BATON ROUGE, La. –Federal assistance to help Louisiana disaster survivors and communities surpassed $1 billion less than four weeks after the Aug. 14 disaster declaration.
These funds are a result of federal agencies working closely with their local, parish and state partners to identify and find solutions to help survivors and the state recover from the severe storms and floods that occurred Aug. 11-31.
To date, more than 63,000 Louisiana families are receiving assistance through one or more of the housing options available to them, including rental assistance, home repairs, hotel and motel stays, and other housing.
Financial disaster assistance comes in many forms. This includes reimbursing local and state agencies for expenses related to saving lives, helping displaced survivors stay close to their homes and in their communities, and providing them funds to help repair or rebuild.
Federal assistance includes funding from FEMA, payments from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). While there is still much work to be done, the funding contributes significantly to assisting survivors with their needs.
Here’s a rundown of how different federal agencies are helping Louisiana:
Providing housing solutions to survivors remains a top priority for FEMA. The agency approved grants of more than $505 million through the Individual Assistance program to help households temporarily pay for a place to stay and make repairs to make their homes safe, sanitary and secure. More than $95 million has helped households pay for disaster-related expenses like replacing essential household items and moving and storage costs.
Here are some other ways FEMA is helping Louisiana:Twenty-six (26) Disaster Recovery Centers are open across affected parts of Louisiana where survivors can receive free face-to-face recovery help from state, federal and voluntary officials.FEMA inspectors performed more than 114,000 home inspections. Nearly 95 percent of scheduled inspections have been completed.Providing funds for disaster case managers from voluntary agencies to help survivors develop recovery plans, identify recovery resources and monitor goals.Setting aside Disaster Unemployment Assistance funds to help people whose employment was affected by the disaster.
The SBA approved low-interest disaster loans of nearly $215 million to help businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters recover from property losses and other damage from the severe storms and flooding. Loans have been approved for almost 2,900 homeowners, renters and businesses.
NFIP authorized and issued more than $274 million in payments so policyholders can repair and rebuild their flood-damaged property.
The USDA is providing support to the state through nutrition and farmer and rancher assistance. More than $56 million in Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits have gone to survivors to help them with groceries due to lost income or damage following the severe storms and floods. Also, more than $19 million in replacement benefits have been provided to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households that lost food because of the disaster.
If you had severe storm or flood damage in Louisiana, you may still register for federal help by going online to disasterassistance.gov or by downloading and using the FEMA app. You may also call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.