For many thousands of residents across South Louisiana, the historic floods of 2016 are far from over.
Flooded streets and main thoroughfares prevent many from returning to their flooded homes, but others have already returned and are beginning the long recovery process.
To help kick start the recovery, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has already begun accepting damage claims for residents.
For insurance or FEMA claim purposes, it is vitally important to take pictures of everything – for example, not just the closet, but move the hangers, spread out the shoes, and open the drawers.
FEMA will want you to prove that the damage to your house came from the flood and not from any other reason or cause. The best way to prove this is to take pictures of everything.
It is far better to have extra pictures than to not have enough assistance. Pictures, pictures, pictures!
If you do not have internet access right now, the general FEMA contact is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Direct office lines are 225-389-2100 in East Baton Rouge.
Disaster assistance applicants who use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585 directly. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Pre-register for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) Benefits. The preferred way to pre-register is online at www.dcfs.la.gov/preregister.
Residents can also pre-register by phone at 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) daily between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Callers will select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3. All pre-registrants will have to provide the following information:
- Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth for each household member
- Current address and parish of household
- Monthly income for each household member
- All liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings)
Call the Louisiana Workforce Commission at 1- 866-783-5567 or go to www.laworks.net to sign up for unemployment benefits if you are unable to work as a result of the disaster.
Remember, document all damage with as many pictures as you can take!
We will share more information as we get it. Good luck to everyone working to recover from these floods. Our thoughts are with you every day.