Survivors who have uninsured or underinsured losses may be eligible for FEMA assistance to make their home livable. Louisiana residents affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding May 17-21 who have not yet done so are advised to contact their insurance company and file a disaster damage claim. .
Understand what losses FEMA can cover
FEMA assistance differs from insurance in that it provides only the basic needs to make a home safe, hygienic and functional. FEMA assistance does not get you well, but it can help you recover. FEMA Disaster Assistance covers only basic needs and will not normally compensate you for all of your loss.
The damage to the house is to be related to the severe storms, tornadoes and floods from May 17 to 21. FEMA inspectors can contact survivors who have requested an inspection appointment.
Examples of safe, sanitary and functional repairs to make a house habitable:
- Property: FEMA can help replace or repair disaster-damaged heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, as well as refrigerators and stoves. Other possible repairs that may be covered are utilities such as electrical, plumbing and gas systems. Non-essential items like dishwashers and home theater equipment are not covered.
- Ceiling and roof damage: FEMA can help repair roof disaster-related leaks that damage ceilings and threaten electrical components, like overhead lights, but not simple stains caused by roof leaks.
- Floors: FEMA can help repair a disaster-damaged subfloor in occupied parts of the home, but not a floor covering like tile or carpet.
- The Windows: FEMA can help with disaster glass breakage, but no blinds or curtains.
Other FEMA aid may include temporary expenses to pay for housing if a survivor’s home is uninhabitable, or assistance to replace essential household items.
Because every survivor’s situation is different, FEMA’s calculations of what it can cover vary. Expenses for repairs that exceed the requirements to make a home safe, sanitary, and functional are not eligible. Assistance depends on a multitude of factors such as insurance coverage and, in some ways, the ability to pay.
Spend grants wisely
Disaster Grants should not be used for travel, entertainment, ongoing living expenses, or any discretionary expense unrelated to the disaster. Survivors must keep receipts for three years to show how they spent FEMA grants.
If the grant money is not used as stated in the letter, you may have to repay FEMA and you could lose your eligibility for additional federal assistance that may later become available for your disaster recovery.
If the assistance is not sufficient to restore your home to its original condition:
After requesting disaster assistance, you may be referred to the US Small Business Administration. The SBA can contact survivors to offer them a low-interest disaster loan. Homeowners and renters who receive an SBA loan application must complete the application even if they decide not to take it.
- For businesses of all sizes and some non-profit organizations: up to $ 2 million for property damage.
- For small businesses, small companies engaged in aquaculture and most non-profit organizations: up to $ 2 million for working capital requirements even if they have not suffered any material damage, with a maximum loan of $ 2 million for any combination of property damage and working capital requirements.
- For owners: up to $ 200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence.
- For owners and tenants: up to $ 40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.
For the latest information on severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4606. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account on twitter.com/FEMARegion6.