregard, East Feliciana, Iberia, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington, and West Baton Rouge.
More information is available on FEMA's "For the Media" web site: www.fema.gov/about/media.shtm, and Fax-on-Demand at (202) 646-FEMA.