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Louisiana Recovery: Eight Years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Release date: 
August 28, 2013
Release Number: 
DR-1603/07 - 994

NEW ORLEANS – In the continued recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided nearly $19.6 billion to help Louisiana’s communities and families rebuild and protect their property against future hazards. 

“Since 2005, FEMA has remained committed to Louisiana’s post-Katrina and Rita recovery. In the last eight years, we have funded one of the most significant comebacks in the history of natural disasters. This would not have been possible without the strong partnerships we share with our state and local recovery partners,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Executive Director Mike Womack.

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program assists in rebuilding disaster-damaged public infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, publicly owned utilities, schools, police and fire departments and healthcare facilities. FEMA has provided approximately $11.9 billion in public assistance funding to 1,849 Louisiana applicants for their Katrina and Rita recovery projects.

“In the past year alone, parish governments have held more than 50 groundbreaking and ribbon cutting events related to Katrina and Rita projects. These celebrations highlight the hard work and commitment that spurs the progress being made every day in Louisiana,” said Womack. “Our new, online photo essay at offers a glimpse at some of the major, completed projects in local parishes.”

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps communities rebuild stronger and smarter by providing grants for projects that are designed to save lives and protect properties. Specifically, in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, FEMA has made more than $1.86 billion in HMGP funding available to the state of Louisiana.

Regarding individuals and families, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents needed help rebuilding their lives. To aid these residents, FEMA provided approximately $5.8 billion in Individuals and Households Program grants to 915,884 individuals and families statewide. These dollars were used as housing assistance for rent, repairs and replacement housing, as well as other needs assistance for such things as furniture, clothing and replacement vehicles.

FEMA also housed more than 92,000 households in travel trailers, park models and mobile homes across Louisiana to combat the largest housing shortage ever seen in the agency’s history. Units were located on private properties, at industrial sites, in commercial mobile home parks and across 111 FEMA built and maintained group sites throughout the state. The last temporary housing unit was vacated last year in 2012.

For more information about Louisiana’s recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to view the 8th Year Photo Essay, visit

All data is as of Aug. 22, 2013.                                                                                                                           

When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are made available to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who disburses them to the applicant for eligible work completed.

The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations’ buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.

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 FEMA online at,, and The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:08