BATON ROUGE, La. – One month since Hurricane Isaac battered Louisiana, survivors are making strong progress in their recovery. Aided by more than $152.5 million in state and federal assistance, Louisianians are cleaning up and rebuilding their homes, businesses and communities.
Tens of thousands of survivors have been in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeking help or information. Some have called FEMA’s helpline, others have met Community Relations specialists visiting their neighborhoods and still others have visited one or more of the 32 Disaster Recovery Centers that have opened in 19 parishes.
For eligible survivors, FEMA has provided more than $92.6 million in assistance to make essential repairs to primary homes that are too damaged to live in. A portion of those funds have gone for other disaster-related expenses including medical, dental or personal property loss such as vehicles, clothing and household items. Other survivors have benefitted from disaster unemployment assistance, legal aid and temporary sheltering in hotels and motels.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, a partner in Louisiana’s recovery effort, has already approved more than $23 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and business owners affected by the storm. These loans will finance significant repairs or rebuilding of hurricane-damaged homes and businesses, allowing neighborhoods and communities to bounce back from the storm.
Survivors who did not need or qualify for federal disaster assistance or who had additional needs have been referred to local voluntary agencies, partners in the whole community recovery effort. Volunteers from around the country and scores of local community- and faith-based organizations and other nonprofit groups are helping survivors. They have been working in the impacted communities since before the hurricane hit, and they will remain for months to come.
“Survivors are working hard to repair and rebuild after Hurricane Isaac,” said Mike Hall, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer. “With the whole community working alongside them, we’re already seeing positive signs of recovery.”
Additional funds, now totaling more than $36.7 million, are being awarded under the Public Assistance Grant Program for eligible state agencies, local and federally recognized tribal governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.
Below is a snapshot of the assistance dollars and some milestones reached during the past month:
To date, more than $152.5 million in federal assistance has been approved to aid eligible Louisianians and their communities.
More than $92.6 million in disaster aid has been approved for Louisianians through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, which helps eligible applicants with emergency home repairs; uninsured personal property losses; and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster. It also helps cover other disaster-related expenses.
Nearly $78.9 million has been paid to 12,223 policyholders through the FEMA-administered National Flood Insurance Program.
FEMA has obligated more than $36.7 million to cover 75 percent of the costs incurred for removal of storm-related debris and for measures taken to protect people before, during and after the hurricane – including search and rescue, security forces, shelters and emergency care.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $23 million in low-interest disaster loans for 692 homeowners and business owners throughout the disaster area.
More than 190,500 Louisianians have registered for disaster assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or m.fema.gov on a smartphone. Survivors also are using FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services are calling 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
FEMA housing inspectors have completed more than 125,500 home inspections, an important first step in determining eligibility for housing assistance.
Nearly 20,000 storm survivors have visited FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Centers since Isaac struck last month. FEMA has opened 32 recovery centers since the Aug. 29 disaster declaration. For a list of open centers in Louisiana go online to www.fema.gov/disaster/4080.
FEMA mitigation specialists have provided advice and tips on how to rebuild safer and stronger to more than 8,600 Louisianians at Disaster Recovery Centers and home improvement stores.
Nearly 2,200 storm survivors have received Transitional Sheltering Assistance. The program allows eligible evacuees from Hurricane Isaac whose neighborhoods are not accessible or whose houses have been destroyed or lack utilities to stay in a hotel or motel for a limited time. FEMA pays the hotel for the cost of the room and taxes.
More than 1,350 FEMA specialists have deployed from around the United States to help Louisiana respond to and recover from Hurricane Isaac. FEMA teams continue to work with whole community partners to advance the recovery effort.
More than 300 Community Relations specialists have canvassed parishes designated for Individual Assistance. The specialists have provided information and answered survivors’ questions in neighborhoods, at Disaster Recovery Centers, and at points of distribution and shelters.
More than 100 voluntary agencies have called upon their volunteers to provide one-on-one help to Isaac survivors.
A total of 55 Louisiana parishes are designated for assistance under FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, East Carroll, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, La Salle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Point Coupee, Rapides, Richland, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Vermillion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll and West Feliciana.
A total of 21 parishes have been designated for aid under the Individuals and Households Program. These include Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington and West Feliciana parishes.
It has been one month since Hurricane Isaac battered Louisiana.
Survivors may still 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. 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.
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 nonprofit 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).