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Help offered for storm victims following Hurricane Ida

4 months 1 week 2 days ago Thursday, September 09 2021 Sep 9, 2021 September 09, 2021 2:03 PM September 09, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: WBRZ

After filing with your insurance company, you can also get monetary assistance from both the state and federal government if you were affected by Hurricane Ida.  

You must live in one of the following parishes to be eligible: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes.

1) Register with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov or 1-800-621-3362.  They will let you know if you qualify for one of the following programs offered by their agency:

  • $500 emergency assistance (being directly deposited into bank accounts). Designed to pay for immediate needs like food, water, and transportation. Survivors must apply with FEMA by Sept. 12, 2021 to be considered.
  • Transitional Sheltering Assistance:  Hotel rooms are available for those who are approved, and it must be one of the approved locations on FEMA's website.  Click HERE and click Transitional Sheltering Assistance for more information.  This is available for  eligible survivors who are unable to live in their primary home, and FEMA will pay the hotel directly. You can read Frequently Asked Questions about this program HERE.
  • Reimbursement for chainsaws and generators purchased between August 26th and September 25th.  You must submit your receipt to FEMA.  More information can be found HERE
  • Lodging Expense Reimbursement:  You can receive reimbursement for out of pocket lodging expenses that are not covered by insurance benefits like additional living expenses or loss of use. The survivor’s pre-disaster primary residence must be unlivable, inaccessible or affected by an extended disaster-caused utility outage. Eligible expenses may include the cost of the room and taxes charged by a hotel or other lodging provider. This does not include costs for food, phone calls or transportation.   

    LER is limited to reimbursement and is not provided in advance or in the form of direct payment to a hotel or motel. The costs must have also been incurred on or after Aug. 26, 2021. Survivors can upload their receipts to their DisasterAssistance.gov account.

  • Rental assistance:  Financial assistance to pay for alternate temporary housing if a homeowner or renter is displaced from their primary residence because of Hurricane Ida. This may include renting an apartment, house or staying at a hotel, bed and breakfast or Airbnb.

    Expedited rental assistance may be available to survivors in Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington parishes. Survivors in those parishes who are unable to return to their home due to a utility outage or inaccessibility may receive up to one month’s rental assistance at the fair market rate. Eligible survivors must not be receiving housing assistance covered by insurance benefits like additional living expenses or loss of use and must apply with FEMA by Sept. 12, 2021 to be considered.  More information on this program can be found HERE

  • Home Repairs: Financial assistance is available to help with uninsured or underinsured home repairs to an owner-occupied primary residence. Types of repairs can include structural parts of a home (e.g., foundation, outside walls, roof) or windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings and cabinetry. It may also include repair utility systems such as electrical, plumbing and gas systems. Assistance is limited to the basic needs to make the home safe, sanitary and functional.

2) If you live in one of the following parishes, you are eligible for free help from the Army Corps of Engineers to install blue tarp on your roof. 

Ascension Assumption Jefferson
Lafourche Livingston Orleans
Plaquemines St. Bernard St. Charles
St. Helena St. James St. John the Baptist
St. Tammany Tangipahoa Terrebonne

The home must have less than 50% structural damage.  For more information, click HERE.

3)  U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans are available for homeowners, renters, businesses of any size and most nonprofits. Similar to FEMA, SBA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.

  • For small businesses, those engaged in aquaculture and most nonprofits, up to $2 million is available for working capital needs even if there was no property damage, with a $2 million maximum loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs.
  • For homeowners: up to $200,000 is available to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 is available to replace personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and residents canapply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov

4) For temporary sheltering needs, text LAShelter to 898211 or dial 211 to locate a shelter.

    • All shelters are using COVID safety measures and are supplied with COVID kits.

5)   Agricultural Producers: For loans and grants please contact Farm Services Agency to recover from losses, visit https://www.farmers.gov/recover/disaster-tool#step-1.

6) DSNAP (formerly called Food Stamps) :

  • To pre-register your application if DSNAP is approved for your parish. Visit dcfs.la.gov/preregister for more information.  So far, no parish has been approved, but the request is "in process."

7)   HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration activated its Disaster Distress Helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone or text at 800-985-5990 for disaster survivors experiencing emotional distress. Spanish-speakers can call or text the hotline and press “2” for bilingual support.

8)   Points of Distribution (POD), where survivors can access critical commodities such as meals and water, are coming online daily. To find locations, visit HurricaneIda (la.gov).

9)   Businesses and residents in the 25 designated parishes can now apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) if their employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ida. DUA became available Aug. 29 and will continue until March 5, 2022. Visit LAWorks.net to apply.

10)   The Crisis Cleanup Hotline is in operation for survivors who need help with clean up and removal of damage from Hurricane Ida. The hotline will connect you with volunteers, local relief organization and faith and community groups to help with cutting fallen tree, drywall, floor and appliance removal, tarping roofs and mold mitigation. Call 844-965-1386 to request assistance. The hotline will remain open until Sept. 17.

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