FEMA Advisory: Ida Response, Recovery Efforts Continue

September 3, 2021

Six days after Ida’s initial landfall in Louisiana, FEMA and federal agencies, along with nonprofit 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.

Today, President Biden and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell travel to Louisiana to tour the damaged area,
following the President approving emergency declarations Thursday night for both New Jersey and New York.
One day after announcing changes the agency’s Individual Assistance program to reduce barriers to assistance,
FEMA is announcing more than $107 million in grants to Louisiana survivors to help them begin their recovery.
FEMA also received more than 4,000 National Flood Insurance Program claims from the Gulf Coast states for

▪ Last night, President Joseph R. Biden approved New Jersey and New York’s request for an emergency
declaration. The declarations authorize FEMA to provide emergency protective measures limited to direct federal
assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support at 75% federal funding
for 14 counties in New York and all counties in New Jersey.
▪ More than 1,400 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.
▪ 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.
▪ 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, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Federal actions to support areas affected by Hurricane Ida
▪ There are 11 FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected by Hurricane
Ida. Five are in Louisiana, one in Mississippi, one in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Eight
FEMA Corps teams have deployed to Region 6 to support Louisiana recovery efforts.
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▪ The National Emergency Management Association is helping facilitate additional resources to the Gulf Coast
through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Resources from 13 states have been sent to assist
with ongoing response and recovery effort.
▪ Commodities, equipment, and personnel are pre-positioned to assist, as needed. This includes:
o Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are on the ground in Louisiana in New Orleans, St. John the Baptist, and
Jefferson Parishes helping survivors register for federal assistance.
o Twelve Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams have completed more than 27,000 structural evaluations in
affected areas in Louisiana. Four US&R teams are deployed to New Jersey.
o 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.
o 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 with
ExxonMobil Baton Rouge, 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 hot food 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 medical providers and other staff from the
National Disaster Medical System to support the triage and treatment of patients in Louisiana. A team is setting
up a 250-bed healthcare facility federal medical station at the New Orleans Ernest Morial Convention Center to
enable patient care.

Ida Response, Recovery Efforts Continue
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o The station will be staffed by Disaster Medical Assistance personnel and a cadre of credentialed medical
volunteers identified by the Louisiana Department of Health. A second 250-bed FMS is staged in
Thibodeaux, Louisiana for support as needed.▪ The U.S. Coast Guard has 34 aviation search and rescue assets prepositioned. The National Guard Bureau has
177 high water vehicles and 30 rotary wing assets prepositioned to assist with search and rescue in Louisiana.
Additionally, the Department of Defense has 50 high water vehicles conducting search and rescue operations in
the area.
▪ The National Guard Bureau has 33 highwater vehicles and three rotary wing assets available in Pennsylvania
and 15 high water vehicles and one rotary wing asset in New Jersey available to assist in search and rescue.
National Guard members continue conducting response operations and are operating distribution locations for
survivors in Louisiana.
▪ The Salvation Army mobilized feeding kitchens and emergency response vehicles in Gonzales and New Orleans,
Louisiana. These operations can feed up to 30,000 people a day.
▪ The American Red Cross, with the help of their partners, has provided more than 17,000 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. In Maryland, one shelter is open. New York and Pennsylvania each have seven open shelters, and
New Jersey has one.
▪ 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.
o 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 http://www.fcc.gov.
Additional resources for disaster survivors
▪ FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance has been activated for eligible Louisiana survivors allowing for shortterm, emergency sheltering options in participating hotels. A list of participating hotels will be posted on
DisasterAssistance.gov under the link Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program.
▪ 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.
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▪ 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.
o 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.”
o 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 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 and Louisiana
experiencing emotional distress.
o 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.
o Deaf or Hard of Hearing American Sign Language users can contact the DDH through a direct videophone
option via any videophone-enabled device and dialing 1-800-985-5990, or by selecting the “ASL Now”
option 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.
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o You may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or
visit http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals
who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.
▪ 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 page.
▪ 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.
o Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
o Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
o Do not use a generator in a wet area. This can cause shock or electrocution.
o Connect appliances to the generator with heavy-duty extension cords.
o 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.
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▪ 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.
o 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.
o 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 disorders
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.

Contact Us
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 nbeoc@max.gov

Follow Us
Follow FEMA on social media at: FEMA Blog on fema.gov, @FEMA or @FEMAEspanol on Twitter, FEMA or FEMA
Espanol on Facebook, @FEMA on Instagram, and via FEMA YouTube channel.
Also, follow Administrator Deanne Criswell on Twitter @FEMA_Deanne.

FEMA Mission
Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

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