BATON ROUGE, La. -- The state of Louisiana and the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that deadlines are approaching for eligible local and parish government agencies, school districts, and certain private nonprofit organizations to submit Requests for Public Assistance for damage caused by Tropical Storm Lee between Sept. 1 and 5, 2011.
Public Assistance is available under a presidential major disaster declaration for the parishes of East Feliciana, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Terrebonne and West Feliciana.
FEMA will pay up to 75 percent of the costs of approved projects. State and local funds pay the balance. The deadline is based on when parishes were designated for Public Assistance, which all occurred on Oct. 28, 2011. Consequently, the upcoming deadline to apply for public assistance is Nov. 27, 2011.
Costs eligible for Public Assistance reimbursement could include emergency protective measures and debris removal. It also could include repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of public infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, public works facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities, schools, parks and other recreational facilities damaged during the disaster.
Private nonprofit organizations that may qualify are those that provide public, government-like services such as educational, utility, emergency, medical and custodial care. Nonprofits with noncritical facilities must apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan for repair of permanent facilities. If an SBA loan is declined, the nonprofit will be considered for FEMA assistance. There is no SBA requirement for nonprofit organizations with critical facilities.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are made available to the Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who disburses them to the applicant for eligible work completed.
The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations' buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.
The Small Business Administration 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 disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339). Homeowners, renters and business owners with questions for the SBA should call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.