BATON ROUGE, La. -- The American Red Cross is beginning recovery casework to help connect Louisiana flood survivors with the services and resources that will help them to get back on their feet. 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--support that will continue for the coming weeks.
“People in Louisiana are ready to take the next step, to try to get back to a normal life, to have a home again instead of staying in a shelter,” said Joshua Joachim, regional executive for the Louisiana Red Cross Region. “We encourage those affected to register immediately with FEMA for federal disaster assistance, which can be substantial. In addition, the Red Cross will make available trained caseworkers to help people locate other services and resources, and, if they qualify, limited financial assistance for immediate needs.”
“Red Cross financial assistance will be available to help those who don’t qualify for federal disaster assistance and who have had major damage to their homes,” said Harvey Johnson, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services. “We believe this is the fastest, most efficient way to get a small amount of money into the hands of people who can then make decisions about what is best for their families. Plus, spending these funds here in Louisiana will also allow local communities to begin to recover from the economic loss the flooding caused.”
Red Cross assistance will be available to those who meet both of the following criteria:
- They do not qualify for federal disaster assistance
- They 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.
If qualified, people will be eligible for $125 per person to support recovery efforts. For example, a family of four will receive $500. For those who do not qualify for financial assistance, Red Cross caseworkers can still help to create recovery plans and locate assistance from other agencies.
The Red Cross recognizes that each family and each community will have different needs and require different support. Red Cross financial assistance can help families begin their recovery by providing funds which can be used for such needs as an apartment deposit, to buy clothes or food, or to cover immediate transportation expenses.
“This historic flooding caused a wide range of needs, more than any one organization can meet on their own,” Joachim stated. “The Red Cross is only one part of the broader network of both government and community agencies helping Louisianans to recover. While we can’t meet every need, we can work with our partners to ensure that we do our part to keep people safe and comfortable during these trying times.”
The Red Cross casework and financial assistance is in addition to the round-the-clock disaster support volunteers have been providing since the flooding began. As of Saturday, September 3, the Red Cross and our partners have:
- Served more than 857,000 meals and snacks
- Distributed more than 541,000 relief items
- Provided more than 68,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters
- Handled more than 31,000 calls from people seeking help
- Provided nearly 29,000 health services and emotional support contacts
Register online at redcross.org/LAFloodAssistance or call 855-224-2490
(© 2016 WWL)