FEMA Administrator David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Acadia, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Sabine, St. Mary, Vermilion, and Vernon Parishes.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organization on a cost-sharing basis in Acadia, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Sabine, St. Mary, Vermilion, and Vernon parishes for debris removal, including direct federal assistance. In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all parishes and tribal nations statewide.
Paulison named Michael J. Hall as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Hall said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are complete.
The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday until further notice.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.