BATON ROUGE, La. — After receiving federal assistance for past disaster-declared storms and hurricanes, thousands of Louisianians were required to purchase flood insurance policies through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs. In the Hurricane Isaac disaster, FEMA is reaching out to survivors who let those policies lapse.
The insurance policy, issued under a FEMA Group Flood Insurance Policy, is a three-year, nonrenewable, group flood policy funded by a portion of the survivor’s FEMA grant money. After the policy expires, renters and homeowners are required to purchase and maintain a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to continue their insurance protection.
Applicants who did not maintain the required flood insurance coverage for their previously damaged homes are not eligible for disaster loans or grants to repair that same property after Hurricane Isaac.
Survivors may, however, still be eligible for grants to pay for rental assistance, other serious disaster-related expenses and Transitional Sheltering Assistance, which may allow families to stay in a hotel for a limited period of time.
“FEMA and our partners in the community may have some programs to help Louisianians who were not able to keep flood insurance coverage for properties damaged during previous storms,” said Mike Hall, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer. “We encourage you to register and find what assistance is available to you.”
FEMA recently opened a Hurricane Isaac Flood Insurance Call Center for use by storm survivors who have questions or concerns about flood insurance or flood insurance adjusters. The toll-free number is 1-866-331-1679. The call center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Currently, more than 486,000 Louisianians have flood insurance protection, representing nearly $112 billion in coverage through the NFIP. To date, this program has paid out more than $49 million in claims for Hurricane Isaac.
Applying for disaster assistance is quick and simple. Survivors with uninsured or underinsured damages can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. They may also call 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 open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
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.