One nation under GOD!
Prepare Now to Evacuate Your Travel Trailer When Dangerous Weather
Approaches (From FEMA: June 19th, 2006)
NEW ORLEANS –
Although Louisiana has had more than its share of devastation from
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, there is no guarantee the storms
predicted for this year will bypass the state. Officials with the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
and the State of Louisiana remind travel trailer residents that if a
tropical storm is predicted they must be ready to evacuate.
“A tropical storm warning indicates
winds are sustained between 39 and 73 mph. If a warning is issued you
should be prepared to vacate your travel trailer,” said Jim Stark,
acting director of FEMA’s Transitional Recovery Office in Louisiana.
“The high winds generated by a tropical storm or hurricane can cause
damage to travel trailers. If a Category 1 hurricane develops this
means winds will reach 74 miles per hour. At this level extensive
damage can be caused.”
Obviously, hurricanes above Category 1
mean even greater destruction. Travel trailers are anchored to the
ground at the front and in the rear, but it is considered unsafe to
try to remain in them during high winds. If a storm is forecast,
listen to your local officials for guidance.
now for an evacuation:
Keep fuel in your vehicle.
Make sure you know your evacuation route.
Items left outside may become projectiles
due to high winds and should be placed inside your trailer. If an
item won’t fit inside, secure it as best you can by tying it down.
Let your local emergency management
officials know in advance if you will need assistance to evacuate.
Keep tuned into weather news on television
Have your disaster preparation kit ready,
or go to
www.ready.gov for help on creating one.
Have cash on hand.
If your local officials order an
evacuation, do the following:
Close and lock the roof vent.
Turn off the electricity at the main
Turn off the main water valve outside the
trailer and disconnect the hose.
Turn off the two propane tanks outside by
tightening the valves clockwise.
Take any items that might spoil out of
your refrigerator and freezer.
Do not take or move the trailer! It is
federal property and illegal to move.
Take important personal items and your
pets with you.
Lock the door and take your keys with you.
- Close and lock your windows.
For additional information about being
prepared in advance when a disaster strikes and what to include in
your emergency evacuation kit go to
www.ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY.
FARMERS, RANCHERS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR
DISASTER AID BATON
Disaster assistance may be available to
Louisiana farmers and
ranchers who have suffered damage or incurred losses as a result of
Hurricane Katrina, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the
Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (LOEP).
“We understand the needs of rural Louisianans,” said Mark Smith,
public information officer for LOEP. “Farmers and ranchers are a
strong part of many communities. We want to make sure they’re aware of
the help available to rebuild their operations and recover.” Farmers
and ranchers who have suffered disaster related losses to production,
as well as property losses are urged to contact FEMA’s toll-free
registration line at 800-621-FEMA (TTY 800-462-7585) to apply for
assistance. The toll-free line is in operation 24 hours a day, seven
days a week until further notice.For those who are eligible,
low-interest emergency loans are available for production loss to
crops and physical losses including livestock and farm buildings. One
hundred percent cost sharing to rehabilitate farmland by removing
debris, grading, shaping and re-leveling, restoring fences and other
conservation measures may also be available. For additional
information about Emergency Loan Assistance, Emergency Conservation
Program, and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Loans and “on-farm”
grain storage, farmers and ranchers are urged to contact their local
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Farm Service Agency (FSA)
representatives as soon as possible for emergency assistance. More
information can also be found at:
and the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-888-MPHotline
(1-888-674-6854; for the hearing or speech impaired (TTY)
EASY TO USE WEBSITE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR HOUSING
BATON ROUGE, La. — Victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
can search for
available rental housing using Disaster Housing Resource Online (DHR
www.dhronline.org. DHR Online is an easy-to-use website
that lists immediately
available rental properties. Victims can search by location, price
housing description including number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
One evacuee, who is currently living in a motel, was successful in
housing through DHR Online. After applying, she was put in touch with
manager at a local apartment complex in Baton Rouge, and within three
she was approved for her apartment. She will be moving into her
The U.S. Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
says DHR Online was an important asset in locating housing for people
during the 2004 hurricane season and believes that it will be a
to help Gulf Coast residents recover from this year’s hurricanes.
Also, property owners who have an apartment or house for rent can list
available properties on this website at no cost.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response
recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates
mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and
emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program.
LOUISIANA DISASTER VICTIMS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL TAX RELIEF
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana residents who were suffered losses from
Hurricanes Katrina may be eligible for special tax relief under
passed earlier this year. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Department of
Revenue urge Louisiana taxpayers to contact the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) or a local
tax professional to take advantage of these benefits.
Tax relief is available to individuals throughout Louisiana, though
is specifically targeted to individuals in the most severely impacted
Relief is available for both individuals and business owners, and
• The ability to withdraw up to $100,000 without penalty from certain
• Filers who itemize do not have to deduct 10 percent of their
income and a $100 deductible to claim disaster losses. Filers can
claim up to
the full amount of the loss.
• An option to file an amended 2004 return, or to claim your losses on
2005 tax return.
The Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 also provides tax relief
individuals who provided assistance to disaster victims. Individuals
in hurricane victims are also eligible for tax relief. This includes a
deduction for each person they housed for at least 60 days, up to
dollars per year. The act also raises the rate for mileage deductions
use of personal vehicles for charitable purposes and lifts the cap on
charitable deductions made through the end of 2005.
Taxpayers in the most severely affected parishes also have extended
to file amended returns or quarterly taxes. For specific information
tax benefits are available to each individual, FEMA encourages
contact the IRS at www.irs.gov or at a toll-free hotline established
hurricane victims with tax matters, 1-866-562-5227.
FEMA EXPLAINS FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM APPEALS PROCESS
BATON ROUGE, La. — A four-step process exists for homeowners to appeal
decisions regarding a claim through the National Flood Insurance
administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal
Management Agency (FEMA).
The process helps resolve claim issues, but can’t give homeowners
coverage or claim limits beyond those in their NFIP policies.
Homeowners should talk with their adjuster, who has more knowledge
claim than anyone. If clients don’t understand certain decisions
application of coverage, timing of the filing of proof of loss, or the
estimate, they should first contact their adjuster.
Clients who aren’t satisfied with the adjuster’s answers, or do not
with the decisions, should get contact information for the adjuster’s
supervisor. The adjuster should provide contact information.
If the adjuster’s supervisor can’t resolve the issue, clients should
contact the insurance company’s claim representative. The insurance
another company representative should provide assistance.
Clients with questions or concerns after following the first three
contact FEMA in writing at:
FEMA-Mitigation Division-Room 433
Risk Insurance Branch
Attn: Director of Claims
500 C Street, S.W.
Washington D.C. 20472
The letter should be written by the named insured as it appears on the
policy or by a legal representative such as a child handling a claim
elderly parent. This representative should clearly identify their
to the named insured. A legal representative may be asked to provide
authorization from the named insured or other legal documents
Six items should be in the letter:
1. The policy number, as shown as the named insured on the NFIP
2. The policyholder’s name, as shown as the named insured on the
3. The property address, as shown on the declarations page. This is
person’s mailing address if it is different from the property address.
4. How the claimant can be contacted if they are out of the home.
5. Specific details of the claimant’s concern.
6. The dates of contact and contact details for the persons with
claimant has spoken to while completing the first three steps of the
Claimants should also enclose documentation of everything that
appeal such as a detailed list of damaged property and the value of
items; supporting photographs; and a contractor’s detailed estimate to
damages. Comparing contractor and adjuster estimates in detail may
differences. Claimants should not send original documents.
Under the NFIP, federally-backed flood insurance is available to
renters and business owners in communities that adopt and enforce
management ordinances to reduce future flood losses by regulating new
construction in high flood-risk areas. More than 4.7 million flood
policies exist in about 20,000 participating communities nationwide,
representing nearly $793 billion worth of coverage. The NFIP is
self-supporting: claims and operating expenses are paid from
premiums, not taxpayer dollars.
More than 220,000 claims have been made since the Hurricane Katrina
29 and Hurricane Rita landed Sept. 21, with more than $8 billion
and about 60 percent of claims closed. That includes about 40,000
paid because damage suffered by homes wasn’t caused by flooding or the
suffered was below the homeowner’s deductible.
FEMA FUNDS DISASTER HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
BATON ROUGE, La. — The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal
Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) are helping individuals and families with rental
assistance who were previously
a resident of HUD-assisted housing prior to Hurricane Katrina.
Through a new FEMA-funded housing assistance program called the
Disaster Housing Assistance Program (KDHAP), families will be able to
areas, across the United States, that were not affected by the
will relocate families to the area of their choice. The families may
their home state as housing is rebuilt or repaired.
To qualify for the KDHAP program, individuals must have been
assisted by a Section 8 voucher, in public housing or in some other
HUD-assisted property, or homeless immediately before Hurricane
KDHAP provides up to 18 months of rental assistance beginning from the
the official declaration of the disaster on Aug. 29, 2005. Eligible
must first register with FEMA by calling
(3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 and be registered no later than Dec. 31,
be eligible for KDHAP.
The amount of rental assistance for KDHAP is up to 100 percent of the
market rental rate for the area. All property owners and landlords are
encouraged to support the KDHAP program and make their vacant units
to families displaced by Katrina. They should contact their local
authorities if they have units available.
To register with the KDHAP program, call the KDHAP Referral Call
For an update on your
claim you may now call the FEMA hotline at:
Those who have not registered can also call
1-800-621-3362 or register on line at:
HEARING/SPEECH IMPAIRED PERSONS CAN CALL
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hurricane Katrina
disaster recovery officials are reminding evacuees from both Katrina
and Hurricane Rita that it’s important to notify the U.S. Postal
Service of every change of address, so that they can receive vital
mail including important documents like disaster assistance checks
being mailed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The officials said that staying in
touch with FEMA is one of several ways that evacuees can ensure that
approved aid reaches them quickly. Evacuees who have registered for
assistance with FEMA should report all changes of address by calling
800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585, or going online to
www.fema.gov. FEMA staff at Disaster
Recovery Centers can also update disaster contact information.
“We understand that
many families will move from one place to another as they work to
reorder their lives,” said Vice Admiral Thad Allen, principal federal
official for Hurricane Katrina recovery. “The U.S. Postal Service and
FEMA are working together to quickly and securely get assistance
checks into the right hands.”
There are three
ways to change your address -- by phone, online, or in person:
(275-8777). Operators are available Monday through Friday from 6:30
a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
www.usps.com, 24 hours per day and
make the change.
Stop by any U.S. Post Office, and fill out a
change of address form.
If a change of address notice has not been
completed, the USPS will hold mail for ten days. If mail is not picked
up during that time, it will then be viewed as undeliverable.
Undelivered disaster assistance checks that are returned to FEMA will
be held by FEMA until the evacuee notifies the agency of his or her
Proper identification is always required to
safeguard the checks. The unique control number given to each
applicant after registration helps ensure the integrity of the
process. When possible, FEMA distributes financial aid through
direct-deposit (electronic funds transfer) to avoid the problems of
trying to reach displaced victims who make a series of temporary moves
following a disaster.