As our state finds itself faced with unprecedented destruction, CPEX wants to help our friends and neighbors experiencing flood damage. The following is not professional advice, we are simply sharing the knowledge available through our staff, partners, and friends that we feel will be helpful. Please circulate to anyone in need of this information, and be sure to confirm anything you read here with your government, insurance, and construction representatives.
If you live in the following parishes, you are now eligible for FEMA assistance:
Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tangipahoa and Vermillion.
The following are some tips for navigating FEMA assistance from our Senior Vice President, Camille Manning-Broome, a former FEMA employee who worked on long-term recovery in the wakes of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"After working for FEMA during Katrina and Rita, I know how difficult it can be for victims to understand the financial aid assistance process. Please pass this along to anyone who needs help.
If you have flood damage, you should file a claim, whether you have flood insurance or not. You may be eligible for some assistance even if you have flood insurance. You should also file a claim regardless of whether you are or are not in a floodplain. You should apply if you had any damage. The process does not take a lot of time and at least you get into the queue to understand what monies may be available to you.
The more claims FEMA receives, the more informed they are about the extent of the damage.
The FEMA number is 1-800-621-FEMA and claims can be filed at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/. Click here to see the assistance, grants, and loans that FEMA provides for flood victims.
When people apply, make sure that they are very clear that they are not living at home now. If they are with friends and family then FEMA may not give rental assistance right away, whereas if they are in a hotel or other rental housing, they may be able to get rental assistance right away.
Individuals who do not have flood insurance and need a loan for renovations can apply for Individual Assistance (IA) and get low-interest loans through SBA."
"As a past FEMA employee and someone who has lots of friends that work there, here is the process that you can't find on-line.
After you fill out your online application, you will receive an email telling you that an inspection is required but it is vague (you will receive this shortly after you submit your application).
After registering an inspection will occur. FEMA sends an inspector to your property to inspect it and verify damages, prove occupancy (driver's license, utility bill), and prove ownership (title, or insurance), car damages (proof of liability insurance for your car, title and registration will be good to have on hand). Pictures of the damage should be taken prior to doing any work, if possible.
Inspectors work neighborhoods and if the rest of the neighborhood is in similar condition, they will take that into account. If you apply for a low interest loan through the SBA, they will send their own inspectors. Keep pictures and receipts in case they want to look at those too."