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FEMA Disaster Assistance May Be Available for Reburial in Louisiana Cemeteries

Release Date:
September 29, 2020

 

  • Flooding from Hurricane Laura in Louisiana was so severe that some coffins were forced from graves. Loved ones may face the trauma and expense of reinterring.
  • FEMA may aid with reburial expenses if the grave was in a privately-owned, licensed cemetery or burial facility (such as an association or community cemetery or burial facility) and the cemetery or burial facility is not responsible for reinterring displaced remains.
  • In privately-owned, licensed cemetery or burial facility, assistance may be available if the costs are the legal responsibility of an individual and not the cemetery.
  • Additionally, individuals or families who apply for this assistance may be reimbursed for:
    • Transferring remains;
    • Caskets, containers, vaults or urns that were damaged;
    • Markers or headstones that were damaged;
    • Necessary costs related to identifying remains; and
    • Necessary work at the gravesite to reinter remains.

The damage must have occurred in a parish designated in the major disaster declaration,

To see if the damage is in a designated parish, visit fema.gov/disaster/4559/designated-areas.

To register for assistance:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585)
  • Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App; to receive a link to download the app:
    • Apple devices: text APPLE to 43362 
    • Android devices: text ANDROID to 43362

Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

For publicly owned cemeteries, assistance may be available through FEMA’s Public Assistance program which reimburses local governments for infrastructure repairs. The owner and/or operator of the public cemetery must apply via http://louisianapa.com/.

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Last updated March 17, 2021