Louisiana survivors affected by May flooding can apply for possible FEMA assistance
BATON ROUGE – According to a Thursday news release from FEMA, Louisiana homeowners and renters affected by the May severe storms, tornadoes and flooding who live in parishes that have recently been designated for Individual Assistance could be eligible for help from the federal government.
Officials say the parishes are: Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville and Lafayette.
FEMA's news release said, "If you have homeowners or renter’s insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If your policy does not cover all your damage expenses, you may then be eligible for federal assistance.
The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov/."
Officials added that it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).
The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
When applying for assistance, it may be helpful to have the following information readily available:
-A current phone number where you can be contacted;
-Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying;
-Your Social Security number, if available;
-A general list of damage and losses; and
-If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name
Officials say that if it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. They also advise taking photos to document damage and to keep receipts from all purchases related to the cleanup and repair.
Disaster assistance may include financial help with temporary lodging and home repairs along with other programs to assist families recover from the effects of the event.
U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans are available for homeowners, renters, businesses of any size and nonprofits. Like 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 to replace personal property, including vehicles.
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