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It’s Not Too Early to Begin Flood Clean Up after Louisiana Floods

Release date: 
March 19, 2016
Release Number: 
NR007

BATON ROUGE, La. – State and federal emergency management officials encourage Louisiana flood survivors to begin repairs as soon as they can.

Flood survivors do not need to wait for a visit from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or their insurance company to start cleaning up and make repairs. FEMA inspectors and insurance claims adjusters will be able to verify flood damage even after cleaning has begun.

It’s important for survivors to take photographs of damage and keep recovery-related receipts. Insurance companies may need both items, while FEMA may need receipts.

Survivors should check for structural damage before entering their homes and report any damage to local officials. They should also immediately throw away wet contents like bedding, carpeting and furniture because of health issues that may arise with mold.

Emergency management officials encourage survivors to register for FEMA assistance as soon as they can. They only need to register once and only one registration is allowed per household. Once registered, survivors should keep in touch with FEMA and update contact information if it changes.

FEMA assistance may help eligible homeowners and renters pay for a temporary place to stay, make repairs or replace certain damaged contents.

Individuals can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling toll-free 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Multilingual operators are available.

Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Survivors who use 711 or Video Relay Service or require accommodations while visiting a center may call 800-621-3362.

FEMA assistance is not taxable, doesn’t need to be repaid and doesn’t affect other government benefits.

Those who are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration should complete and return the application for a low-interest disaster loan. It is not required to accept a loan offer but returning a completed application is necessary for FEMA to consider survivors for certain forms of disaster assistance.

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We urge everyone to continue to use caution in areas where floodwaters remain. Monitor DOTD’s www.511la.org website for updated road closure information. Look for advisories from your local authorities and emergency managers. You can find the latest information on the state’s response at www.emergency.la.gov. GOHSEP also provides information on Facebook and Twitter. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App.  It is free for basic service.  You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.

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 https://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800)877-8339.

Last Updated: 
March 28, 2016 - 19:04
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