Disaster recovery steps to take before the June 13 registration deadline
While many residents of Louisiana affected by the storms and flooding from March 8 through April 8 have moved on with their lives, you may be one of those who are just beginning to recover and are asking: What do I do next? As you look at your situation, here are some steps, some of which you may have already taken, to think about before the June 13 registration deadline.
- If your home has been damaged, determine if it is safe for you and your family.
- Is it structurally sound? Do not enter if it isn’t safe.
- Check for gas leaks or downed electric lines in or near your home.
- Check for snakes and other animals that may have made their way into your home.
- Can’t live in your home? Look for a temporary place to stay. Check with parish officials or friends and family to see if they have places available. FEMA maintains a list of available rental resources so check that too. Visit asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htmfor more information.
- Report damage to parish officials. You can find information at gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.
- Take photos of damage to your property before starting your cleanup. Check with your insurance agent, too, before cleanup starts.
- Save undamaged furniture and personal belongings. Discard badly damaged items such as bedding, carpeting and furniture.
- Keep all repair-related receipts. Carefully read and save all the mail you receive from FEMA.
- File a claim with your homeowners or flood insurance company.
- Make sure you register with FEMA. Call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585 by Monday, June 13. If you use 711/VRS you can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
- You also can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Cuando llame al 1-800 621-3362 (FEMA) marque el 1 y escuche las instrucciones en español. Favor llamar antes del lunes 13 de junio.
- If you have not had a visit from a FEMA housing inspector, call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 to arrange an appointment. An inspection is necessary for your registration to proceed.
- Many volunteers and voluntary agencies are working with local and state officials to help if you had storm or flood damage. You can access a list of volunteers by going online to lavoad.org/resources/mapping-tool. Your parish officials also may have a list.
- Protect your home or business and family by rebuilding better, stronger and safer. This may include:
- Raising buildings higher than the minimum height that parish officials require
- Trimming tree branches close to your home
- Installing window shutters
- Anchoring your manufactured home
Visit www.fema.gov/protecting-homes for more information.
- FEMA offers a number of free online resources for home and property owners. To get started go to http://www.fema.gov/safer-stronger-protected-homes-communities or
- If you don’t have a computer, you can visit one of the participating home improvement stores where you will find FEMA Mitigation advisers who can help you one-on-one. They can give you information as well as brochures and other publications on what to do when you are building or rebuilding after the floods. These booklets are available in English and Spanish. No registration for mitigation advice is required and there is no limit on the number of times you can visit or the number of publications you can get.
- Visit FloodSmart.gov for more information about protecting your home from future storms and floods, and about how to prepare for the next storm.
- If you or a family member are suffering from disaster-related stress, crisis counseling assistance is available for free. Counselors will be going door to door asking survivors in affected areas if they need any help. Call the 24-hour Louisiana Spirit Talkline at 866-310-7977.
- Be aware of scam artists. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include:
- Phony housing inspectors
- Fraudulent building contractors
- Bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.
- If you have legal questions, contact Louisiana Legal Services. They provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents. Visit them at http://louisianalawhelp.org/.
- Stay in touch! Call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 with any questions you have.