FEMA assistance now available to local Isaac victims

Hurricane Isaac survivors in St. Mary and Iberville parishes may now register for state and federal disaster assistance. The two were added Friday to the major disaster declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

“We’ve acted swiftly to approve almost $23 million for survivors who are working to recover from the hurricane,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall. “Our specialists are standing by to begin getting assistance to the eligible folks in Iberville and St. Mary as soon as they register.”

While insurance may cover some of the losses, residents and business owners may report their uninsured and underinsured property damage when they register with FEMA.

Disaster assistance for individuals may include:

—Grants to help pay for temporary housing and emergency home repairs to make a home habitable;

—Grants for serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance;

—Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Survivors can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Residents of Iberville and St. Mary affected by the hurricane should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster-relief organization or local community or church organization. FEMA registrants must use the name that appears on their Social Security card. Applicants will be asked to provide:

—Social Security number

—Address of the damaged home or apartment

—Description of the damage

—Information about insurance coverage

—A current contact telephone number

—An address where they can get mail

—Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.

In the nine days since the major disaster declaration for Louisiana, Individual Assistance has been made available in 18 parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, and now Iberville and St. Mary.

For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit the blog at www.fema.gov/blog.

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