NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The federal/state Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) located at 1200 Avenue D in Westwego is scheduled to close on Saturday, March 24 at 1 p.m. Over the past three weeks the center provided homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the severe storms and tornadoes of Feb. 12 and 13 with valuable recovery information from 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 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The two additional DRCs in Orleans Parish will continue to serve the community Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m until March 31. The DRCs are located at Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, 4128 Franklin Ave. and St. Matthew United Church of Christ, 1333 Carrollton Ave.
Residents and business owners who received damages from the storms and tornadoes in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Martin parishes are urged to register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those who are hearing or speech impaired. The FEMA registration line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time Monday through Saturday. Those affected by the disaster can also register online at www.fema.gov. The deadline to register with FEMA and return the SBA loan application is April 24, 2007.
Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the storms and tornadoes are reminded that the DRCs provide the opportunity for face-to-face contact with state and federal representatives. However, applicants can access the same FEMA disaster information by speaking to a representative at the helpline.
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.