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How to apply for FEMA assistance after Hurricane Ida

FEMA's disaster assistance program could help cover temporary lodging if you can't stay at your home, as well as repair costs.

NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Ida has devastated communities across Southeast Louisiana, meaning many are looking for assistance in helping them recover now that the storm has passed. 

Here's how you can apply for that assistance.

First of all, begin cleaning up. As you do so, take photos of damage and repairs, plus any receipts you may get over the next few days as stores begin opening again with essential supplies. 

If you have renters or homeowners insurance, make a claim with them first. FEMA can't legally cover anything already covered under your current insurance. 

But if you don't have insurance or it won't cover all the damages, you can still look for aid from the federal government. 

The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting disasterassistance.gov/.

Because of poor cell service and power outages throughout the area, the website may not be the quickest way to apply. FEMA also operates an application line from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. 

To apply by phone, call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). 

Anybody looking to apply for FEMA assistance should have this information ready: 

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name

FEMA's disaster assistance program could help cover temporary lodging if you can't stay at your home, as well as repair costs.

Fitch Ratings Inc., one of the largest credit rating agencies in the U.S., believes the damage will total somewhere between $15 billion and $25 billion.