WASHINGTON — As the remnants of Hurricane Ida have moved off shore, states from the Gulf Coast to New England are assessing the damage.  The storm’s flooding and tornadoes on Wednesday came days after causing widespread wind, storm surge and flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi. FEMA staff are working throughout the nation to support other ongoing hurricane and flood response efforts and wildfires in the West.

There are 11 FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected by Hurricane Ida. Five are in Louisiana, two in Mississippi, one in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  AmeriCorps has activated and deployed 14 FEMA Corps teams from the Southern Region Campus in Vicksburg, Miss., to support the FEMA IMAT and disaster survivor assistance in Louisiana and Mississippi.

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 efforts.

While images of Hurricane Ida’s destruction in Louisiana and Mississippi may compel volunteers to head to the affected areas, they should not travel or send unsolicited donations until communities have identified needs. In the meantime, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster Hurricane Ida page to identify reputable organizations to make cash donations.

Ongoing Federal Actions In Louisiana, Mississippi  

More than 1,100 FEMA employees are deployed to support Ida response and recovery efforts in the region. In addition, FEMA deployed  ambulance crews to Louisiana and Mississippi to help with patient transport. If needed, 150 ambulances/1,000 paratransit seats and emergency medical service providers are in the area, including 30 air ambulances.

Visit FEMA’s Hurricane Ida webpage for information and resources available for residents in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and other areas that may be affected by Ida. The page is available in French, Haitian Creole, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.

  • Louisiana survivors located in one of the designated parishes approved for individual assistance and do not have insurance, you can apply for disaster assistance and get referrals to local, state and federal agencies and voluntary organizations. The fastest way to apply is through DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • If you are a National Flood Insurance Policy holder and have flood damage from Hurricane Ida and its remnants, learn more about starting your recovery. Contact your flood insurance company to start a claim now.  Make sure to ask about advance payments.  If you don’t know who your flood insurance agent or carrier is, call 877-336-2627 to speak with an adjuster.
  • For disaster survivors experiencing emotional distress, 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 around the clock by calling 800-985-5990 or texting ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746.
  • Twelve Urban Search and Rescue teams have completed more than 17,500 structural evaluations in affected areas, including more than 8,900 in Louisiana.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard continues to work closely with all federal, state, and local partners to manage post-storm response, including search and rescue operations. Additionally, the USCG is conducting port, facilities and waterways assessments. These ports remain closed: Intracoastal City, Louisiana Offshore Oil Platform, Fourchon, Houma/Terrebonne, Baton Rouge, South Louisiana. The following ports are open: Lake Charles, Cameron, Morgan City, New Iberia, Plaquemines, St. Bernard Port and Harbor District.  The New Orleans port is open with restrictions.
  • More than 5,200 National Guard members are activated from eight states and helping with search and rescue and clearing road debris.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has more than 420 personnel assisting the state of Louisiana and FEMA with damage assessments and planning potential mission requirements for power assessments and installations. The USACE activated its Operation Blue Roof program for parishes in Louisiana designated for individual assistance. Residents can sign up for the program and complete a Right of Entry form at Blueroof.us or can call toll free 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258) for more information.
  • The American Red Cross is focused on providing safe shelter and meals. More than 580 Red Cross workers are in the affected areas and hundreds more volunteers are on the way. They are working with partners to set up mobile kitchens capable of preparing tens of thousands of meals. Dozens of Red Cross emergency response vehicles will also deliver meals to delivered to people in the hardest hit areas. Volunteers are also replacing items such as prescription medications, eyeglasses, canes and wheelchairs. Anyone in the affected area who needs a safe place to stay should call 211, visit redcross.org, call 800-733-2767 or download the free Red Cross emergency app for shelter locations.
  • The Salvation Army has so far provided more than 29,000 meals. It has 38 mobile feeding units ready to distribute meals. Eight feeding locations are identified in New Orleans to serve meals. Additional feeding locations have been established in Albany, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Houma and Thibodaux and roaming feeding trucks are serving in LaPlace, Napoleonville and Raceland.
  • The Defense Logistics Agency has been activated for fuel support and leasing of additional generators. High output generators are in Baton Rouge, La.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture is evaluating impacts to agriculture and communities. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in Louisiana received a temporary waiver to allow participants to buy hot foods with their benefits and assisting with program flexibilities needed for mass feeding operations.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is in regular, ongoing communication with federal, state, tribal and local partners to discuss storm response and resource availability. From Aug. 30 – Sept. 15, the EPA approved a fuel waiver requests from the states of Louisiana and Mississippi to improve the fuel supply circumstances. The agency is also amplifying safety messages urging residents to be aware of indoor air dangers, portable generator safety, building debris chemicals and mold from flood waters.
  • The Federal Communications Commission is coordinating with government partners to support restoration efforts and lending technical assistance in the field.  In addition, the commission is working with carriers so that those in affected areas can roam on any network that may be available during restoration efforts.  
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deployed more than 180 medical providers and other staff to support the triage and treatment of patients and patient movement missions in Louisiana. Additionally, HHS deployed a 250-bed federal medical shelter to enable patient care at the New Orleans Earnest Morial Convention Center.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to Louisiana business and residents in 25 parishes, per President Biden’s major disaster declaration. A virtual Business Recovery Center is open and providing personalized assistance to business owners.
  • 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 damaged areas. A Routing Assistance Hotline provides a 24-hour toll free number for responders to call and receive safe routes in affected areas.  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 U.S. Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service announced that Louisiana disaster survivors will have additional time to file various individual and business tax returns and to make payments. Survivors who had a valid extension to file their 2020 tax returns will now have until Jan. 3, 2022.

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Author: Editor
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