Assistance/Relief for flood victims - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Assistance/Relief for flood victims

Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The following resources are available to victims of historic flooding in southeast Louisiana.

IMPORTANT NOTICES

  • The Restore Louisiana Task Force has announced a new website, restore.la.gov, dedicated solely to providing information on recovery from the devastating floods in March and August. The site serves as a single location where residents and news media can access recovery-related documents and notifications, as well as the latest developments within each of the task force’s six work groups. 

  • Debris removal continues in several parishes. Click here for debris removal information by parish.

PRICE GOUGING/SCAMS: 

  • If you think you've been the victim of price gouging, please contact the Louisiana Attorney General's Office Consumer Information Hotline at 1-800-351-4889.
  • Never be shy about asking for identification. Government workers will never ask for a fee or payment. They always wear an official government photo ID. For more tips on avoiding disaster-related scams, click here

  • The National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud (NCPHIF) is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates homeowners on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of home repair fraud and scams. This is a free service for homeowners and right now, the extensive flood damage in Louisiana makes its residents ripe for contractor fraud. For more information, visit www.PreventContractorFraud.org or call (404) 902-6100. 

DISTRIBUTION OF DONATIONS

For a database of statewide food banks, click here.

      ACACIA CHURCH: The church will continue to distribute donations until they run out. They are no longer taking any new donations. They are located at 10051 Siegen Lane., Baton Rouge. For more information call (225) 366-8310.

      CARPENTER'S CHAPEL: Carpenter's Chapel Methodist Church in Prairieville has a large collection of donated clothes for flood victims. Those in need can stop by the church at 41181 Hwy. 933 weekdays from 5 - 7 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

      DENHAM SPRINGS CHURCH OF CHRIST: The church, which is located at 118 Saint Louis Street in Denham Springs, has flood relief items: food boxes (feeds a family of four for a week), cleaning supplies, some clothes and shoes, water, and toothpaste, etc.

      DENICOLA'S: The store is providing furniture that was donated. The store is located at 2152 North Foster Dr. They are only taking donations on Saturday's from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Flood victims who wish to collect a donation must send an email to brfloodfurniture@gmail.com

      EDGE CHURCH: The Edge Church, in partnership with the National Association of Christian Churches/NACC disaster relief, the Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Red Cross at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center, is serving as a distribution center for our community. They have water, nonperishable
      foods, hygiene products, baby products and cleaning supplies to give to the flood victims in need. They are distributing supplies Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located at 13353 Hwy. 44, Gonzales. For more information call 225-644-8232.

        RED CROSS: To find the latest updates, download the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also provides emergency alerts and information about what to do during and after floods, as well as emergency first aid information. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross.

        SALVATION ARMY: Only one person from a household may pick up supplies, and you may not pick up for more than one household. You must show proof that you live in the affected area. This can be demonstrated by showing a driver’s license or power/water bill. 

        THE MANE ATTRACTION: The store is distributing formal wear donations. They will allow students to come in and take one outfit for upcoming homecoming dances. The store is located at 34619 Hwy 16 in Watson. For more information call 225-380-5166. 

        ASSISTANCE WITH CLEANING/DEBRIS REMOVAL: 

        BETHANY CHURCH: Volunteers are helping to help clean and gut homes. Those who wish to volunteer are asked to go to 13865 Plank Rd., Baker. For more information call (225) 247-2890 or visit online at Bethany.com/flood.

        CARPENTERS CHAPEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: An 18-wheeler wheeler filled with 6,600 mops, cleaning supplies, water, clothing, etc. was sent from Ever Care mop company in Arkansas. The church is located at 41181 LA 933 in Prairieville.

        CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST LATTER-DAY SAINTS: Requests for assistance in cleaning out homes can be made by calling 1-800-451-1954.

        CRISIS CLEANUP HOTLINE: The organization is offering free help with cleaning homes that were flooded. Over 600 volunteers helped clean 239 homes and 2 fire stations over the first weekend after the flooding. Once a survivor is enrolled in the Crisis Clean-up, a team will be sent to assess the damage. A date for muck-and-gut teams will be scheduled following an assessment. Call 800-451-1954 if you need assistance from this organization. 

        FIRST METHODIST CHURCH: Volunteers available to help gut and clean houses. For more information call 225-383-4777 or visit online at Firstmethodist.org/flood

        HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge is offering to gut out sheet rock and spray for mold in homes affected by the floods free of charge. If you need assistance contact the office at 225-927-6651 or email lynn@habitatbr.org.

        OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, Operation Blessing is now accepting free work order requests from residents whose homes were damaged by the flood and is also calling on volunteers who wish to help with the cleanup. Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at the Denham Springs campus of Healing Place Church (569 Florida Ave SW), from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily (except Sunday), or by calling 757-274-8650. All residents must sign a work order form and a release form in person allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability. For more information please log on to www.ob.org.

        ST. BERNARD PROJECT: Volunteers are helping gut and repair homes. To apply for assistance, visit the project's website. For more information, call 225-478-1499. 

          TOGETHER BATON ROUGE: Together Baton Rouge has created a "master" online sign-up option for flooded residents who need help mucking out, gutting or mold-remediating their homes. The website is www.gutcheckLA.com. Sign-ups received there will be sent to Crisis Cleanup and to most of the major organizations doing house clean-up work, including Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge, LEAN, the Baptist Association of SELA, United Methodists, LDS groups, Samaritan's Purse, and others. The site can be used not only in the greater Baton Rouge area, but across any flood-affected area in Louisiana. 

          VINEYARD CHURCH: Volunteer work crews from The Vineyard Church Mercy Response at 16761 Tiger Bend Road in Baton Rouge continue to gut flooded homes and provide relief to those impacted. If you need assistance, go to "request help" at http://vineyardmercyresponse.org.

          LEGAL SERVICES

          • Free disaster-related legal advice is available to low-income Louisiana flood survivors through a partnership among the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Low-income survivors facing legal issues may call the Legal Services hotline, 800-310-7029, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Voicemail is available 24/7 and messages are generally returned the next business day. Examples of legal assistance available include:
            • Assistance with securing FEMA and other benefits available to disaster survivors;
            • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
            • Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
            • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents that were destroyed;
            • Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures;
            • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems; and
            • Counseling on landlord/tenant problems.
          • The Southern University Law Center will help anyone who was flooded and is fighting with their landlord or people dealing with confusion about filling out paperwork. Southern has opened a disaster recovery law clinic just for flood victims who cannot afford a lawyer. There will be volunteer attorneys, law center faculty and students to help people at the law school on Roosevelt Steptoe Drive. Free legal assistance is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but there will also be extended hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for people who can not make it during the day. They ask people call 225-771-3333 to make an appointment. For more information, click here

          MONETARY ASSISTANCE

          AMERICAN RED CROSS: For those who qualify, the Red Cross will also provide limited financial assistance of $125 per person (example: family of four = $500). This recovery support begins even as Red Cross volunteers continue to operate shelters, serve meals, and distribute critical relief supplies across much of Louisiana. Red Cross assistance will be available to those who do not qualify for federal disaster assistance and for those that have had major damage or their home has been destroyed.  

          People who may be eligible for Red Cross financial assistance should register online at redcross.org/LAfloodassistance or call 855-224-2490. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or require accessible communications may text 571-422-1144. If someone is still in a shelter, Red Cross workers will help with their registration. After someone registers, the Red Cross will contact them within 48 to 72 hours. Caseworkers will verify the person’s identity, the number of people in the household, cross-check the person’s information with federal registration records, and validate the flooding damage to their home.

          FEMA SERVICES: Services are available for survivors in the following parishes: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

          FEMA is offering reimbursement to some flood survivors who paid out-of-pocket for lodging expenses after the flood. Click here for more details.

          Anyone in Louisiana with damage from flooding that began Aug. 11 may register two ways:

          • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
          • By calling 800-621-3362, People who use TTY may call 800-462-7585, those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) may call 800-621-3362.

          RELATED FEMA INFORMATION: 

          Renters may qualify for a low-interest loan of up to $40,000 from the SBA to repair or replace personal property. Renters can apply for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or video relay service can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

          FEMA REINTERMENT ASSISTANCE: Assistance may be available for reinterment efforts in Louisiana cemeteries, where floodwaters have dislodged or destroyed caskets, vaults, and mausoleums. It is available to individual survivors and cemeteries on a case-by-case basis. Factors that affect eligibility for assistance include where the cemeteries are located, who has legal responsibility for them, and who has legal ownership of them. Information regarding reinterment assistance is available at the FEMA helpline, 800-621-3362. 

          FEMA DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS: Survivors may register at any open DRC, even out of state. The centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All FEMA disaster recovery centers will be closed on Sundays.

          The centers are at the following locations:

          • Baton Rouge: Celtic Studios, 10000 Celtic Dr. (Center will close Thursday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.) 
          • Baton Rouge: New Hope Baptist Church, 5856 Greenwell Springs Rd. (Center will close Thursday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.)
          • Denham Springs: North Park Recreation Center, 30372 Eden Church Rd. (Center will close Friday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m.)  
          • Gonzales: Lamar Dixon Expo H-H Building, 9039 South St. Landry Ave. (Center will close Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.)

          HARDSHIP WAIVER: The Internal Revenue Service will grant the regulatory waiver. The hardship waiver will be in effect until January 17, 2017 to allow flood victims access to emergency funds to account for recent losses.

          STATE SALES TAX RETURNS: Louisiana residents in presidential declared disaster areas impacted by the March and August floods can file for a refund of state sales tax they paid on personal property destroyed by the floods. Claims should be filed with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. To learn more, visit www.latreasury.com and click on "Sales Tax Disaster Relief."

          HOUSING:

          Temporary housing options for flood victims: short-term and long-term

          SHELTER AT HOME: The application period for this program is currently closed. For more information about the Shelter at Home program, click here.

          FEMA: ?The Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program for flood victims has been extended until Sunday, Dec. 18. Click here for more information.  

          APARTMENTS: For a listing of available apartments that did not flood, please visit www.lahousingsearch.org to both find and list available properties. You can also view listings at www.MLSbox.com.

            MEDICAL/MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS

            AUTISM SOCIETY LOUISIANA: Families affected with specific needs for their children with autism and their family may contact us at 800-955-3760 or autismsociety_lastatechapter@yahoo.com.

            CRISIS COUNSELING

            • A free crisis counseling program, funded by FEMA and administered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), is open to any adult or child in designated parishes. To learn more, call the DHH-Office of Behavioral Health Louisiana Spirit Crisis Line at 866-310-7977.
            • A free, 24-hour hotline is available. If you need crisis counseling, you can call 225-924-3900, 225-924-LSU1, or 800-437-0303 and also talk online at www.crisischat.org

            FRENCH SETTLEMENT CLINIC: RKM Primary Care is setting up a temporary Primary Care Medical clinic to serve the people of French Settlement who have been impacted by the recent flooding. PCPFHF will open a temporary primary care clinic at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 15710 LA 16 in French Settlement. Times:  8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Available services:

            • All primary care services are available on site
            • Tetanus and pneumonia vaccines available
            • Medication refills
            • Other services by referral

                LOUISIANA DIRECTORY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: More information is available at new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/97/n/116. For children and youth services, call the state health department at (225) 342-9500 or visit the Children’s Special Health Services website at dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/740 for information or to apply for services for developmentally disabled children.

                LOUISIANA PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: There will be three workshops for children 5-17 years old to be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. December 3, 10, and 17. Participation is limited to 40 per workshop. All sessions will be held at the Florida Boulevard Baptist Church, located at 10915 Florida Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Sign up by emailing resiliencyworkshops@gmail.com or call 225-926-7799.

                SUPPORT FOR PARENTS: For parents needing support after the Flood of 2016 in Louisiana: KIDLINE, 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373) is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, need access to local resources, or want to talk to someone about how to help your children deal with the loss, please feel free to call this toll-free number and talk to a trained counselor.

                HELPING KIDS COPE WITH TRAUMATIC EVENTS

                Following tragic or traumatic events including natural disasters like the recent flooding in Louisiana, it is typical for children to react in different ways and to varying degrees. LSU Department of Psychology Assistant Professor Anna C. Long compiled an information sheet with six tips to offer guidance for parents and caregivers on how to support children following a natural disaster. The full information sheet with basic strategies that have been shown to be effective is available here: http://www.lsu.edu/mediacenter/02psych_long_tipsheet.php

                ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

                  Louisiana Flood Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

                  LSU: Will reprint lost diplomas of flood victims free of charge. Click here for details.

                  SOCIAL MEDIA: Louisiana and federal officials encourage you to connect with them on social media to help you and your community recover from the recent severe storms and floods. Use social media to communicate directly with officials and get answers to disaster-related questions, learn the latest response and recovery news, and share information like pictures and videos.

                  • Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
                    • Like “GOHSEP” on Facebook
                    • Follow “@GOHSEP” on Twitter
                  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
                    • Like “Louisianagov” on Facebook
                    • Follow “Louisiana_gov” on Instagram
                    • Follow “@Louisianagov” on Twitter
                  • FEMA
                    • Like “FEMA” on Facebook
                    • Follow “Federal Emergency Management Agency” on Instagram
                    • Follow “@FEMAregion6” on Twitter

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