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Thursday, November 29, 2012

FEMA TRYING TO INCREASE ASSISTANCE TO HURRICANE ISSAC SURVIVORS

 
LaPlace, La., Sep. 5, 2012 --Trash from flooded homes line the streets in LaPlace, La. FEMA is working with local, state and federal agencies to provide services for residents affected by Hurricane Issac. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA
 
FROM: U.S. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

FEMA Working to Increase Assistance for Hurricane Survivors in Louisiana
November 28, 2012

BATON ROUGE, La.
— More than $530,000 in additional disaster assistance is getting to Hurricane Isaac survivors as the result of an initiative launched by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Louisiana.

Under the initiative, 3,904 storm survivors are getting follow-up phone calls and even some home visits from a team of FEMA outreach liaisons. They are helping applicants with the appeal process, explaining letters they may have received from FEMA and assisting applicants with gathering the documentation needed for their claims.

So far, outreach specialists have helped survivors obtain more than $174,000 in Rental Assistance and nearly $358,000 in Housing Assistance.

Since Hurricane Isaac roared ashore in late August, the state and FEMA have approved more than $117 million in grants for eligible individuals and families in Louisiana. The grants are for temporary housing, home repair and reconstruction, and for other needs, including personal property replacement or disaster-related medical and dental expenses. The total includes more than $530,000 in assistance resulting from the outreach initiative.

"With this proactive approach we’re reducing the number of survivors determined ineligible for federal assistance because of incomplete or missing information," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gerard M. Stolar of FEMA. "The recovery process is stressful for those who suffered great losses, and we want to make sure all survivors get the maximum grant they are eligible to receive."

"Another benefit of survivor outreach is that FEMA can more quickly close cases and thus get survivors referred to long-term recovery committees to assist them with any unmet needs," said Susan Tompkins, head of FEMA’s Individual Assistance branch for the hurricane recovery mission. "This helps speed the pace of recovery for everyone."

The outreach effort will continue until FEMA contacts all eligible survivors in the parishes, Tompkins said.

For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click
www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.go