BATON ROUGE, La. – Six months ago, communities across 21 parishes in Louisiana experienced the devastating effects of Hurricane Laura. Neighborhoods were shattered, homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, and lives were upended.
Day after day Louisianans continue to recover. FEMA and its partner federal agencies are still in Louisiana and will remain in the state to provide all the assistance that individuals, state and local governments are eligible to receive.
Here for the long-term, FEMA’s Interagency Recovery Coordination (IRC) team has ramped up its engagement with local, state and federal partners to help facilitate a whole community recovery. IRC has mobilized more than $1.25 million to its partner federal agencies to provide technical assistance and subject matter experts. They are working with state agencies and local communities to identify strategies, resources and timelines with the goal of helping communities recover and become more resilient.
To see some advances toward recovery that have already been made, check out the video: Hurricane Laura 6 Month Comparison - YouTube.
Hurricane Laura: By the Numbers
As of Feb 28, FEMA has assisted more than 230,000 families and hundreds of businesses in the form of Individual Assistance grants, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and National Flood Insurance (NFIP) disbursements.
More than 226,860 households have registered with FEMA.
FEMA has put more than $226 million in the hands of 75,628 individual survivors and families, including
- More than $159 million in Housing Assistance; and
- More than $67 million in Other Needs Assistance.
Small Business Administration
The SBA has approved more than 10,300 low-interest disaster loans totaling $592 million, including:
- 9,926 home loans for more than $547 million; and
- 413 busines loans for more than $44 million.
Hazard Mitigation/National Flood Insurance Program
- Mitigation specialists have spoken with more than 3,500 survivors about repairing/rebuilding safer and stronger. More than 670 individuals have attended mitigation webinars on rebuilding topics.
- More than 4,200 individuals have visited the Mitigation web page: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/lamit.
- Flood insurance specialists have contacted over 3,000 insurance agents and over 600 real estate professionals in the Hurricane Laura-impacted area with flood-insurance and flood-risk information, claims and marketing support.
- NFIP has closed 87% of the 1,227 claims submitted and paid more than $45 million.
- More than 12,900 structures were inspected to see if they were substantially damaged. Substantial damage applies to a structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or a 1-percent-annual-chance floodplain for which the total cost of restoring a structure to its pre-damaged condition is 50 percent or more of the structure’s market value before the disaster occurred, regardless of the cause of damage.
- The FEMA Public Assistance Program that assists state and local governments and certain types of private nonprofits had 428 applicants as of Feb. 25 and has obligated more than $108 million. The projected amount for recovery projects is $1.2 billion.
- Over 22 million cubic yards of debris have been removed. That is nearly the equivalent of filling the Superdome twice.
Direct Temporary Housing:
- At its peak, the Louisiana non-congregate shelter program for Hurricane Laura sheltered 21,510 evacuees in 8,115 hotel rooms. As of Feb. 28, there are 393 individuals in 215 rooms seeking permanent housing arrangements.
- On Oct. 15, the first household qualified for direct housing assistance was licensed in. To date, FEMA has provided accommodations to 1,187 Hurricane Laura households, with Transportable Temporary Housing Units (TTHUs) and other facilities directly leased by FEMA.
- Originally 8,962 households were screened for Direct Housing assistance for Hurricane Laura. This included 4,541 homeowners and 4,421 renters. Many have since found permanent or longer-term housing on their own. FEMA is currently preparing to house approximately 3,000 Laura households in direct temporary housing solutions. Over one-third of the projected households have already been licensed into temporary housing solutions.
- FEMA projects that most private and commercial site installation of TTHUs will be completed in April followed by installations in group sites constructed by FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These are projected to open in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes later in the summer and fall months. FEMA is also continuously working with property managers to identify additional ready-to-occupy units for direct lease to house some families.
FEMA Mission Assignment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
The USACE installed 12,977 temporary roofs on homes in southwest Louisiana as part of its Blue Roof program, funded by FEMA.
FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs)
In coordination with nonprofits and volunteer agencies, FEMA VALs have secured more than $350,000 in housing assistance and other needs assistance through appeals and working with individuals to help them provide required documentation.
FEMA Employees Deployed
At the peak of the disaster, 1,463 FEMA specialists worked to assist the state to respond. More than 725 FEMA members continue to support Louisiana’s Hurricane Laura recovery.