BATON ROUGE, La. -- A major milestone has been reached in the Hurricane Isaac recovery efforts in Louisiana. Less than two weeks since the Aug. 29 major disaster declaration, more than $61 million in state and federal disaster assistance has been approved for survivors.
That total includes more than $44.4 million in housing assistance and more than $9.1 million in Other Needs Assistance from the state of Louisiana and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“We are all working together to get the disaster assistance where it needs to be — in the hands of survivors and communities,” said the Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall. “FEMA will continue to coordinate with and support our federal, state and local partners as people work to rebuild after this storm.”
The grants are going to individuals and families in 18 affected parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington.
Public Assistance (PA) funds are also flowing; so far, more than $7.6 million has been obligated to the state to help replenish dollars spent to protect Louisianians before, during and after the storm. The PA program reimburses the state for 75 percent of the cost for eligible work while the state covers the remaining 25 percent. Funding is available to eligible state agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in designated parishes that provide critical and essential services to the general public.
At the request of the state, FEMA has also initiated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program. TSA allows eligible Hurricane Isaac evacuees to stay in hotels or motels if their homes are inaccessible or unlivable due to the disaster. So far, 1,088 survivors have checked into hotels under the program.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance is also available to assist eligible survivors, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans for qualified homeowners, renters and business owners.
To date, more than 164,357 individuals and families have registered for assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are operating from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Mitigation outreach efforts are under way as well. Starting today, advisers from FEMA are available in flood-affected areas to answer questions about protecting homes from future disaster-related damage, as well as offer tips and techniques to build hazard-resistant homes.
Survivors can learn when mitigation advisers will be in their neighborhood by checking out FEMA’s “Mitigation Stations” section at www.fema.gov/disaster/4080.