BATON ROUGE, La. -- To further help Louisianans who sustained losses from the severe storms and flooding that occurred May 12-19, a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open soon in Opelousas. The mobile unit will relocate from Iberville Parish to St. Landry Parish this Monday, June 21, according to officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Louisiana Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness. Beginning Monday Hours of operation will be 9:00 to 6:00 pm until further notice. The address will be:
Our Lady of Angels Church Hall
2125 South Union Street (Hwy 182)
The center will provide answers to questions, recovery information, and written materials about various assistance programs available to individuals and business owners. State and federal assistance programs represented in the recovery centers include Disaster Housing, Home Repair and Other Needs Assistance. Other Needs may include funds for personal property repair or replacement and reimbursement of disaster-related expenses, such as medical bills and moving and storage fees.
The DRC will offer tax advice and crisis counseling, as well as information on fraud prevention, insurance claims and disaster unemployment benefits. Loan officers from the U.S. Small Business Administration will be available to answer questions regarding low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and business owners.
Officials urge individuals who have been affected by the disaster to start the application process before visiting a center by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing and speech impaired individuals may call TTY at 1-800-462-7585. Registrations will be accepted through August 7, 2004.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mtigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.