Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Flickr icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

2016 South Louisiana Flooding Resource Sheet

 Updated at 9:30 a.m. CST, August 25, 2016

On August 14, 2016, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Louisiana triggering the release of federal funds to help people and communities recover from the severe storms and flooding that began August 11, 2016, and continuing in the parishes of East Baton Rouge,  Livingston, St. Helena, and TangipahoaFollowing the initial declaration, the parishes of Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Vermillion, Washington and West Feliciana were later included in the declaration.

Congressman Abraham has personally visited the flooding in numerous parishes in southeast Louisiana. He recognizes the scope of the damage and that significant, long-term assistance will be required.  We remain engaged with government at all levels to advocate for help where it’s needed.

Your best sources of information are your local officials at the parish Office of Emergency Preparedness (click here for a list of parish contacts) or your municipal/parish government.  Our primary point of contact is our Central Louisiana Office in Alexandria, 318.445.0818.  Again, it is critical that people report their damages to their parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness contacts in order for their parishes to be declared federal disasters.

TOPICS INCLUDED

FEMA DECLARATION

Declaration Number: FEMA-4277-DR
Incident: Severe Storms and FloodinG
Incident Period: August 11, 2016, and continuing    

Individual Assistance (IA): (Assistance to individuals and households):
IA-Designated Parishes:  Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermillion, Washington and West Feliciana.

Public Assistance (PA): (Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities):
PA-Designated Parishes: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermillion, Washington and West Feliciana  for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

Hazard Mitigation (HM): (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards):
HM-Designated Areas: All areas in the State of Louisiana are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

OTHER:  Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Individuals in the parishes of Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermillion, Washington and West Feliciana can register with FEMA the following ways:

  • Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.  

  • Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

(back to top)

 

SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS TIPS 

  • Don’t put yourself at risk; follow the instructions of local officials – and if told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Get to know the terms that are used to identify floods and discuss with your family what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued.
  • A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding.
  • A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • A Flash Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding.
  • A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • A Flash Flood Emergency is issued when severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is imminent or ongoing.
  • If you encounter flood waters, remember – TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles.
  • Do not walk through flood waters. A few inches of water can sweep you off your feet.
  • When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges, and at highway dips.
  • As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Download the FEMA App to locate and get directions to open shelters across the state, and receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
  • Be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in or around your home.
  • Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards and before going back to a property with downed power lines, or the possibility of a gas leak.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines.
  • Report downed power lines and electrical hazards to the police and the utility company. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
  • Ensure you have a flashlight, NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries on hand. Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles.
  • Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
  • Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions. 
  • If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • To learn more about what to do before, during and after severe weather, visit www.Ready.gov.

 (back to top)

 

RED CROSS  SHELTER INFORMATION

Red Cross workers are providing meals, a safe place to sleep and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs. While people are continuing to arrive at shelters, the following locations in the fifth district are open overnight:    

East Feliciana Parish

  • Clinton Welfare Center, 9742 Plank Road, Clinton, LA
  • North Corbin Junior High, 32725 North Corbin Road, Walker, LA

St. Helena Parish

  • Fifth Ward Recreation Center, 31676 LA Hwy 16,  Amite

St. Landry Parish

  • Opelousas Civic Center, 1638 Creswell Lane Ext, Opelousas

Tangipahoa Parish

  • Mike Kenny Center – 601 W. Coleman, Hammond

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family, as possible:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents § Hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you  

(back to top)

 

HOW TO APPLY FOR FEMA AID

  • Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • FEMA has an app for constituents to upload pictures in order to document damage, apply for assistance, learn about the process, and locate nearby shelters. Numerous links and documents are available through the app to help with preparedness, emergency relief, and cleanup/removal.
  • Use this link to Check your status   

(back to top)

 

INFORMATION CHECKLIST FOR APPLYING FOR FEMA

Before starting your application, you, your co-applicant, or a minor in your home must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien. Please have a pen and paper and the following information ready:

Social Security Number

Insurance Information: Describe the type(s) of insurance coverage you have, such as homeowners, flood, automobile, mobile home insurance, etc.

Damage Information: Describe your damages caused by the disaster, including the type of disaster (flood, hurricane, earthquake) and type of dwelling (mobile home, house) or vehicle (car, boat).

Financial Information: Provide your family's total annual household income, before taxes, at the time of the disaster.

Contact Information: Give FEMA the address and phone number where the damages happened and the address and phone number where you can be reached after the disaster.

Direct Deposit Information (optional): If you are approved for assistance and want your funds deposited directly into your bank account, provide your banking information. This includes:

•Bank name

•Type of account (ex: checking, savings, etc.)

•Routing number

•Account number

(back to top)

 

DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS OPEN FOR LOUISIANA SURVIVORS

Disaster recovery centers are open in the following parishes to help Louisiana flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until further notice.

EAST FELICIANA PARISH

Early Learning Center Gym
9414 Plank Rd.
Clinton, La. 70772

 

ST. LANDRY PARISH

St. Joseph Catholic Church
15710 Highway 16
French Settlement, La. 70733

 

ST. HELENA PARISH

St. Helena Environmental Health Unit E
53 N. 2nd St.
Greensburg, La. 70441

 

TANGIPAHOA PARISH                

Former Parish Tourism Building
42271 S. Morrison Blvd.
Hammond, LA 70443

 

Amite City Office Complex
721 S. First St.
Amite, La. 70422

 

WEST FELICIANA PARISH

Independence Community Center
10494 State Highway 965
St. Francisville, La. 70775

 

Survivors may locate centers near them at fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. That information is also available on the FEMA mobile app. Survivors may register at any open DRC, even out of state.

To register, go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA helpline. Help is available in most languages and phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Representatives from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), volunteer groups and other agencies are at the centers to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance.

Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are canvassing many affected areas, and are able to register people for FEMA assistance if needed. Sometimes these teams will remain in certain locations convenient to the community, such as a library or mayor’s office. When residents require further assistance the teams may refer them to a disaster recovery center nearby.

It is not necessary to visit a center to register for and receive federal disaster assistance. If possible, survivors should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center.

Disaster survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 to register. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service or require accommodations while visiting a center may call 800-621-3362. All disaster recovery centers are accessible and equipped with tools to accommodate disaster survivors who need disability-related communication aids. Each disaster recovery center has assistive technologies for people with disabilities. To arrange to have an ASL interpreter at the DRC when you visit, call 225-382-1739.

For information call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or www.fema.gov/disaster/4263.                                      

(back to top) 

 

SBA BUSINESS RECOVERY CENTER OPENS

The centers will provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help. Specialists from SBA and LSBDC will be available to meet individually with each business owner. No appointment is necessary. All services are provided free of charge.

Amite Chamber of Commerce
101 SE Central Ave.
Amite, LA 70422

Opens 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20
Mondays-Saturdays, 9a.m. - 6p.m.
Sundays, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Low-interest disaster loans from the SBA are available for businesses of all sizes and landlords, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries.

For more information, applicants may contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visiting the SBA’s website at sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

(back to top)

 

DCFS ANNOUNCES PARISH LOCATIONS FOR PHASE 1 OF DSNAP  

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced the first of three phases of the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for residents to finalize applications for DSNAP benefits. DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.

The following locations will be open Monday, August 22, through Saturday, August 27, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.:

  • East Feliciana Parish ZIP Codes 70722, 70730, 70748, 70761, 70777, and 70791:
    • Early Learning Center, 9414 Hwy 67 (Plank Road), Clinton
  • St. Helena Parish (all ZIP codes):
    • Greater Turner Chapel AME, 875 Turner Chapel Rd, Greensburg
  • St. Landry Parish ZIP Codes 70512, 70525, 70535, 70541, 70550, 70570, 70577, 70584, 70586, 70589, 70750, and 71358:
    • Southeast Community Center, 101 City Avenue, Eunice
    • Yambilee Building, 1939 W Landry St., Opelousas
  • Tangipahoa Parish ZIP Codes 70401, 70403, 70422, 70443, 70444, 70446, 70454, 70455, 70456, 70465, and 70466:
    • Eagle Heights Community Church, 47318 Rufus Bankston Rd., Tickfaw

Each of these parishes will serve applicants next week on a staggered alphabetical schedule. To minimize wait times, applicants and anyone who pre-registered for benefits should go to a DSNAP location only on one of the days indicated by the first letter of their last name. Applicants who are unable to visit a site on their designated day should go on one of the final days specified.

For the above locations, applicants should go on the following designated days, based on their last name.

  • Monday, August 22: A-D
  • Tuesday, August 23: E-K
  • Wednesday, August 24: L-R
  • Thursday, August 25: S-Z
  • Friday, August 26: A-K applicants unable to make prior scheduled day
  • Saturday, August 27: L-Z applicants unable to make prior scheduled day

Those applying for DSNAP MUST go to a specified DSNAP site for the parish where they resided during the disaster to apply and receive benefits, if eligible.

DSNAP Phase Two will be from Monday, August 29, to Saturday, September 3, for Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, and Lafayette parishes. DSNAP Phase Three will be from Monday, September 5, to Saturday, September 10, for Avoyelles, Evangeline, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, St. Martin, Washington and West Feliciana parishes.

Sites for these parishes will be announced once the locations are finalized.

Applicants may name an Authorized Representative to go to a DSNAP site on their behalf. Authorized Representatives must bring with them to the DSNAP site a picture ID and the picture ID of the applicant/head of household along with a signed statement from the applicant/head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative.

Accommodations will be made for the elderly and those with disabilities to reduce on-site wait times, but we strongly encourage these residents to name an Authorized Representative to visit a DSNAP site and complete an application on their behalf.

Regular SNAP households DO NOT need to apply for DSNAP. Impacted households that receive regular SNAP benefits in the DSNAP parishes will have additional SNAP benefits added to their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards if they are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size.

To help expedite the application process DCFS is encouraging residents in all affected areas to pre-register for DSNAP benefits. The pre-registration is not an application for DSNAP. Residents will need to go to the parish DSNAP site in which they reside to complete an application and determine their DSNAP eligibility.

The best way to pre-register is online at www.dcfs.la.gov/preregister. However, residents can also pre-register by phone at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578). Beginning Monday, August 22, the call center will extend its hours on Mondaythrough Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hours for Saturday and Sunday will remain at 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Callers will select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3. All pre-registrants will have to provide the following information:

  • Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth for each household member
  • Current address and parish of household
  • Monthly income for each household member
  • All liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings)

The information will be kept securely on file and will be confidential.

(back to top)

 

KEEP IN TOUCH AND UPDATE INFORMATION WITH FEMA TO AVOID DELAYS

 

You may find yourself frequently moving if you’re a survivor of Louisiana’s recent severe storms and floods. If you’ve had any changes to your contact information it’s important to let FEMA know so the disaster assistance process stays on track.

                                                                                                               

FEMA may need to contact you to schedule an inspection or to get additional information to help process your application. That’s why it’s important to let them know as soon as possible if you’ve moved or have a new phone number.

 

You may update contact information two ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  •  By calling 800-621-3362
    • People who use TTY may call 800-462-7585
    • Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) may call 800-621-3362.

 

If you had storm or flood damage in Louisiana you may also use those resources to apply for FEMA help if you haven’t done so already. Survivors in Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes may be eligible.

 

It’s important to note that FEMA disaster assistance checks cannot be forwarded. If you cannot access your home address, you can request the postal service to hold your mail. You can also have the funds sent via direct deposit to your financial institution.

 

Residents are urged to contact their insurance company to file their flood insurance claims. For flood insurance policyholders who may have questions, FEMA has streamlined its process to better service claims and answer questions. Policyholders may call 800-621-3362 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and select Option 2. Call center staff are available to assist policyholders with information regarding their policy, offer technical flood guidance to aid in recovery, and respond to general as well as complicated questions about the NFIP. Policyholders with questions specifically about an insurance claim can be transferred to their insurance carrier for additional assistance.

                

(back to top)

 

FEMA MAY PROVIDE HELP WITH HOTELS, MOTELS FOR LOUISIANA DISASTER SURVIVORS UNABLE TO LIVE AT HOME

You may be able to receive assistance to stay in a hotel or motel if you’re unable to return home as a result of Louisiana’s recent severe storms and flooding. Here’s some information on FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program that may help with short-term lodging assistance if you’re a Louisiana disaster survivor:

First, register for FEMA help

If you’re a homeowner or renter you may register for FEMA help two ways:

  • Go online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Call the FEMA helpline 800-621-3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.  
     

Who is eligible?

If you were displaced in the storm, have registered with FEMA, and are living in one of these four categories of places after the storm, you are eligible for help from the TSA program:

  • Living in a car
  • Living in a hotel/motel
  • Living in a mass shelter
  • Living at your place of employment

Other important information about eligibility

  • You may also be eligible for short-term lodging assistance if your home is damaged, destroyed, inaccessible or lacking power as a result of the severe storms and floods in the following parishes: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana.
  • FEMA will contact you to inquire about your current housing situation and provide instructions on how to receive short-term lodging.
  • You don’t need to wait for a FEMA housing inspector visit for to be considered for short-term lodging.

How to find participating hotels and motels

  • Go online to femaevachotels.com. If you’re unable to access the website you may call the FEMA helpline at 800-321-3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.  

Which costs TSA covers

  • TSA covers the cost and taxes of the hotel or motel room. Meals, telephone calls and other incidental charges are not covered.
  • Room charges are made directly to the hotel or motel.

How long TSA lasts

  • After up to 14 days in a hotel or motel you may receive an extension if you’re still unable to return home. If you’re able to get back home, move to longer-term housing or if a FEMA housing inspector determines your home is habitable, you may no longer be eligible for the TSA.

FEMA will contact you every day to keep you updated about your continued eligibility. Be sure to keep your contact information current so you’ll receive these calls. Update your information online at DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA helpline at 800-321-3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

When you check in, the participating hotel or motel will inform you of your checkout deadline.

(back to top)

 

FLOOD CLEAN UP AND DEBRIS REMOVAL TIPS

It’s not too early to begin cleaning up from Louisiana’s severe storms and floods that began Aug. 11.  Flood-damaged items like carpeting, bedding, furniture and other household items can be serious health hazards as well as eyesores. Here are some tips to dispose of these items safely and jumpstart your recovery:

File an Insurance Claim then Register with FEMA

  • Contact your insurance company and file a claim. Get your company’s contact information online at the Louisiana Department of Insurance: www.ldi.la.gov/onlineservices/ActiveCompanySearch. If you have flood insurance questions call 800-621-3362 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and select option 2. Call center staff are available to assist with information regarding your policy, offer technical flood guidance to aid in recovery and answer other flood insurance questions. You can be transferred to your insurance carrier for additional assistance if you have further questions.

  • Register for federal disaster assistance. If you had severe storm or flood damage in Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes you may apply for FEMA help online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3361. Lines are open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Survivors who use TTY may call 800-462-7585.

Start Cleaning Up Now

  • Mold may be a serious health risk so don’t wait for a visit from FEMA or your insurance company before you start cleaning up. FEMA inspectors and insurance claims adjusters will still be able to verify flood damage.
  • Because mold may be a serious health risk, it’s important to remove flood-damaged valuables from your home. Take lots of pictures before your insurance adjuster visits.
  • Be sure to consult with your local officials for instructions before setting out debris. If you don’t have local emergency management contact information, it can be found online at gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.
  • Place debris curbside. Debris cannot be collected on private property.
  • Do not prop up debris against trees and utility poles or place in the vicinity of fire hydrants and utility boxes. That makes it more difficult for cleanup crews to collect.                     
  • Debris should be separated into the following six categories:          
    • Household garbage such as discarded food, packaging and papers.
    • Construction debris such as building materials, carpeting, furniture and mattresses.
    • Vegetation debris such as tree branches and leaves.
    • Household hazardous waste such as batteries, paints and cleaning supplies.
    • White goods such as refrigerators, washers/dryers, water heaters and air conditioners.
    • Electronics such as televisions, stereo equipment and computers.
  •  Go online to this link to see a graphic that explains how to sort debris: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/images/110554
  • Other tips to speed up debris collection include:
    • Try to combine debris piles with your neighbors.
    •  Secure refrigerator and freezer doors with duct tape.
    • Limit curbside household garbage to two 32-gallon containers or eight trash bags.

Get more and tips on flood clean up, repairing, and rebuilding at www.fema.gov/Louisiana-disaster-mitigation.

(back to top)

 

FEMA AND FEDERAL PARTNERS' SUPPORT TO DISASTER RECOVERY IN LOUISIANA PARISHES AFFECTED BY FLOODS

as of August 22, 2016

FEMA continues to support recovery efforts related to flooding in Louisiana and remains in close coordination with state, local, and tribal officials as well as our federal and private sector partners. Five Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open in East Baton Rouge, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, and West Feliciana Parishes where survivors can apply for assistance and meet face-to-face with recovery specialists. To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center visit www.fema.gov/DRC, use the FEMA Mobile Application or text DRC and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Disaster Recovery Centers will continue to open in locations identified by the state to provide information to survivors. Disaster survivors do not need to go to a DRC in order to receive disaster assistance.

On Tuesday, the President will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he will get a first-hand look at the impact of the devastating floods, and hear from local officials about the response, including how the federal government can assist and tell the people of Louisiana that the American people will be with them as they rebuild their community and come back stronger than ever.

More than 110,000 individuals and households have registered with FEMA for assistance, and more than $74 million has been approved to help survivors with temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and other serious disaster-related needs. More than 25,000 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders have submitted claims for flood loss. Additionally, FEMA has authorized and issued $15 million in advanced payments to NFIP policyholders in Louisiana who sustained damages by the flood providing expedited relief to disaster survivors. 

FEMA is supporting Louisiana’s Disaster Housing Task Force to help Louisiana residents displaced by the flooding find access to housing. FEMA activated its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program to make participating hotels or motels available for eligible disaster survivors who are currently residing in a personal vehicle, hotel or motel, shelter, or place of employment. There are currently more than 400 households in hotels and motels under the program.

We encourage those in affected areas to monitor local radio, TV stations or official social media accounts for updated emergency information, and to follow the instructions of state, local, and tribal officials

 

Federal Coordination and Assistance

  • In support of Louisiana, FEMA has made more than 726,000 liters of water and more than 812,000 meals available to the state for distribution. Over 20,000 cots and 42,000 blankets have also been made available to the state for distribution.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) opened two business recovery centers in Louisiana, one in Livingston Parish and one in Tangipahoa Parish. Business recovery centers provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the severe storms and flooding.  Four additional business recovery centers will open today, one in Ascension Parish, two in East Baton Rouge Parish, and one in Lafayette Parish. SBA approved $36.4 million in low interest loans to Louisiana survivors and businesses to assist with uninsured and underinsured flood related losses.
  • Housing solutions continue to be a top priority. FEMA is collaborating with our state and federal partners to coordinate additional strategies and programs to continue to help find suitable housing for Louisiana residents displaced by the storms.
  • 40 Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are on the ground and at shelters to address immediate and emerging needs of disaster survivors including: on-site registration, applicant status checks, on-the-spot needs assessments, and access to partners offering survivor services.
  •  913 housing inspectors are on the ground in Louisiana verifying damages reported by survivors who have registered for assistance. The number of inspectors is expected to increase over the next several days.
  • FEMA Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and equipment are deployed to support the state with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support emergency response communications needs. This includes 48 MERS personnel, 19 Mobile Communications Office Vehicles (MCOV), and 51 additional vehicles.
  • Six FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams are deployed to Louisiana, to support response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.
  •  FEMA liaisons are deployed to Louisiana as a part of over 2,090 FEMA staff supporting flood response activities.
  •  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) has 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.

(back to top)

 

IRS PROVIDES RELEIF TO LOUISIANA STORM SURVIVORS

Louisiana storm victims will have until Jan. 17, 2017, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.

Following this week’s disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS said that affected taxpayers in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes will receive this and other special tax relief. Other locations in Louisiana and other states may be added in coming days, based on damage assessments by FEMA.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Aug. 11, 2016. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 17, 2017 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes the Sept. 15 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2015 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 17, 2016. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2015 returns were originally due on April 18, 2016, they are not eligible for this relief. A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the Sept. 15 deadline for corporation and partnership returns on extension and the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.

In addition, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after Aug. 11 and before Aug. 26 if the deposits are made by Aug. 26, 2016. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Thus, taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.

Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred, or the return for the prior year. See Publication 547 for details.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by severe storms and flooding and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.

(back to top)

HOW YOU CAN HELP LOUISIANA FLOOD SURVIVORS

During this critical time, many of my constituents are asking how they can help. The  Louisiana Governors Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness maintains a strong relationship with local volunteer and relief organizations. A list of these organizations and links to their websites are listed below. Please visit these links to find more information about how you can help.

LA Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters: (VOAD Membership Directory http://lavoad.org/members/

Volunteer Louisiana: http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/

American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

United Way: http://www.unitedway.org/

Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmy.org/

Louisiana 211: http://www.louisiana211.org/

 

LINKS TO OTHER RESOURCES

ROAD CLOSURES

  • For Current list of Road Closures, go to:

FOOD ASSISTANCE

GENERAL HEALTH AND WELFARE

  • The Department of Health and Hospitals is online at http://dhh.louisiana.gov/
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page for flood preparedness and response at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/index.asp Search for “CDC” on Facebook and follow @CDCEmergency on Twitter.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a hotline accessible by calling 1- 800-321-OSHA (6742).

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

CHILDREN

  • Contact your local school district if you have not been able to enroll your child in school in the town where you are currently living, or if you have not been able to return to your home school district.

SENIOR CITIZENS

  • Louisiana Aging Services administers federal and state-run services for senior citizens. It also oversees the Area Agencies of Aging in each parish, which develop coordinated community-based systems. Visit http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/subhome/12/n/7 or call the Aging and Adult Services Helpline at 866-758-5035.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES OR ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences provides documents and resources in English, Spanish and Vietnamese that address emergency preparedness in hurricane and flood situations. Links are at http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?id=2472.
  • The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has a resource page http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/ with fact sheets and information on environmental issues, including disaster debris management.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s website, http://www.epa.gov, has a section on water issues. Find “EPA” on Facebook, follow @EPAgov on Twitter or call 888-283-7626.

LEGAL SERVICES

(back to top)