LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The City of Lake Charles and all but one community in Louisiana 's Calcasieu Parish have launched a permanent reentry plan for its citizens. Only the town of Vinton , La. remains on a "look and leave" status.
Residents can call the City of Lake Charles information hotline at 337-491-1280 for more information. Temporary housing is available for those evacuees who return home to find that their home is not livable. Hospitals are operational for medical emergencies.
The parish is slowly coming back to life. Many local merchants are open and ready to supply the needs of returning evacuees. Most public water systems in the parish are safe to drink, electricity has been restored to the majority of Calcasieu Parish, and most locations have regular garbage pickup for household waste. Waterways in the parish are open to civilian and non-commercial traffic although boaters are urged to use caution.
Employees of the Police Jury and the parish library who have water and power are being asked to return. Employees of the Calcasieu Parish School Board can call 1-866-490-1647 for information. Residents in the Lake Charles Housing Authority should contact their project managers before returning.
Six supply distribution sites have been set up in the parish to provide residents with water and ice. Food is available from the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
Evacuees who return to find trees on their homes or leaky roofs can arrange to have a blue roof tarp installed as a temporary cover at no cost. For information about the program, call 1-888-ROOFBLU (766-3258) . The installation will occur only after residents register in person at one of seven locations in the parish.
Animals in the parish are being cared for by Calcasieu Parish Animal Service. Units are in the field every day, going door-to-door to make sure that all animals are fed and watered. Only strays needing veterinary care are picked up.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.