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Disaster declaration means FEMA individual assistance for flood victims

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 7:36 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - There’s new federal help available for flood victims. We got word of the federal disaster declaration yesterday, and that means flood victims can apply for help from FEMA.

Those in hard-hit areas have already started the process. Most whose homes flooded are dealing with their second or third disaster this year. So, the disaster declaration allowing FEMA help is a big relief to those who need it.

The piles of demolition debris from flooding are becoming fewer and residents are working to save keepsakes like a wife’s wedding dress or a son’s baby pictures.

But the recovery process is slow-going and residents, like Michael Johnson, are grateful FEMA will be able to help.

“It gives you a sense of relief. I know there are a lot of people, myself included and everybody in my neighborhood, that need a lot of help,” said Johnson.

FEMA spokesperson Tiana Suber encourages those without flood insurance to apply online.

“Hopefully, they will get individual assistance grants to help them at least get back on their feet,” Suber said.

Those with flood insurance can also apply, though FEMA won’t duplicate benefits, it may eventually help with items flood insurance won’t cover such as additional living expenses.

“I know people are a little frustrated with the pace we’re going, but we’re working day and night trying to make sure people have a roof over their head, at least temporarily,” said Suber.

For residents like Johnson, a grant to purchase materials can go a long way toward getting back home.

“Sheetrock, insulation, paint - anything that’s going to help us get in our house as quick as possible. Every dime that I get is going straight to getting us back in our home,” said Johnson.

If you do not have access to the internet FEMA suggests you find a friend or relative to help you apply online.

You can find more information HERE.

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