NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Federal and State disaster officials announced today that the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Breaux Bridge at the St. Martin Parish Fire Training Center , 1035 Ruth Bridge Highway , will transition to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) beginning Monday, March 12. The DLOC will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, until further notice.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and SBA officials opened the DRC to provide face-to-face assistance and disaster information to individuals and business owners who suffered damage as a result of the severe storms and tornadoes that occurred Feb. 12 and 13 in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Martin parishes.
"At this stage of the recovery process, the emphasis for assistance is to meet the long-term needs of victims," said Neal Fudge, deputy state coordinating officer. "We believe the transition of the Disaster Recovery Center to an SBA office will better meet the current needs of St. Martin Parish residents."
"Help with questions on federal and state disaster assistance is just a phone call away," said Federal Coordinating Officer, Lee Champagne. "Operators at the FEMA toll-free number are available to help residents who have questions about their applications or eligibility." Individuals may register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) , or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired. Operators are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until further notice.
SBA representatives will continue to provide homeowners, renters and business owners with face-to-face service in completing their loan applications, answering questions about SBA's loan program, and explaining how an SBA disaster loan can help pay for their disaster losses.
SBA is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or repairing disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.