A week after Ida’s landfall in Louisiana, FEMA and federal agencies, along with non-profit organizations, continue supporting state and tribal governments with their ongoing response and recovery efforts in several states from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast that were affected by the storm.
FEMA has given more than $135 million in grants to Louisiana survivors to help them begin their recovery. FEMA also received more than 8,600 National Flood Insurance Program claims from the affected states for processing.
- More than 1,000 FEMA employees are deployed to support Ida response and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast and in the Northeast. Additionally, FEMA staff are working throughout the nation to support other ongoing response efforts including flooding throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and wildfires in the West.
- To help support response efforts in Louisiana, FEMA is working with the state to contract for additional responder lodging resources. These efforts may include using cruise ships or building temporary base camps so that responders can help the area without taking valuable hotel resources from survivors.
- Visit Hurricane Ida | FEMA.gov for information and resources available for residents in areas that may be affected by Ida. The page is available in French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Federal actions to support areas affected by Hurricane Ida
- There are eight FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected by Hurricane Ida. Five are in Louisiana, one in Mississippi, one in New Jersey, and one in New York. Seven AmeriCorps FEMA Corps teams are supporting Louisiana recovery efforts.
- On Thursday, FEMA announced changes to its Individual Assistance program to better support disaster survivors by reducing the barriers to agency programs that aid underserved populations. Changes in this new policy include expanding acceptance of different forms of documentation to prove ownership or occupancy, while also expanding assistance for a disaster-caused disability.
- The National Emergency Management Association is helping facilitate additional resources to the Gulf Coast through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Resources from 14 states have been sent to assist with ongoing response and recovery effort.
- Commodities, equipment, and personnel are working throughout the affected areas. This includes:
- Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are on the ground in Louisiana providing in-person assistance in New Orleans and other parishes.
- Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams have completed more than 27,000 structural evaluations in affected areas in Louisiana. Three US&R teams are deployed to New Jersey.
- More than 190 ambulance crews and 30 air ambulances are deployed and working in Louisiana. Additional ambulances and air ambulances are in Mississippi to support impacted areas.
- Mobile Emergency Response Support assets including Emergency Operations Vehicles are deployed to support communication needs in Louisiana and New Jersey.
- The Defense Logistics Agency has been activated for fuel support and leasing of additional generators. High output generators are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- In Louisiana, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has activated its Operation Blue Roof program for parishes approved for Individual Assistance. Residents can sign up for the program and complete a Right of Entry form at Blueroof.us. Residents can call toll free 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information regarding this program.
- USACE debris management experts are conducting assessments in Louisiana. USACE Temporary Emergency Power Planning and Response Teams, contractor support, and the 249th Engineer Battalion’s power generation team are mobilized in Mississippi and Louisiana to conduct power assessments and installations.
- The U.S. Department of Energy authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to conduct an exchange of 300,000 barrels of crude oil between fuel storage companies in Louisiana to alleviate any logistical issues of moving crude oil within areas affected by Hurricane Ida. This action will help ensure the region has access to fuel as quickly as possible as they continue their recovery.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Louisiana’s request to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households to use their benefits to purchase prepared meals and are assisting with program flexibilities needed for mass feeding operations. USDA’s Emergency Food Assistant Program was approved and will provide food packages to 800,000 survivors in 19 parishes.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed more than 180 medical providers and other staff from the National Disaster Medical System to support the triage and treatment of patients in Louisiana. This includes three teams that will be providing Emergency Department decompression to three hospitals in Thibodaux, Kenner and Raceland. The team in Thibodaux will begin to see patients today. A 250-bed healthcare facility federal medical station at the New Orleans Ernest Morial Convention Center will start seeing patients this weekend. Patients must be referred to the station.
- The station will be staffed by Disaster Medical Assistance personnel and a cadre of credentialed medical volunteers identified by the Louisiana Department of Health.
- The National Guard Bureau has 15 high water vehicles in New Jersey to assist in search and rescue.
- The Salvation Army mobilized feeding kitchens and emergency response vehicles in Albany, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Houma, Thibodaux, Gonzales, Kenner, LaPlace, Napoleonville, New Orleans and Raceland, Louisiana. These operations can feed up to 60,000 people a day.
- The American Red Cross, with the help of their partners, has provided more than 49,000 meals and snacks for survivors in the Gulf Coast. There are more than 20 Red Cross and community shelters open in affected areas in Louisiana. There are 13 shelters open in New Jersey and three in New York
- The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced an Emergency Declaration that provides truck drivers flexibility to move critical freight to areas damaged by Ida.
- Additionally, USDOT activated an Emergency Relief Docket for railroads so they can get temporary safety regulations waivers to help them speed up service to move goods necessary for emergency relief efforts.
- The Federal Communications Commission is working directly with wireless carriers so that those in affected areas can roam on any network that may be available while restoration efforts are underway. FCC daily reports and tips for communicating during an emergency, are available in multiple languages at fcc.gov.
Additional resources for disaster survivors
- FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance has been activated for Louisiana survivors from parishes approved for Individual Assistance following Hurricane Ida. This assistance allows for short-term, emergency sheltering options in participating hotels. A list of participating hotels is posted on DisasterAssistance.gov under the link Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Hotel Locator.
- If you have insurance, start documenting your damage and reporting your loss immediately to your agent.
- If you have insurance, file a claim with your insurance company before applying to FEMA. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments but may be able to help where homeowners or flood insurance did not.
- If you have flood insurance, report your loss immediately to your insurance agent or carrier. Be sure to ask them about advance payments. If you need help finding your insurance agent or carrier, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 877-336-2627.
- Policyholders with three-year Group Flood Insurance policies can call the NFIP Direct at 800-638-6620. Select your language and then choose option “2.”
- If your flood insurance policy just expired, call your agent. You may still be able to renew in full and then file a claim for losses. Several FEMA NFIP policies in Louisiana have expired but are currently within the 30-day renewal window.
- If you are able to safely return to your home, before you discard anything take as many photos and videos as possible of your flood damaged home and personal property as possible including flood water lines on the outside of the structure. For appliances and electronics, take a photograph of the make, model and serial number.
- Learn more about starting your recovery with the National Flood Insurance Program at FEMA.gov.
- Residents in Mississippi who have immediate post-disaster needs should call Mississippi Emergency Management Agency hotline at 1-888-574-3583. Additional resources are available at MEMA (msema.org).
- Louisiana residents can visit NOLA Ready for assistance information. Anyone in the affected area who needs a safe place to stay should call 211, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-red cross (800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross emergency app for shelter locations. You can also text “LASHELTER” to 898211, text “NOLAREADY” to 77295 or text “IDA” to 67283.
- FEMA Civil Rights Advisors deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi to assist regional staff. FEMA is reviewing data to ensure that underserved communities are prioritized in response and recovery efforts.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration activated its Disaster Distress helpline. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone or text at 1-800-985-5990 for disaster survivors in Mississippi, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York experiencing emotional distress.
- Spanish-speakers can call or text the hotline and press “2” for bilingual support. Callers can also connect with counselors in over 100 other languages via 3rd-party interpretation services by indicating their preferred language to the responding counselor, who will connect to a live interpreter.
- ASL users can contact the DDH through their videophone at 800-985-5990, or by clicking on “ASL Now” on the DDH website at disasterdistress.samhsa.gov.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has made federal low-interest disaster loans available to businesses, homeowners and renters in select communities along the Gulf Coast.
- FEMA previously issued “Ensuring Civil Rights in Multiple Disasters During COVID-19” to support offer best practices for partners and communities facing a disproportionate rate of COVID-19 illness and death during response and recovery efforts during multiple disasters.
How to help survivors and communities impacted by Hurricane Ida
- People can help by donating to or volunteering with the voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already areas impacted by Ida supporting survivors. Learn how to best help those in need.
- Do not self-deploy. Seeing images of disaster may compel you to head to the impacted area. Until a need has been identified and the community affected by Hurricane Ida has requested support, volunteers should not enter the area.
- Cash is the best donation. When people support voluntary organizations with financial contributions, it helps ensure a steady flow of important services to the people in need after a disaster. To find a reputable organization, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster Hurricane Ida.
- Do not send or bring unsolicited donations. In the early stages of the response phase, unsolicited donations create storage and sorting challenges when focus is needed on response and recovery.
Stay safe from post-storm hazards
- Use a generator safely:
- Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
- Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
- Do not use a generator in a wet area. This can cause shock or electrocution.
- Connect appliances to the generator with heavy-duty extension cords.
- Do not fuel your generator when it is running. Spilling gas on a hot engine can cause a fire
- Keep generators outside and far away from your home. Windows, doors and vents could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. A generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices should never be used inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. These should only be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows.
- When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
- Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Residents in Louisiana should call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
- Put your health and safety first: be careful in areas with storm damage or flooding. If you evacuated, return only when officials say it is safe to do so. Areas without power may experience heat advisories, which can lead to illness or a threat to life.
- Be aware of heat-related illnesses. Areas without power may experience heat advisories, which can lead to illness or a threat to life. Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages such as water or juice. Keep your pets hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water for your pets and provide a shady area.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors. Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Be careful when cleaning up. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves and sturdy thick-soled shoes. Do not try to remove heavy debris by yourself. Use an appropriate mask if cleaning mold or other debris. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
If you have any questions, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs:
- Congressional Affairs at (202) 646-4500 or at FEMA-Congressional-Affairs@fema.dhs.gov
- Intergovernmental Affairs at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov
- Tribal Affairs at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-Tribal@fema.dhs.gov
- Private Sector Engagement at (202) 646-3444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, follow Administrator Deanne Criswell on Twitter @FEMA_Deanne.
Helping people before, during, and after disasters.