BARRY: Resources for south Louisiana residents

BARRY: Resources for south Louisiana residents
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Barry made landfall in Louisiana Saturday, July 13 as a Category 1 hurricane and was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

RESOURCES FOR THOSE IN THE PATH OF BARRY

SALVATION ARMY SERVING HOT MEALS

The Salvation Army will serve hot meals from its community center and church at 4025 W Brookstown Dr. for those who have been without power since Friday, July 12 due to Hurricane Barry. Jambalaya, cold drinks, and snacks will be provided from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, July 15 while supplies last. A cellphone charging station will also be available for use. On Tuesday, July 16, non-perishable foods will be boxed up and distributed at the same location from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. while supplies last. Those in need of help should call the Salvation Army at 225-954-0454 or 225-326-0726.

AIRBNB OPEN HOMES PROGRAM

Airbnb has activated its Open Homes Program www.airbnb.com/stormbarry to help displaced residents and relief workers deployed to the regions impacted by Tropical Storm Barry. The Open Homes Program recruits hosts who are willing and able to provide free housing to displaced residents and disaster relief workers in the activation area including southern Louisiana, and parts of Texas and Alabama.

Airbnb Hosts within the affected area have the ability to opt into listing their homes for $0, offering accommodations free of charge to those in need by visiting www.airbnb.com/stormbarry. The goal of the Open Homes Program is to ensure those able to open their homes, as well as anyone who are affected and in need of temporary accommodation, know that this option exists.

The Open Homes Program is currently available through July 31. As a public service, Airbnb is asking news outlets in Louisiana, Texas and Alabama to share the following link: www.airbnb.com/stormbarry.

DISASTER DISTRESS HELPLINE

Preparing for natural disasters such as those that could be brought by Tropical Storm Barry presently in the Gulf of Mexico can be overwhelming and can seriously affect emotional health. It is common to experience anxiety and depression-like symptoms tied to worrying about the chance or occurrence of injury or property damage.

The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects prior to and after such severe storm activity.

The Helpline is a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week free, multilingual and confidential service that provides crisis counseling and support to those impacted by natural disasters.

Helpline specialists are trained to assist callers with a range of symptoms.

ENTERGY

For customer service, please call 1-800-368-3749. To report power outages and emergencies, 1-800-968-8243.

DEMCO

DEMCO is committed to providing quality, reliable electric service to its members. If you are experiencing a problem with your electric service, please contact DEMCO by calling 225-261-1160 or 1-800-262-1160.

Residents can report damage in the following ways:

  • Visit the DEMCO website at www.DEMCO.org and click on the ‘Report an Outage’ button located on the homepage
  • Call 1-800-262-1160 and use the automated call line
  • Download and Use the free DEMCO mobile app available for IPhone and Android

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

SNAP benefits are being distributed on the regular schedule. Most recipients have received their benefits for the month of July, and all distribution will be completed by Sunday, July 14.

Residents who lost food purchased with SNAP benefits due to a power outage of at least 24 hours may be eligible to replacement benefits. To apply, residents must report the food loss verbally or in writing within 10 days of the loss and return a signed SNAP 38 form within 10 days of reporting the loss. For more information, click here.

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) notes these replacement benefits are not automatic and are not Disaster SNAP benefits. D-SNAP is directly tired to FEMA approving a state request for Individual Assistance, which given initial reports about the level of damage Barry inflicted upon the state, will likely not be requested.

How to Apply

Best, Fastest Option: On or before Friday, July 26, report the food loss to DCFS by turning in a completed and signed SNAP 38 Form in one of the following ways:

  • Email it to LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov
  • Mail it to DPC, P.O. Box 260031, Baton Rouge, LA 70826
  • If you cannot email or mail the form, bring it to your nearest DCFS Economic Stability office. A list of DCFS offices can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/offices.

Alternative: If you cannot get the signed form to DCFS before Friday, July 26, then you must do both of the following to report your loss and send in the required form:

  • Email LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov (preferred) or call 1-888-524-3578 by Friday, July 26, and provide your:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Last 4 digits of Social Security Number
  • Parish
  • Dollar value of food loss
  • Length of time without power
  • Within 10 days of reporting the loss to DCFS by email or phone call, send your completed and signed SNAP 38 Form to DCFS by email, mail or bringing it to a local office, as described above.

In keeping with federal regulations, DCFS cannot process a SNAP Replacement request until it receives a signed SNAP 38 Form. The sooner the form is received, the sooner the request will be processed and the benefits will be issued.

CAPITAL AREA UNITED WAY

  • Call: 211 or 225-923-2114

ASCENSION PARISH

  • Citizen Service Center for info on the storm: 225-450-1200
  • Road Closures: See Ascension Parish social media accounts (sheriff and/or OEP pages)
  • AP Sheriff’s Office non-emergency calls: 225-621-8300
  • Gonzales City Hall 225-647-2841 (can call city hall to deliver sandbags for ELDERLY or DISABLED people)

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

  • For damage/downed lines: 311
  • For general information: 411
  • Baker Emergency Operations: 800-953-5933 (info on shelters, sandbags, blocked roadways, etc.)
  • Baker PD non-emergency: 225-775-6000
  • Constable’s Office: 225-278-7944 for anything

STORM RECOVERY AND RELIEF FUNDS

Donations to community foundations can be made online and are tax deductible.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

Meanwhile, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) also offers Employees 1st, a program that lets companies provide emergency assistance to their employees who are truck by disasters or unforeseen circumstances. The Foundation manages more than 60 Employees 1st accounts for companies. More information is available at employees1st.org or by calling Elizabeth Hutchison at ehutchison@employees1st.org.

LHC MEDICAID ASSISTANCE

Louisiana Healthcare Connections members affected by Hurricane Barry are encouraged to contact Member Services for assistance with health- and healthcare-related issues such as the replacement of medications and medical equipment.

The Healthy Louisiana Medicaid health plan offers the following resources and support services to members affected by the storm:

  • Members in the affected areas who need help replacing medications, medical equipment, and/or Member ID cards that were lost or damaged can call Member Services at 1-866-595-8133 (Hearing Loss: 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., for expedited assistance.
  • Members who were evacuated and have not been able to return home are reminded that referrals are not required to visit any in-network provider, including primary care physicians, urgent care centers, and specialists. Members who need help locating a provider near them may call Member Services or visit https://ProviderSearch.LouisianaHealthConnect.com.
  • Members are reminded that in a medical emergency, they may always receive care at any emergency care provider, in or out of network.
  • For assistance with health and prescription questions, and locating a provider after hours, members may call 1-866-595-8133 and say, “Nurse,” to be connected to a registered nurse (RN) who will assist them.
  • Members who need emotional or mental health support are encouraged to call our free crisis hotline at 1-844-677-7553 (Hearing Loss: 1-800-846-5277) to speak to a licensed mental health counselor.

For additional information about member support services, benefits and programs, please visit www.LouisianaHealthConnect.com.

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