BATON ROUGE, La. – Home for the holidays has a much greater meaning for those affected by Hurricane Ida. FEMA will be working through the holiday season to continue recovery efforts, including helping eligible survivors into homes.
“We are working with a keen sense of urgency,” said Federal Coordinating Officer John Long. “We know that being in your home, albeit a temporary one, makes all the difference after a disaster, especially during the holidays.”
Each housing program is unique, and every application is evaluated individually for eligibility. FEMA determines if applicants are eligible and then survivors are matched with the best available housing solution to meet their individual needs.
FEMA is making progress. The direct, short-term, housing assistance team continues to rollout manufactured housing units and travel trailers. As of Dec. 17, 233 units have been “licensed in,” which means families have been given the keys and taken possession of their temporary home and survivors will continued to be licensed-in throughout the holidays.
More than 816,000 Louisianans have been approved for federal assistance. To date, more than $1 billion has been put in the hands of survivors. More than 614,000 households have received more than $807,000 in Critical Needs Assistance. In addition, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has paid $585 million in 14,359 claims have been submitted. Individuals have also been approved for more than $1.2 billion in home loan assistance through the Small Business Administration.
FEMA is also working hard to find financial help for survivors who don’t qualify for federal assistance. Using an automation calling center, FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) team contacted survivors generating more than $6 million in insurance (coverage) funds to survivors.
Additionally, survivors can meet face-to-face with mitigation experts for rebuilding and repairing advice at big box stores from Dec. 27 – 30 and Jan. 3. Those experts will also be available at FEMA DRCs as long as they remain open.
You may also call 833-FEMA-4-US or 833-336-2487 to speak to a mitigation specialist. You can email a specialist at FEMA-LAMit@fema.dhs.gov. Visit a mitigation web link to find repairing, retrofitting, and rebuilding information at https://fema.connectsolutions.com/lamit, https://fema.connectsolutions.com/la-es-mit for Spanish, or https://fema.connectsolutions.com/la-vie-mit for Vietnamese.
To learn the status of your application, residents of all parishes affected by Hurricane Ida can talk with FEMA specialists at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) Monday - Friday. For locations and hours of operation check the FEMA app or visit www.FEMA.gov/DRC. All centers follow COVID-19 precautions. Masks are required for employees, volunteers and survivors.
Applicants can also call the FEMA Helpline from 6 a.m. – 11 p.m., seven days a week at 800-621-3362. Holliday hours for the Helpline will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 24 – 25 and Dec. 31 - Jan. 1.
All DRCs will be closed from Dec. 24 – Dec. 26 and again the following week from Dec. 31 – Jan. 2. However, survivors can check the status of their application 24/7 online at disasterassistance.gov