BATON ROUGE, La. – State agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofits in Louisiana parishes hit hard by the Jan. 8-17 storms and flooding have about two weeks to file their official requests for federal assistance.
The deadline to file a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) is March 25.
Filing such a request with the state is the first step in the process of applying for federal reimbursements under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program.
Applicants must file RPAs within 30 days of a presidential disaster declaration. President Obama issued Louisiana’s major disaster declaration on Feb. 22 for Acadia, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Livingston, Madison, St. Landry, and Vermilion parishes.
“We urge all eligible applicants to make their requests for assistance quickly,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gerard M. Stolar. “The sooner they do so, the sooner we can start the process of getting their eligible costs reimbursed, which helps get communities back on track.”
The grants are obligated to the state to reimburse eligible applicants for expenses incurred while taking emergency measures to protect lives and property; cleaning up downed trees, power poles and other debris; and repairing public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and public utilities. Under a cost-sharing formula, FEMA reimburses the state for 75 percent of the total costs, while the state and/or applicant pay the remaining 25 percent.
Although the program is oriented to public entities, private nonprofit organizations may apply directly to FEMA via the RPA for uninsured costs of debris removal and emergency protective measures. Additionally, nonprofits may qualify for FEMA assistance to make infrastructure repairs if they provide critical services, such as fire and emergency rescue; medical treatment; power, water and sewer resources; and communications systems.
Details of the PA program are on FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov/government/grant/pa/index.shtm.
More information on Louisiana disaster recovery is available online at www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. FEMA is also on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion6 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA.