FEMA Working Through the Holiday Season for Hurricane Ida Survivors
Published 11:27 am Thursday, December 23, 2021
BATON ROUGE, La. – Home for the holidays has a much greater meaning for those affected by Hurricane Ida. FEMA will be working through the holiday season to continue recovery efforts, including helping eligible survivors into homes.
“We are working with a keen sense of urgency,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer John Long. “We know that being in your home, albeit a temporary one, makes all the difference after a disaster—especially during the holidays.”
Each housing program is unique, and every application is evaluated individually for eligibility. FEMA determines if applicants are eligible and then survivors are matched with the best available housing solution to meet their individual needs.
FEMA is making progress. The direct, short-term, housing assistance team continues to roll out manufactured housing units and travel trailers. As of Dec. 21, 276 units have been “licensed in,” which means families have been given the keys and taken possession of their temporary home. Survivors will continue to be licensed-in throughout the holidays.
More than 550,000 Louisianans have been approved for federal assistance. To date, more than $1 billion in FEMA grant funding has been put in the hands of survivors. In addition, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has paid more than $585 million on 14,359 claims that have been submitted. Individuals have also been approved for more than $1.2 billion in home loan assistance through the Small Business Administration.
FEMA is also helping survivors work through the process. Using an automated calling system, FEMA’s Individual Assistance team contacted survivors who were missing documentation, leading to the disbursement of an additional $6 million dollars in eligible assistance.
Additionally, survivors can meet face-to-face with mitigation experts for rebuilding and repairing advice at big box stores from Dec. 27-30 and Jan. 3. Those experts will also be available at FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) as long as they remain open.
Survivors may also call 833-FEMA-4-US or 833-336-2487 to speak to a mitigation specialist, email a specialist at FEMA-LAMit@fema.dhs.gov, or visit a mitigation web link to find repairing, retrofitting, and rebuilding information at https://fema.connectsolutions.
To learn the status of their application, residents of all parishes affected by Hurricane Ida can talk with FEMA specialists at DRCs Monday through Friday. For locations and hours of operation check the FEMA app or visit www.FEMA.gov/DRC. All centers follow COVID-19 precautions. Masks are required for employees, volunteers and survivors.
Applicants can also call the FEMA Helpline from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week at 800-621-3362. Holiday hours for the Helpline will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1.
All DRCs will be closed from Dec. 24-26 and again the following week from Dec. 31-Jan. 2. However, survivors can check the status of their application 24/7 online at disasterassistance.gov