BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Buras, opened on September 19 to assist victims of Hurricane Ivan, will close permanently on Thursday, October 21, at 6 p.m. More than 2100 individuals have visited the center.
"Help is still as close as a phone call," said Sandy Coachman, Federal Coordinating Officer. "The closing of the Disaster Recovery Centers does not in any way affect the services being provided to disaster victims."
To apply for disaster assistance or to check on the status of an application, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those who are hearing or speech-impaired can call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The lines remain open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. The deadline for individuals and businesses to apply for assistance is November 14.
Disaster assistance may include temporary housing assistance and home repair grants as well as grants to meet serious needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other programs. The U.S. Small Business Administration also offers low interest loans for homeowners, renters and business owners. Other types of help include information about taxes, crisis counseling and disaster unemployment benefits.
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 mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.