BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The flooding took a toll on plenty of cemeteries across south Louisiana and FEMA is hoping to help people who had loved ones disinterred by August's flood.
The Louisiana Cemetery Board said 218 graves were impacted or damaged across 35 different cemeteries in affected parishes. So far the board said 64 of those have been repaired and replaced, and that work continues as more cemeteries work to meet FEMA requirements after the flood.
FEMA said it may be able to help individuals and cemeteries cover the costs of putting caskets, vaults and mausoleums back where they belong. It will be on a case-by-case basis.
The program is available for both private and public cemeteries. However, there are factors that could affect eligibility such as where the cemeteries are located, who is legally responsible for them, and who legally owns them.
For more information about the reinterment assistance call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.
Those who are deemed ineligible for FEMA reinterment assistance are advised to contact their local or parish government to determine if any other assistance programs are available.
The following is information about the FEMA Reinterment Assistance Regarding Private Cemeteries
- Reinterment costs may be eligible, regardless of the cemetery type, when those costs are the legal responsibility of an individual and not the cemetery
- Individuals or families who maintain a cemetery on their own private property may also be eligible for reinterment assistance through the Other Needs Assistance provision of FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program
- In order to be considered for reinterment assistance from FEMA, individuals or families must register with FEMA and provide the following documentation:
- A signed statement from an authoritative medical official (e.g., a coroner or medical examiner) stating that the disinterment was a direct result of the flooding
- Receipts or verifiable estimates for reinterment expenses that prove the cost for reinterment will fall upon the individuals being considered for assistance
- Any applicable documentation of burial insurance or prior reinterment assistance from any voluntary or governmental agency
- Survivors can register with FEMA by going online with any computer, smartphone or tablet to DisasterAssistance.gov, calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362, or downloading the FEMA mobile app
- Individuals or families who receive reinterment assistance may be reimbursed for:
- Transferring remains
- Caskets, containers, vaults or urns that were damaged
- Markers or headstones that were damaged
- Necessary costs related to identifying remains
- Necessary work at the gravesite to reinter remains
- Individuals or families who receive FEMA reinterment assistance are responsible for understanding and abiding by any applicable local, parish, or state laws or ordinances regarding human remains and their interment
The following is information about the FEMA Reinterment Assistance for Public Cemeteries:
- Public cemeteries may be eligible for FEMA reinterment assistance through FEMA’s Public Assistance program
- In order to be considered for FEMA reinterment assistance through the Public Assistance program, the owner and/or operator of the public cemetery must apply via louisianapa.com
- Owners and/or operators of public cemeteries who receive FEMA reinterment assistance are responsible for understanding and abiding by any applicable local, parish, or state laws or ordinances regarding human remains and their interment