WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that financial support to flood survivors in Louisiana has reached more than $127 million dollars as part of the overall recovery process.
FEMA approved more than $107 million in grants to help survivors with temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and other serious disaster-related needs. More than 110,000 individuals and households have registered with FEMA for assistance.
FEMA also authorized and issued more than $20 million in advanced payments to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders in Louisiana who sustained damages by the flood, providing expedited relief to disaster survivors. Close to 26,000 NFIP policyholders have submitted claims for flood loss.
In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing low interest loans to Louisiana survivors and businesses to assist with uninsured and underinsured flood-related losses. The SBA processed 1,270 applications and approved $9.4 million in disaster loans so far. The SBA currently has six business recovery centers open, one in Livingston Parish, one in Tangipahoa Parish, one in Ascension Parish, two in East Baton Rouge Parish and one in Lafayette Parish.
In addition, emergency funds have also been made available to assist with repairs to roads and bridges damaged by the floods, and to aid with produce and other farm-related losses caused by flooding. FEMA obligated nearly $3 million through the public assistance program for work undertaken to save lives, protect public health and safety, and to protect public and private property. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) made $2 million in emergency relief funds immediately available through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help repair roads and bridges in the affected areas. The funds will also help stabilize structures to prevent further damage and set up detours until permanent repairs are completed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Emergency Loan Fund has $68.9 million currently available for farmer, rancher and producer assistance, and USDA continues to assess damages as the water recedes.
While federal assistance is integral to response and recovery, no sole source of support will be able to make survivors whole again. In addition to the substantial impact federal agencies are making, voluntary organizations, local and national businesses and thousands of volunteers are helping Louisiana communities to recover.
The Voluntary Agency Liaisons in FEMA are working closely with more than 47 voluntary agencies in Louisiana. Most of the current efforts are in cleanup, feeding, and sheltering, but as recovery progresses, the additional need for resources will be evaluated. FEMA works with a large network of voluntary agencies, both nationally and locally, to help connect resources with survivors who have disaster-caused unmet needs. Those interested in assisting with the relief efforts should contact their local voluntary agency to find the best method to assist or log on to the state's website at www.volunteerlouisiana.gov.
The National Business Emergency Operations Center is working in coordination with the U.S. Chamber Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center and nearly 50 national companies engaged in assisting survivors in the Louisiana flooding with donations of time, money, services, and goods to relief organizations.
In addition, the federal government has more than 2,400 employees on the ground, and is providing the following support:
FEMA has eight open Disaster Recovery Centers where survivors can meet face-to-face with recovery specialists. To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center visit www.fema.gov/DRC, More than 700 families are being housed in hotels or motels through FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program to provide short-term lodging for eligible survivors who are currently residing in a personal vehicle, hotel or motel, shelter, or place of employment.
The American Red Cross (ARC) has 18 shelters housing more than 2,400 people. Since the flooding began last week, ARC provided more than 45,000 overnight stays in shelters and served nearly 300,000 meals and snacks with feeding partners.
The Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) deployed more than 500 AmeriCorps members, including FEMA Corps and AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams, to support shelter operations, home clean-up operations, survivor call centers and disaster survivor assistance teams.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel are conducting surveys in impacted parishes and providing daily and forecasted inundation maps to assist local parishes. Public facility and housing subject matter experts are en route to Louisiana today.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved automatic replacements of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits in heavily affected areas. Those funds help replace groceries and food that were destroyed during the flooding. For more specific information go to the Food and Nutrition Service Disaster Assistance web page at www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/louisiana. USDA currently has 116 employees on the ground in Louisiana assisting with crop damage and livestock loss assessments; disaster nutrition assistance; and debris removal.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services activated its Emergency Prescription Assistance Program to pay for prescriptions and medical equipment for disaster survivors without health insurance. Louisiana patients may obtain a free 30-day supply of medications or medical supplies at any participating pharmacy: www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/epap/Pages/default.aspx.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is expediting federal assistance to provide support to homeowners and low-income renters. HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and extended forbearance periods for Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages. Additionally, HUD is re-allocating existing federal resources such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs to give the state and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars of funding to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster survivors.
The U.S. Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is collecting and surveying high-water marks to estimate streamflow in areas where the USGS stream gauges were damaged, or where no gauges existed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing support to the State of Louisiana, augmenting the state’s capability to respond to hazardous materials incidents. EPA is also assisting in developing plans for disposal of household waste.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has six open Business Recovery Centers, with more centers opening this week. For exact parish locations go to www.sba.gov/offices/disaster/dfocw/declaration/1538306.
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security joined with the U.S. Departments of Justice, HUD, HHS and DOT to issue guidance to recipients of federal funds (e.g., state and local emergency management agencies, law enforcement, healthcare service providers, housing and transit authorities, etc.) to ensure that individuals and communities affected by disasters receive fair treatment, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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.
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