When a major disaster happens, the survivors never forget how their lives were impacted and turned upside down, yet the rest of the world moves on. New disasters happen and memories of what took place eight years ago grow dim, save for those memories held by the survivors. Since hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, the federal government has stood with its survivors every day, helping to rebuild lives and communities.
Eight years into Louisiana’s recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to support communities and families by providing nearly $19.6 billion for personal recovery, hazard mitigation efforts and rebuilding public infrastructure.
From the early days of sheltering residents in cruise ships and hotels to housing more than 92,000 families in temporary housing units, FEMA’s Individual Assistance program helped survivors get back on their feet and rebuild their lives with $5.8 billion in housing assistance and other needs grants. Meanwhile, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has helped communities rebuild stronger and smarter by providing $1.86 billion in grants for projects that are designed to save lives and protect properties.
More than half of the total funding, $11.9 billion, comes from FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to assist in rebuilding disaster-damaged public infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, publicly owned utilities, schools, police and fire departments and healthcare facilities. The result of this funding has been a new beginning for many of the towns and cities across south Louisiana.
In the past year alone, parish governments have held more than 50 groundbreaking and ribbon cutting events for new facilities such as hospitals, fire stations and schools that were damaged or destroyed by hurricanes Katrina or Rita. These celebrations highlight the resiliency and progress being made every day in Louisiana. The following Photo Essay showcases some of the completed buildings funded through FEMA.