FEMA urges recipients of FEMA funds to use the money wisely

State urges people to pre-register for DSNAP
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Sheka Quinn placed flattened boxes in a vehicle outside a Wal-Mart in LaPlace. She is being forced to get a new address thanks to Hurricane Ida.

“So, I can move out because the area I was living in became a disastrous area, so I am just getting my boxes so I can pack up, start all over again,” said Quinn.

She is a renter. “It has to be gutted out and you know, they have to repair all the things. My ceiling caved in, in my bedroom,” said Quinn.

FEMA’s work is far from over in the New Orleans area following the catastrophic impact Ida had on southeast Louisiana.

John Mills is a FEMA spokesman.

“A lot of people are going through a lot right now; some people may just be returning home to see what’s left. We are encouraging people to stay in touch with FEMA, let us know the specific needs are at your home and what your needs are. If your home’s been destroyed be sure to tell us,” said Mills.

Quinn said she had already registered with FEMA.

“I’m just waiting to hear back to see exactly what’s going on,” she said.

Bailey Duxworth was in line to get into Wal-Mart. She said she has a resident who needs FEMA help so they applied for her.

“We tried; I don’t know what kind of coverage we’re going to get. Our handicapped aunt lives over in Kenner, her whole roof fell, so we’ve got to gut her house, so we applied with FEMA with them for her,” said Duxworth.

FEMA says if you receive federal funds from the agency use the money for the intended purpose.

“Spend it wisely, read any letter that you receive from FEMA carefully, it’ll explain what the money is for; it’s usually for basic home repairs, temporary rental assistance, or other serious needs that you have. Some people may receive a sizable amount of money,” said Mills.

In some cases, FEMA is doing home inspections.

“FEMA is issuing home inspections for people who are reporting serious damage to their primary residence that’s not covered by insurance. FEMA’s already completed about 63,000 home inspections so far and we’re planning to do more than 100,000 more home inspections and to approve additional assistance for people with serious needs not covered by insurance,” said Mills.

He said such inspections are a requirement.

“Those inspections are required to validate damage reports that people are calling in and reporting online but yes, it is possible that you will be contacted later if you received money from FEMA and asked how you spent the money. I would encourage people to hold on to their receipts, hold on to contractor estimates, hold on to all the documentation you have, hold on to all your insurance information and save in case FEMA asks for it later, if your insurance company asks for later,” said Mills.

And federal food assistance for low-to-moderate-income households is expected soon. The Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services says the state’s federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program request is in process and residents of parishes already approved for federal Individual Assistance due to Ida are encouraged to pre-register for DSNAP benefits.

DSNAP is for families who do not currently receive food stamps.

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