Baton Rouge, La. -- Louisianans have received almost $3.2 million in disaster aid, according to officials from Louisiana Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness and U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The federal disaster declaration of June 8th covers nine parishes: Acadia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St Martin and West Baton Rouge.
The following serves as an update of disaster recovery activities:
- To date, 5,042 individuals called to apply for disaster assistance as a result of the severe storms and flooding of May 12-19, 2004.
- Qualified applicants received almost $2 million in housing assistance, which helps renters and homeowners whose primary residences were damaged or destroyed, as well as those who were displaced from their home due to the disaster.
- Qualified applicants received more than $1,200,000 to help meet essential needs, such as transportation and personal property repair or replacement not covered by insurance or other programs.
- Inspectors completed 3,370 on-site inspections to assess damage losses reported by applicants.
- Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) were visited by 421 people, which provide information and written materials about various disaster assistance programs. The centers also offer tax advice, crisis counseling and disaster unemployment benefits. At the centers, loan officers from the U.S. Small Business Administration can answer questions about low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and business owners. The DRCs are located at the City Hall in Lake Arthur (closing 5pm June 30) and Carencro High School in Lafayette (closing 6pm June 30).
To apply for disaster assistance, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines remain open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until further notice. Registrations will be accepted through August 7, 2004.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the 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 mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.