BATON ROUGE, La. – Now that Louisiana’s response to the Hurricane Isaac disaster has entered the recovery phase, a new collaborative will help communities find creative ways to fund solutions to their continuing needs.
The state of Louisiana, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has activated the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) for the first time. The framework recognizes that extended recovery requires a united effort beginning at the local level, plus the private sector and individuals – the whole community.
It all starts with input from the public, said Wayne Rickard, who was appointed the federal disaster recovery coordinator for Louisiana’s Hurricane Isaac recovery effort. Mark Riley has been designated as the state disaster recovery coordinator.
“People engage with their local officials to tell them their priorities for recovery,” Rickard said. “In turn, we ask those leaders what their communities need, and the team will figure out what we can do to help them make that a reality. By coordinating state and federal agencies from several disciplines, we may be able to identify other funding streams and technical assistance to help communities rebuild stronger and smarter.”
The NDRF names six recovery support functions that are led by designated federal coordinating agencies at the national level:
- Community Planning and Capacity Building (DHS/FEMA)
- Economic (Department of Commerce)
- Health and Social Services (Health and Human Services)
- Housing (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
- Infrastructure Systems (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), and
- Natural and Cultural Resources (Department of Interior).
Most of the agencies already had a presence in Louisiana, Rickard said, and their roles in the recovery process are not too different from what they usually do. What is different is the level of collaboration among agencies.
“By pooling our resources and talents, we can make a bigger difference than we can working alone,” Rickard said.
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.
SBA is the federal government’s primary source of funding 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).