FEMA Is Not the Only Option for Survivors
BATON ROUGE, La. — Tornado survivors in Livingston and Orleans parishes have several options in addition to FEMA to aid in recovery efforts. Help is offered through charities, nonprofits, volunteer-based services and the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans (SBA).
Food, shelter and other immediate necessities are available through various nonprofit organizations, faith-based agencies and other charities. Dial 2-1-1 or visit www.louisiana211.org for a list of services and benefits available to survivors. Operators are available around the clock.
Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans are the primary source of federal long-term disaster recovery funds for disaster damages not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries.
SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following damaged or destroyed items in: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
SBA also provides Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to businesses for working capital needs as a result of the disaster. There is no obligation to accept the loan if approved. Visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov/disaster for more information or call 800-659-2955. Those who use TTY can call 800-877-8339.
FEMA disaster assistance is short-term and not the same as insurance.
Policyholders should contact their insurance adjuster to file a claim for tornado damage. FEMA may help survivors if their insurance doesn’t cover certain disaster-related needs or they don’t have insurance.
Homeowners may receive help to repair disaster-related damage to their primary residence so it’s safe, sanitary and functional. Assistance only provides the basic needs for a home to be habitable, including toilets, a roof, critical utilities and doors. FEMA will not return homes to a pre-disaster condition.
Also, homeowners and renters may receive help with paying rent if they can’t return home, replacing essential contents and other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses.
Residents of Livingston and Orleans parishes with tornado damage can apply for help at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Those who use TTY, call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362.