BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana hurricane evacuees who cannot live in their homes because of damage or power outage can have their lodging paid to stay in hotels or motels for up to 30 days, or until it is safe for them to go home, whichever occurs first, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA has activated its transitional sheltering initiative, which pays hotels and motels directly for lodging eligible Ike evacuees from Louisiana. A listing of participating hotels is available online at www.fema.gov by clicking on the "CLC Participating Hotels" link in the center section.
This assistance is intended to provide interim housing to evacuees who cannot return home because their neighborhoods are inaccessible or because their homes are unlivable due to damage or lack of power.
The period of transitional sheltering at hotel/motels for eligible evacuees is up to 30 days or until it is safe for them to go home, whichever occurs first:
For Hurricane Gustav September 3, 2008 through October 3, 2008
For Hurricane Ike September 14, 2008 through October 14, 2008.
Applicants are responsible for their own meals and for any lodging costs above the authorized allowance.
Evacuees first need to apply for federal assistance through FEMA either online at www.fema.gov or by calling the FEMA toll-free call centers at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585. Eligible evacuees must fit the following criteria:
- FEMA must be able to verify the identity of the evacuee;
- The primary residence of the evacuee must be in one of the parishes that has been declared a disaster area; and
- The primary residence is unlivable because of damage or lack of power.
Persons who do not meet these criteria may still be eligible for other types of FEMA assistance or may be referred to local agencies for possible assistance
Those already registered for FEMA, to be considered for this transitional sheltering initiative, must notify FEMA that they cannot reside in their home due to damage or loss of power. Those who have already notified FEMA, will automatically be considered, will be contacted if they have qualified, and do not need to re-apply. They can also go to a participating hotel or motel, which can check online to see if they are eligible. Those who need to update FEMA, should:
- Call the Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585 and speak to an agent.
- Indicate to an agent where they are planning to stay, other than their home, so that the agent updates their record accordingly.
For those residing in locations other than their homes and who have not yet registered with FEMA, they need to indicate that they cannot reside in their homes, in order to be considered for this assistance.
A list of participating hotels/motels is available online at: www.FEMAEvacHotels.com or applicants may ask the Helpline agent for assistance in identifying a hotel.
"We encourage those evacuees from the most-heavily impacted areas who cannot return immediately to their homes to register with FEMA," said Jim Stark, director of FEMA's Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office. "Because of the high number of calls we are receiving, applicants should expect long wait times. I encourage applicants to register online if at all possible."
This program will not reimburse applicants for hotel expenses incurred before Sept. 3 for Hurricane Gustav, and before Sept. 14 for Hurricane Ike. However, those who stayed in hotels or motels on those dates or later, and who register...