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Federal Support Continues for Survivors in Louisiana
WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and volunteers from around the country, continues to support and assist flood survivors in Louisiana.
Since President Obama’s major disaster declaration to 20 parishes in South Louisiana, more than 128,000 households registered for FEMA assistance – with FEMA approving more than $385 million for survivors so far. That includes $108 million in advanced flood insurance payments and $277 million for temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and other disaster-related needs.
As housing remains a priority for state and federal officials, Louisiana’s Shelter At Home Program, funded by FEMA, is now accepting applications. This allows residents who qualify to safely live in their own homes as temporary shelters while they plan and carry out permanent repairs. Detailed information, guidelines and online pre-registration for the Shelter at Home program are available at www.ShelteratHome.Louisiana.gov.
In addition to the state’s Shelter at Home program, the Multi Family Lease and Repair Program may provide funds to make rental units livable again in order to lease them to provide temporary housing to eligible disaster survivors. Interested property owners can call 225-382-1464 or email email@example.com.
Rental property resources may be found at www.lahousingsearch.com.
FEMA has 22 open Disaster Recovery Centers where survivors can meet face-to-face with recovery specialists. To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center visit www.fema.gov/DRC, More than 1,700 families are being housed in hotels or motels through FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program to provide short-term lodging for eligible survivors who are currently residing in a personal vehicle, hotel or motel, shelter, or place of employment.
In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration is providing low interest loans to Louisiana survivors and businesses to assist with uninsured and underinsured flood-related losses. So far, the SBA has approved $56 million in disaster loans.
U. S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro visited Baton Rouge Thursday, meeting with Governor Edwards, touring two public housing sites, and visiting the Baton Rouge DRC. HUD has 24 staff in Baton Rouge working to deliver housing and sheltering solutions to transition survivors from congregate shelters to temporary housing solutions. HUD’s response team will prioritize damage assessment and re-housing of HUD-assisted residents. While HUD is and will continue assessing the extent of damages, and have taken several actions:
Assisting the state of Louisiana and local governments in re-allocating federal resources toward disaster relief:
- Granting immediate foreclosure relief.
- Making mortgage insurance available.
- Offering loan guarantee assistance.
Louisiana is coordinating all volunteer groups and resources. Those interested in assisting with the relief efforts should log on to the state's website at www.volunteerlouisiana.gov. Donations may be coordinated by emailing 2016FloodDonations@gmail.com.
American Red Cross shelters are housing approximately 1,500 people in 13 shelters. Since the flooding began last week, ARC provided more than 60,000 overnight stays in shelters, served more than 611,000 meals and snacks, and provided more than 305,000 relief items. More than 2,900 ARC personnel, many of whom are volunteers, are supporting the flood response effort.
Additionally, ARC handled more than 28,000 calls for assistance and information, and provided more than 18,000 health services and emotional support contacts.
The Corporation for National Community Service deployed more than 820 AmeriCorps members, including FEMA Corps and AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams, to support shelter operations, home clean-up operations, survivor call centers, home recovery operations and disaster survivor assistance teams.
The National Business Emergency Operations Center is working in coordination with the U.S. Chamber Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center and nearly 60 businesses in NBEOC engaged in assisting survivors in the Louisiana flooding with donations of time, money, services, and goods to relief organizations.
Since beginning the flood response, more than 3,800 Louisiana National Guardsmen responded to the flood operations; more than 2,000 remain engaged with ongoing recovery efforts. Overall missions have included:
- Rescued more than 19,000 residents and 2,660 pets.
- Delivered more than 296,000 meals ready to eat.
- Delivered more than 730,000 bottles of water.
- Delivered more than 994,000 sandbags.
- Delivered more than 2,200 cots and 1,700 blankets for shelter support, and 465 tarps.
The Louisiana National Guard continues to operate four distribution centers, supporting relief efforts.
FEMA obligated nearly $3 million through the public assistance program for work undertaken to save lives, protect public health and safety, and to protect public and private property.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers debris experts are conducting surveys in impacted parishes as New Orleans District is providing inundation maps for affected regions, as well as daily and forecasted inundation maps to show current and expected extents of flooding to assist local parishes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved automatic replacements of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits in heavily affected areas. Those funds help replace groceries and food that were destroyed during the flooding. For more specific information go to the Food and Nutrition Service Disaster Assistance web page at www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/louisiana.
USDA currently has 116 employees on the ground in Louisiana assisting with crop damage and livestock loss assessments; disaster nutrition assistance; and debris removal. Additionally, the USDA Rural Development Louisiana State Office has 74 staff members on alert and ready to continue to respond to those in need with Rural Development financed housing, as well as agency community water and small business program assistance.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services activated its Emergency Prescription Assistance Program to pay for prescriptions and medical equipment for disaster survivors without health insurance. Louisiana patients may obtain a free 30-day supply of medications or medical supplies at any participating pharmacy: www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/epap/Pages/default.aspx. HHS continues to provide medical care at a federal medical station in Baton Rouge and is working with the state to support behavioral health needs of residents impacted by the flooding. To date, HHS has provided care for more than 1,000 patients.
HHS also activated its Disaster Distress helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues providing support to Louisiana, augmenting the state’s capability to respond to hazardous materials incidents. EPA is also assisting in developing plans for disposal of household waste.
The U.S. Department of Transportation made $2 million in emergency relief funds immediately available through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help repair roads and bridges in the affected areas. The funds will also help stabilize structures to prevent further damage and set up detours until permanent repairs are completed.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
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