BATON ROUGE, La. — Federal disaster assistance is available through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program to help Louisiana communities in 55 parishes recover from Hurricane Isaac.
Under the program, FEMA is providing supplemental financial assistance to the state and its agencies, local and federally recognized tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations for their eligible response and recovery expenses.
Although funds are awarded to eligible government entities and nonprofits through the state, the PA program is intended to benefit everyone — neighborhoods, cities and states. PA dollars help clean up communities overwhelmed by disaster-related debris, repair roads and bridges people use every day getting to work and school, put utilities and water systems back in order, repair certain nonprofit hospitals, rebuild or repair public schools and universities and put playground equipment back in public parks.
FEMA PA dollars come to Louisiana communities through a cost-sharing partnership among the state, the applicants and the federal government. FEMA reimburses applicants 75 percent of their eligible costs, and the state and/or applicant pays the remaining 25 percent.
The state of Louisiana, with FEMA support, is holding Applicant Briefings throughout the disaster-affected areas to provide a general overview of the PA program and to answer questions. FEMA/state PA program specialists are then meeting individually with applicants in kick-off meetings to address the applicant’s specific needs, damages and costs incurred.
In an effort to expedite PA assistance to applicants, some kick-off meetings are being held immediately following Applicant Briefings — with the goal of producing formal Requests for Public Assistance.
FEMA obligates federal PA funds directly to the state, which disburses the money to the local jurisdiction or organization that incurred costs.
Two types of work are eligible for reimbursement under the PA program:
- Emergency Work
- Removal and disposal of eligible disaster-related debris
- Emergency measures taken to protect lives and property before, during and after the storm
- Permanent Repairs to:
- Roads and bridges
- Water control facilities
- Public buildings and equipment
- Public utilities
- Parks, recreational and other facilities
To be eligible for FEMA reimbursement funding, applicants must complete their projects within the established time frame.
- Emergency work must be completed within six months of the presidential disaster declaration or designation of the affected parish.
- Permanent repair work must be completed within 18 months of the declaration or designation of the affected parish.
Types of entities that may be eligible for Public Assistance include:
- State governments and state agencies
- Local governments (towns, cities, parishes) and special districts
- Federally recognized tribal governments
- Certain private nonprofit organizations providing services, such as:
- Critical services:
- Hospitals and other medical treatment
- Fire, police and other emergency services
- Power, water and sewer utilities
- Educational institutions
- Essential services*:
- Libraries, museums and zoos
- Community centers
- Homeless shelters and rehabilitation facilities
- Senior citizen centers and day-care centers
*Private nonprofits that provide essential services are eligible for Public Assistance for emergency work. For permanent repairs, they must apply to the Small Business Administration for a low-interest disaster loan before applying to FEMA.
For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit our blog at www.fema.gov/blog.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
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. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/femaregion6, the R6 Hurricane Preparedness website at www.fema.gov/about/regions/regionvi/updates.shtm and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.