Baton Rouge, LA -- Homeowners, renters, and business owners who sustained losses as a result of the severe weather caused by Tropical Storm Isadore may find assistance through a wide range of state and federal programs, according to state and federal disaster officials.
Those affected may apply for assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Managements Agency's (FEMA) toll-free number at 800-621-FEMA (3362). The hours of operation are 7 A.M. to 8 P.M., seven days a week until further notice. Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call TTY at 800-462-7585.
"We urge those who suffered loss to their personal belongings, home, business or lost income as a direct result of the storm to call and apply for assistance," said Carlos Mitchell, federal coordinating officer for response and recovery efforts. "Bilingual operators are available to assist anyone with non English language needs".
Colonel Mike Brown, state coordinating officer said, "Any individual or business who was affected by the disaster should take that first step in the recovery process. "It is easy and it is the only way to apply for federal and state assistance programs
President George W. Bush designated 12 Parishes in Louisiana as major disaster area on September 27, 2002, following Tropical Storm Isadore's severe weather. The designated parishes are Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St Bernard, St. Charles, St John the Baptist, St Tammany, Tangipahoa and Terrebonne. The designation opens the way for a wide range of federal and state disaster assistance for those affected by the storm
The primary assistance programs include reimbursement for the cost of short term lodging, money to help make necessary repairs to make a home safe and habitable, and low-interest loans for repair and replacement of personal property, real estate, machinery, equipment and working capital for businesses. In addition, individuals with serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or any other assistance programs may receive money in the form of grants that do not have to be paid back.
The Presidential disaster declaration also provides federal funding for the removal of debris causing health and safety concerns, and the repair and replacement of damaged public facilities, such as roads or bridges.