Hurricane Ida Recovery Update – Tuesday, December 7

Published 7:05 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish issued the following Hurricane Ida recovery updates for Tuesday, December 7.

This holiday season, as Louisiana homeowners and renters continue to receive disaster funds, FEMA wants to remind you that federal grant money may only be used for disaster-related expenses.

Once an application is complete, it only takes FEMA a few days to deposit the money into the bank account you provided. It will appear in your account under a banking code that may not say the word FEMA. You will also receive a letter or email telling you the amount you are receiving and explaining how you can spend the money.

Some examples of allowed expenses include:

  • Home repairs (e.g., structure, water, septic and sewage systems)
  • Rental assistance for rent and/or deposit
  • Repair or replacement of an essential vehicle
  • Medical or dental care for an uninsured injury caused by the disaster
  • Necessary educational materials (e.g., computers, schoolbooks, supplies)
  • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster
  • Replacement of essential personal property such as appliances or a bed from an occupied bedroom
  • Increased childcare expenses

Read your determination letter carefully. You will need to keep receipts for all expenses for at least three years, as disaster funding may be subject to review. If you have spent the payment on anything other than its intended purpose, you may be denied disaster assistance in the future. In some cases, FEMA will ask that the money be returned.

Be sure FEMA has your most up-to-date contact information, including addresses, phone numbers and bank accounts. If FEMA does not have the correct contact information, survivors may miss letters or phone calls about their application for assistance or payment status.

For any questions, call the FEMA Helpline, 800-621-3362. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

If you haven’t heard back from FEMA since applying, a number of common problems may have delayed the application process. For example, it could be because of missing documents.

The Disaster Recovery Center in the Garyville Library Parking Lot (111 Historic Front St. in Garyville) will remain open until further notice Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who need assistance in person.

​FEMA Mitigation specialists are also available by calling the FEMA Mitigation Helpline, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, at 833-FEMA-4-US (833-336-2487) or you can email mitigation questions to: FEMA-LAMit@fema.dhs.gov.

Debris Removal

  • ·Over 891,000 cubic yards has been collected to date.
  • Debris trucks are continuing to remove debris Parishwide.

No change from previous update:

SBA

  • Reminder: The official SBA disaster loan application deadline passed last Monday, November 29th, but there is a grace period until December 14th for homeowners, renters, business owners and non-profit staff to apply for disaster assistance from the SBA.
  • Quick Resources
  • To apply online they can visit: https://DisasterLoanAssistance.SBA.gov
  • Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339
  • Deadline to apply to SBA Economic Injury is May 31,2022

The SBA Business Recovery Center remains open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays at the River Region Chamber of Commerce office, located at 390 Belle Terre Blvd. in LaPlace.

Be Aware of Contractor Fraud

  • As we work to recover and rebuild following Hurricane Ida, residents are encouraged to watch for and report any suspicious activity or contractor fraud.
  • Potential fraud should be reported to https://www.bbb.org/file-a-complaint or the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.
  • Remember to verify contractor’s license and insurance.

Hurricane Ida Disaster Legal Assistance

  • Hurricane Ida Disaster Legal Assistance is available by appointment every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the legal clinic located at 1811 W. Airline Hwy in LaPlace.
  • St. John the Baptist Parish residents seeking disaster-related legal assistance can contact Southeast Legal Services at 225-448-0080 ext. 336 to schedule an appointment. If no one answers, please leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call.

Temporary Housing

  • Residents who need temporary housing should register for the state’s Hurricane Ida Sheltering program at idashelteringla.com or by calling 844-268-0301.
  • Already registered? Check your status by viewing your registration at IdaShelteringLA.com. If you have any questions, please reach out to a Program Team Member by calling 1-844-268-0301 or 1-844-458-1806 for talk to text (TTY).

Long Term Recovery Group

  • St. John Parish recently activated the Long Term Recovery Group to assist residents with unmet needs due to Hurricane Ida.
  • If you are a homeowner and are uninsured, underinsured, or need assistance due to Hurricane Ida, please call the St John Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) at 985-703-8411.

Elderly Assistance

  • Elderly residents who may need assistance can call Department of Health & Human Services at 985-536-4955 during business hours.

Permits

  • Permit fees for repairs and renovations due to hurricane damage have been waived however a permit may still be needed in some instances.
  • Building permits are not needed for Shingles, Sheetrock, Cabinetry, Flooring, Fencing, Doors, Siding, Trim and Painting.
  • Permits are only needed when structural repairs are made to the framing, roof, or electrical components of the house.
  • If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 985-651-5565.

Safe Reconnect

  • If you sustained damage to your home or business electrical and/or gas systems and the utility was not able to reconnect service, please contact Planning & Zoning at Email safereconnect@stjohn-la.gov or call 985-651-5565 so someone in this department can work with you on reconnection.

Stay Connected

  • For text alerts, text SJPWEATHER to 888-77
  • Parish website: sjbparish.gov
  • Parish social media: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
  • Government Access Channel (15/99)