Tuesday deadline to apply for disaster assistance and what to do if you don’t qualify


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — There are many questions about who in Acadiana can qualify for FEMA assistance. The deadline to apply for Hurricane Laura Disaster Assistance is Tuesday, October 27, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants to make sure any family who qualifies applies.

“I always like to tell people help us help you,” said FEMA Spokesperson, Lenisha Smith.

Two months after Hurricane Laura made landfall, is the last day to apply for disaster assistance for the major storm. Over 200,000 people have applied through the FEMA helpline 1-800-621-3362, FEMA app, disasterassistance.gov, or disaster recovery center.

Smith said she wants to manage expectations for what’s covered, “FEMA is here to make your home safe, sanitary, and functional. We’re not going to put you back to where you were pre-disaster. So we’re going to be covering the essential areas of your home. That’s going to be an occupied bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen.”

That damage coupled with an address, personal information, damage evidence/estimates, and any insurance claims/assistance would help you apply for aid in 21 parishes for Hurricane Laura and 5 parishes for Hurricane Delta.

Bill and Evelyn Boudreaux don’t qualify for either Laura or Delta aid with FEMA, not because of their damage but because of where they live.

“This tree falling on our house left us homeless,” Evelyn told News 10. “I went online and it let me apply, but the thing they sent me said it can’t help me because we’re not in a disaster area.”

The Boudreaux’s live in Lafayette Parish, less than a mile from the borders of Iberia and Vermilion Parishes. Though the neighbors’ damage is similar, only Vermilion Parish qualified for either storm.

“I don’t understand it really,” said Bill Boudreaux. “There’s many more with problems, and the parish has not been declared a disaster area. (There are) people who are stuck.”

FEMA said it is important people communicate their damages to their local officials and the state at damage.la.gov.

“So the state knows where they need to request the assistance to add them onto that declaration because with Hurricane Laura as time went on, they were adding parishes to that declaration as well, so that’s still a possibility for Hurricane Delta,” explained Smith.

So far 200,000 people have applied for Laura aid through FEMA. 20,000 have applied for Delta. If you have damage from both, you are told to apply twice. Laur’s deadline is Tuesday, October 27. Delta’s deadline is December 15. If you have already made repairs, keep your receipts and documents in case your parish is added.

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