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How To Get Help From FEMA And Other Aid Post-Hurricane Laura

Daniel Rojas
A FEMA employee helps a Hurricane Laura survivor file a disaster claim at one of the eight recovery centers the agency is operating in Louisiana.

Thousands of Louisianans are scattered at shelters and hotels across Louisiana after Hurricane Laura. More than 140,000 residents have applied for disaster recovery help from FEMA so far.

The agency is tasked with on-the-ground recovery after major disasters, and it offers assistance to both individuals and local governments as they rebuild. Here's what you need to know if you need help.

Am I eligible for FEMA assistance?

You may be eligible for help if your home was damaged by Hurricane Laura in any of the following parishes: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion andVernon.

What kind of help can I get?

FEMA provides funding to people who have been displaced or affected by disasters, which can be used for home repairs, rentals, hotels or even gas money. The goal is to make your home safe, sanitary and functional. Damage to non-essential space or property is not eligible.

What is the deadline?

The deadline to apply for individual assistance is 11:59 pm on Oct.27.

How do I apply online?

Apply for assistance here.

How do I apply over the phone?

Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

How do I apply in-person?

FEMA has set up eight drive-up, socially distanced Disaster Recovery Centers across the state, where agents will help you apply for assistance (wear a mask):

Independence Stadium
3301 Pershing Blvd.


LSU AG Center
1105 West Port St.


Lacassine High School
409 Algonia Ave.


Sulphur City Library
1160 Cypress St.


Monroe Civic Center

401 Joyner Memorial Expressway

Lake Charles

Calcasieu Parish School Board

3310 Broad St.


Vernon Sheriff’s Office

203 Third St.


Sabine Parish Courthouse

400 S. Capital St.

Why was I denied?

Sometimes applicants are denied even when they need help. This can happen for various reasons with online applications, so you may have better luck talking to a FEMA agent. Call 800-621-FEMA (3362).

How do I appeal?

You have a right to appeal FEMA’s decision and can do so by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).

I need money, what do I do?

You may be eligible for state emergency unemployment. Find out here.

I need housing right now, what do I do?

For emergency shelter, call 211 or your local office of emergency preparedness.

I need food right now, what do I do?

You can get emergency food stamps. You’ll find more information here, or you can text LADSNAP to 898-211.

I need gas money right now, what do I do?

The Red Cross and United Way are offering gift cards to hurricane survivors.

How do I get help with debris removal?

The Cajun Navy continues to offer free assistance. You can call 844-965-1386.

How do I get a blue tarp for my roof?

The Army Corps of Engineers will give you a tarp and help you put it on. You can find more information here.

Tegan has reported on the coast for WWNO since 2015. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone, with a focus on solutions and the human dimensions of climate change. Her reporting has been aired nationally on Planet Money, Reveal, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, BBC, CBC and other outlets. She’s a recipient of the Pulitzer Connected Coastlines grant, CUNY Resilience Fellowship, Metcalf Fellowship, and countless national and regional awards.

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