FEMA moves center to former All Star site

Staff reports

The doors at a new Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Ascension Parish opened Wednesday for residents and business owners who were affected by Hurricanes Gustav or Ike, raising the total statewide to 11.

Ascension Parish’s center is now located at the former All Star Ford building, located at 13192 Airline Highway.

Currently, the center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to officials from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and FEMA. More centers will open soon to provide help and answer questions about the registration process after you register for assistance.

At the center, residents and business owners can meet with representatives from the state, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Red Cross to get answers and information. Applicants can get disaster loan applications and information and drop off completed applications. Returning the applications is a key part of the disaster recovery process even if you do not want a loan. If you do not return the applications, the process for individuals to get aid ends. Please complete the application as you may be eligible for other needs through the state or non-profits.

Applicants don’t have to visit a center in their own parishes; they can go to the centers nearest to where they work or where they currently are staying. As a reminder, applicants are asked to please register before visiting a DRC and bring the given registration number. Those with computer access to the Internet can register online at www.fema.gov in order to free up the telephone registration lines for those who do not have computers.

FEMA mitigation specialists also are on hand at the DRCs to give advice on ways to minimize or eliminate damage to their property from future storms. This free service is available to any Louisiana residents, not just those who had damage from the recent hurricanes.

Callers can help out by calling before or after peak hours or on Sundays to reduce wait time. Residents may call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 1-800-462-7585) 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Applicants who had damage from both hurricanes must register twice, once for each disaster.