NEW ORLEANS – The last four Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) serving Gustav and Ike disaster assistance applicants will close at the end of this week. More than 56,000 individuals have visited the 50 DRCs opened across Louisiana following the hurricanes.
FEMA will close its DRCs in Lake Charles and Houma on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 and will transition them to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs) on Friday, Jan. 16, 2009. The hours of operation for the DLOC will be Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. A FEMA Applicant Services Specialist will be at the DLOC to assist applicants.
The DRCs in Alexandria and Napoleonville will close on Friday, Jan. 16, 2009.
Until close of business on Thursday, the Lake Charles and Houma DRCs, soon to become DLOCs, will be in operation from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the addresses below:
Trinity Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
1701 Ryan Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Town Hall Building
805 Barrow Street
Houma, LA 70360
The following DRCs will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. until close of business on Friday, January 16.
Bolton Avenue Community Center
315 Bolton Ave
Alexandria, LA 71301
The Napoleonville Community Center
4770 Hwy 1
Napoleonville, LA 70390
Disaster Recovery Center staff are available on site to answer questions about applications for disaster assistance and hazard mitigation, help with disaster loan applications and to provide information and contacts for other programs.
If you have been affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike and need further assistance, please call the toll-free help line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 1-800-462-7585) which is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Residents are encouraged to register prior to visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. Applicants can also register on-line at www.fema.gov. The deadline to register for Ike is close of business Jan. 12, 2009.
Officials remind affected residents who have already filled out damage report forms with the state, parish emergency managers or voluntary agencies that they must register with FEMA at the above numbers or Web site to be considered for federal assistance. All residents also are encouraged to get involved with the recovery process by helping spread the word about available assistance and the registration numbers.
In addition to receiving help from FEMA, the SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations for losses not fully covered by insurance. The SBA may loan up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed primary residences and up to $40,000 to replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
Residents and business owners can receive information about SBA disaster loans and help with the application process by calling the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or visiting the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov.