Compiled by Mark Mathes
AMITE — A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center opened Thursday around 1:30 p.m. to assist homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage to their home or personal property as a result of Hurricane Isaac.
Residents can get help with staff at tables under the tents with a FEMA bus nearby. FEMA manager is Richard Gerrior, who has worked most recently in Baton Rouge with relief there.
A second center opened in Ponchatoula.
If you have suffered losses during Isaac, you should probably start at the Amite or Ponchatoula center, whether you are a homeowner, renter or business owner.
Residents and business owners who think they need help from Isaac should start by registering with FEMA, said Garth MacDonald. He is public information officer with SBA and is working throughout the North Shore. You can register by phone with FEMA.
You'll be asked such things as the nature of losses, your family and household whether you have insurance, if you're employed and what your income has been.
If a FEMA staff member sees that the SBA can help, you could be referred there.
Specialists from the state of Louisiana, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.
Both centers are located outdoors.
They opened on Thursday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday forward, hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.
204 E. Oak St.
Amite, LA 70422
Tower Road Building
282 Tower Road
Ponchatoula, LA 70454
This brings to 18 the number of centers operating for survivors affected by Hurricane Isaac. More recovery centers will open as sites are identified and approved.
Business owners who have suffered Isaac losses can visit several relief centers for help.
--SBA and SBDC will be available in Tangipahoa Parish on September 26 from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 1514 Martens Dr. Hammond, to meet with businesses that were impacted by Hurricane Isaac. There will be consultants from SBA here to answer questions and help with loan applications. The SBDC consultants will be on hand to provide long term counseling, help with business needs and continuity plans, and answer questions. The Southeastern Small Business Development Center is near the northwest edge of the SLU campus.
--St. Tammany Parish Economic Development Foundation, Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 21489 Koop Drive, Mandeville. This relief center opened Sept. 10.
--City of Slidell Mayor's Office, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 2055 Second Street, 2nd Floor, Slidell. This center opened Sept. 7.
For a list of open centers in Louisiana go online to www.fema.gov/disaster/4080.
Applying for disaster assistance is quick and simple. Survivors can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. They may also call
1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
SBA offers federal low-interest disaster loans to residents and businesses. After registering with FEMA, visit any Disaster Recovery Center where SBA representatives will answer questions, explain the application process and help each resident or business owner apply to SBA.
For SBA information or to apply online, visit www.sba.gov or call 1-800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 1-800-877-8339.
The major disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac now makes available federal assistance to eligible survivors in 18 parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington.
For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov.
You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit the blog at www.fema.gov/blog.
"Most of the money that has gone out so far is for short-term housing assistance," said the SBA's Garth MacDonald.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
SBA is the federal government’s primary source of funding for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).