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FEMA or SBA Assistance May Be Available for Tornado Survivors without Flood Insurance

Release date: 
February 22, 2017
Release Number: 

BATON ROUGE, La. — If you’re a Livingston or Orleans parish resident recovering from the recent tornado disaster but you don’t have flood insurance, don’t worry. You may be eligible for FEMA or SBA assistance.

The disaster declaration on Feb. 11 for Livingston and Orleans parishes was a wind-related event. Damage is considered to be the direct impact of wind from tornadoes. FEMA may have required some survivors who previously received federal disaster help to maintain a flood insurance policy. Those who didn’t maintain a policy may still be eligible for FEMA help.

Livingston and Orleans parish residents are encouraged to apply for FEMA assistance online at or by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362. TTY users should call 800-462-7585. Toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. You will be asked to provide:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged primary residence
  • Description of the damage
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • A current contact telephone number
  • An address where they can receive mail
  • Bank account and routing numbers for those preferring direct deposit of funds

Once you register with FEMA, you can also stay in touch with the agency by calling the FEMA helpline listed above. Additional information is available online at

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 if your insurance doesn’t cover certain disaster-related needs or you 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.

FEMA’s minimum home repair program is not intended to repair your home to its pre-disaster condition.

Also, homeowners and renters may receive help with paying rent if they can’t return home and may help with other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Assistance

Low-interest disaster loans from the SBA are available for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries.

SBA customer service representatives will be available by phone at 800-659-2955 to answer questions, explain the application process, help small businesses apply for a low-interest economic injury disaster loan and help individuals and business owners close their approved disaster loans. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339. For disaster program information visit Applicants may also contact SBA by email at

For information call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362, download the FEMA mobile app, or go online to or

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:01