Tuesday, 16 August 2016 13:06

Louisiana Flood: Food stamps, FEMA, New Orleans aid

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edwards presser mar9At a time like this, during a disaster of this magnitude, the people of Louisiana, its government, organizations, agencies come together.

Below are statements from Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness continues 24 hour operations in response to the massive flood event still impacting much of the state. This dangerous situation is not over. Rescue operations continue is some areas.

“This disaster is impacting the state in phases, much like the first flood that struck the state in March.,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “We continue to support our local partners with their flood fighting efforts. We have also started the recovery process in areas where that is possible. Louisiana has received a Federal disaster declaration. If you have been impacted by the flood, register your damage with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA. Do not wait for an insurance settlement to register. Please be aware of the dangers that remain due to the high water and changing road conditions.”

If you are able to safely start cleanup of your home or business, there is some important information you should know.

The basic rule is, if you can see or smell mold, take steps to eliminate the excess moisture; then, cleanup and remove the mold by:

• Using a non-ammonia soap or detergent and hot water or a commercial cleaner.
• Thoroughly scrubbing all contaminated surfaces (using a stiff brush to clean masonry walls) with the soap or detergent. Use an excessive amount of cleaning solution for best results.
• Rinsing clean with water.

After cleaning, apply a disinfectant solution of household bleach (one-fourth cup bleach per gallon of water) to the surface. If the mold has already started to grow back, try a stronger solution: one-half gallon bleach in five gallons of water. A bleach solution should be applied with a handled garden sprayer. Thoroughly wet the studs, wall
cavities and floors. Avoid excessive run-off. Use a wet-dry vacuum to collect extra bleach solution. Allow the bleach solution to dry naturally for a six- to eight-hour time
period. The bleach solution should not be removed or dried quickly - extended contact time is important.

Safety tips:

• Never mix bleach with ammonia: the fumes are toxic.
• Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
• Ventilate the working area well by opening doors and windows and using fans.

Molds can infiltrate Sheetrock, carpeting and insulation. When working around moldy areas, use respiratory protection. Individuals vary in their susceptibility to these
substances, but almost anyone who breathes enough spores will have an adverse reaction. These reactions can include tightening in the chest, flu-like symptoms or even
more severe reactions.

Remember, do not wait for visits from FEMA or insurance adjusters before cleaning up
flood damage and starting repairs. FEMA provides assistance to all eligible applicants.
Renters may qualify for assistance too.

Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by
downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at

President Barack Obama officially granted a major disaster declaration request for 12 Louisiana parishes, making disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) available to businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of flooding that began August 11, 2016 and continues.
The president acted upon a request by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in the following parishes until the deadline of September 15, 2016: East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Acadia, Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry and Vermilion.
Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by established deadlines. DUA is available to those who:
• Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
• Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
• Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;
• Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
• Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster or
• Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.
Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause. Applicants must submit their Social Security number, check stubs and documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the DUA application is filed.
DUA is available from weeks of unemployment beginning August 14, 2016 and up to February 18, 2017, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster.
To file for DUA, applicants should apply online by visiting www.laworks.net and filing an application through the LWC’s HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) portal or by calling the Benefits Analysis Team at 1-866-783-5567 Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT. Due to high call volume at this time, applicants are encouraged to try the online method first. Additional information is available at www.laworks.net.

The New Orleans Salvation Army has their boots on the ground in Tangipahoa. Our local Salvation Army is coordinating efforts to feed the victims of the devastating floods with other Salvation Army Canteens from Jackson, MS, Hattiesburg, MS and McComb, MS. New Orleans has led the charge to feed those in need lunches and dinners in four strategic sites throughout Tangipohoa Parish. We have set up canteen operations in the Village of Tangipahoa, the City of Amite, the City of Independence and in Ponchatoula. We also deployed our largest canteen that operates as a full services kitchen to the Baton Rouge area, effective Monday, August 15. This larger canteen allows our staff to cook on board and they will remain in the Baton Rouge region for at least the next few days.
Later this afternoon and again tomorrow, The New Orleans Salvation Army will be distributing clean up kits along with hot meals in its four canteen locations in Tangipahoa.
In Baton Rouge and the surrounding affected areas, similar operations are being coordinated through the Baton Rouge Salvation Army, and some of our other service areas throughout northern and western Louisiana.


The LBTC and LSU Innovation Park have been working with LED and Secretary Don Pierson
on offering advice to businesses impacted by the recent/current flooding.

SBA has offered disaster loans up to $2 million to replace buildings, equipment, machinery,
inventory etc. These are loans and will need to meet normal loan requirements for collateral
and asset pledges. Loans are funded with interest rates of about 4% for terms of up to 30
years. All applicants must fill out disaster forms with FEMA.
Businesses can register with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov

Disaster Recovery Centers have not opened yet and we are not sure if we will be
designated as one. However, the LBTC does have office space available for any displaced businesses.

You can access SBA loan information at www.disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or by calling

Other sources of information include the SBDC network in Louisiana www.lsbdc.org
The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP), the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), the New Orleans Emergency Medical Service (NOEMS) and Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWB) are continuing to support the flooding recovery efforts across Louisiana.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this devastating flood,” Mayor Landrieu said. “New Orleans first responders are continuing to provide resources and support in any way we can and we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our neighboring parishes and communities.”

NOHSEP remains in constant communication with emergency management officials from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as with impacted parishes to respond quickly to requests for resources.

Sunday evening, NOHSEP delivered 125 cots to Ascension Parish so they could quickly ramp up the Lamar Dixon shelter.

Monday, NOFD, NOEMS and NOHSEP deployed additional Incident Management Team members to support search and rescue missions. Nine search and rescue teams of 18 firefighters and 9 boats from the New Orleans Fire Department returned home last night and have been relieved by Jefferson Parish Fire Department. Additional command staff from NOEMS and NOFD are being deployed today to support rescue and medical missions throughout the state. The Health Department’s Medical Reserve Corps and city employees with experience in response and recovery are on standby to meet the needs of parishes affected by this disaster. The Region 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team, which is comprised of almost 80 members from NOFD, NOEMS, and members from agencies in Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Jefferson Parishes, is currently being mobilized to support multiple assignments.

NOHSEP delivered water and hygiene kits to the Iglesia de Dios El Milagro church at 440 North Dorgenois St. in New Orleans, where approximately 100 individuals from the Baton Rouge area are staying.

NOHSEP will continue to monitor and respond to resource requests from the affected areas where the City can assist. A total of 29 personnel from the New Orleans area are participating in these recovery efforts with additional personnel deploying daily.

On August 15, 2016, Mayor Mitch Landrieu reactivated the NOLA Pay It Forward Fund in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation for New Orleanians to contribute to early recovery efforts following major flooding that started last week in most of northern Louisiana and parts of southern Louisiana. Those interested in donating to the fund can go online to www.gnof.org/NOLApayitforward. Donors can also contact Allie Betts, donor relations manager at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, at 504-598-4663 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mayor Landrieu launched the NOLA Pay it Forward Fund in May 2011 to contribute to recovery efforts following the Mississippi River flooding disaster. It was also activated in 2012 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to support recovery efforts in the northeast and in May 2013 following catastrophic tornadoes in Oklahoma.

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