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The aftermath of Hurricane Ida has others now looking for assistance for FEMA

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Some people in St. Helena Parish are still getting by without power, gas is more scarce in rural areas. It feels like no relief in sight for Tasha Severio who lives there. Demco notified her it could be three or four weeks before her electricity is back on.

“I mean we were prepared, but not to the extent to three to four weeks, so you know there is a few things we still need,” says Severio. Severio is relying on a generator to bring a bit of comfort to her home, but gas to keep it running has been hard to come by and the cost to just get by are adding up.

That’s why Severio applied for the Critical Needs Assistance through FEMA. Their program can help cover costs for gas, water, food, prescription drugs and other living expenses.

“Those type of things that people need there is still somewhat of a lifesaving aspect to this, it’s not complete…everybody is kind of stabilized and is now looking at recovery, rebuilding and repairing damage,” says Nate Custer who is a media relations specialist with FEMA. The starting point for the Critical Assistance Needs is $500, but that could vary case to case.

The best way to apply for this is to simply call: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Hours are from 7 am to 1 am, seven days a week. A quicker way to do this is to fill out a form online, go to: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

So far $175 million dollars have funneled into Louisiana to provide help for those who need it, and government officials are working to make sure more money is set aside to help folks.

“One of the current fundings is sufficient, it appears to be sufficient based on the existing needs to the White House for, supplemental funds in different categories. So, that will be those eligible will be brought in to compliment some of the existing programs that are underway,” says Congressman Garret Graves. Some of that extra money put aside will go toward reimbursing those who bought or rented chainsaws and generators.

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