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FEMA reimburses generator, chainsaw costs, officials want you to know

“This storm and the resulting citywide power outage forced many residents to purchase a generator, regardless of whether it was within their budgets."

NEW ORLEANS — Pretty much every household needed to purchase an electric generator or a chainsaw in southeast Louisiana in the days since Hurricane Ida's 185 mph gusts and 150+ winds damaged or destroyed homes, businesses, and the power grid.

New Orleans officials want folks to know that FEMA is reimbursing people for the costs of generators and chainsaws, city councilman Jared Brossett said in a news release Tuesday.

“It is critical we get the word out to those who are putting the pieces back together,” Brossett said. “This storm and the resulting citywide power outage forced many residents to purchase a generator, regardless of whether it was within their budgets. This FEMA assistance is critical to allow working families all across the city to continue to recover.”

Most of Southeast Louisiana was left without power after Hurricane Ida made landfall, making it necessary for people to buy a generator to keep air conditioners running when heat indexes reached triple digits for days.

First estimates for power restoration said folks could be without power for nearly a month in the September heat.

Hurricane Ida's strong winds brought down more power lines than Katrina, Zeta and Delta combined. Those winds also uprooted trees that fell on homes or blocked roadways.

Folks interested in generator and/or chainsaw reimbursement from FEMA must first apply for assistance. They may do so by:

  • Visting DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Downloading the FEMA mobile app.
  • Calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).
  • Multilingual operators are available.
  • Lines are open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week.
  • Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362.

Applicants who purchase or rent a generator and/or chainsaw between August 26, 2021, and September 25, 2021, may be eligible to receive financial assistance for reimbursement if:

  1. The applicant meets the general eligibility requirements for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.
  2. The generator was purchased or rented due to a disruption in electrical utility service caused by Hurricane Ida.
  3. Proof-of-purchase or rental receipts for the items are submitted by the applicant.

FEMA may reimburse applicants up to $800 for generators and up to $250 for chainsaws.