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Published:December 2nd, 2006 04:21 EST
One Month Summary: One Month Remains To Register For Fema Assistance

One Month Summary: One Month Remains To Register For Fema Assistance

By SOP newswire

ALEXANDRIA, La. -- Louisiana residents and business owners in the disaster-designated parishes who sustained damage during the severe storms and flooding, which began in mid-October, have only one month left to apply for disaster assistance, said officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (GOHSEP).

More than $4 million in grants has been approved for 1,274 applicants in the month since President Bush issued the major disaster declaration for Louisiana parishes on Nov. 2. The number of approved claims will continue to rise as more applications are processed.

Jan. 2, 2007 is the last day applications will be accepted for Individual Assistance. Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to homes, businesses and personal property must also be submitted by that date. Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not applied to do so as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 only for the speech or hearing impaired. Individuals may also register for disaster assistance online at www.fema.gov.

The following is an update of recovery activities as of close of business Wednesday, Nov. 29.

  • 2,801 individuals have applied for assistance in the 17 parishes designated for disaster assistance.
  • 878 claims have been approved for the Individuals and Household Program.
  • $3.8 million in grants has been approved through the Individuals and Household Program. (This assistance may be used for temporary disaster housing assistance; repairing disaster-damaged, uninsured homes to a safe, sanitary and functional condition and replacement grants for serious, disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.)
  • $416,125 in grants has been approved through Other Needs Assistance (ONA). ONA grants are for disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs, such as medical expenses, transportation costs and the repair or replacement of household appliances, clothing and necessary educational materials.
  • 2,001 home inspections have been completed to date
  • 866 people have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) that were temporarily opened in various locations to help meet the needs of disaster victims.
  • 30 home loan applications have been issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • $492,900 in loans has been approved by the SBA for homeowners, renters and businesses. SBA officials encourage anyone who has received an application from the SBA to turn it in as soon as possible in order to be eligible for any further assistance.
  • Counselors are available to speak with Louisiana residents who are suffering from disaster-related stress. Residents in need of assistance are encouraged to call the state crisis counseling helpline at Louisiana Spirit Helpline, 225-924-1586.
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for eligible applicants who experienced a disruption in work due to the storms and flooding. Those interested should first call the FEMA toll-free hotline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 then apply through the Louisiana Department of Labor (LDOL) by calling 1-866-783-5567. LDOL is accepting claims now through Dec. 6, 2006.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, if FEMA referred an applicant to SBA the applicant must complete an SBA loan application to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all
sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

FEMA manages the federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.

SOURCE:  FEMA