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Where to go, how to get help - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Where to go, how to get help

Posted: Updated:

We're putting together a list of locations and numbers to call for help. 

If you know of sources that aren't listed here, please email us at news@katctv.com and let us know about it. 

We will update this list as we get new information. 

*Everyone who has been affected by the flood should register immediately with FEMA, even if the parish you live in has not yet been "declared" as part of the damage area. To register, call 1-888-621-FEMA or log on to www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

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DISASTER ASSISTANCE: 

Businesses in all parishes that are covered by the FEMA declaration can apply for assistance from the Small Business Administration. 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are also available to Louisiana businesses and residents as a result of President Barack Obama's major disaster declaration. 

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

The SBA also offers low-interest, long-term loans to homeowners, renters and others - not just business owners - who may need assistance rebuilding or replacing belongings. 

For more information about SBA Disaster Loans, click here

ASSISTANCE FOR DEAF CITIZENS:

The Louisiana Commission for the Deaf is collaborating with the officers of the Louisiana Association of the Deaf and deaf organizations throughout Louisiana to ensure that people who are deaf and who have been displaced by the floods have communication access to all state and federal services.

At the following locations, people may utilize VRS/TRS (video relay service/telecommunication relay service) for communication access; apply for FEMA; file claims with insurance; and apply for Disaster Food Stamps (D-SNAP) and WIC. 

Baton Rouge: The Louisiana Association of the Deaf, 3112 Valley Creek, Suite E, Baton Rouge, LA  70808, Videophone: 225-341-6406

Lafayette: Affiliated Blind of Louisiana, 409 W. St. Mary, Lafayette, LA  70506, Videophone: 337-446-4648

FEMA registration information for those who use sign language for communication, click here

Free Emotional Support and Referral Services: UnitedHealth and Optum, the health benefits and services companies of UnitedHealth Group, is offering free emotional support and referral services to anyone affected by the recent flood.  You do not have to be covered by a UnitedHealthcare plan.

The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs, according to a news release. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Along with the toll-free help line, emotional-support resources and information are available online at www.liveandworkwell.com. 

Other serivces offered to members include:
Help Finding a Network Care Provider, Early Refills:  Plan participants who need help finding a care provider in the UnitedHealthcare network or obtaining early prescription refills can call customer care at the number located on the back of their medical ID cards. 

For plan participants who may have misplaced their medical ID card, call 866-633-2446, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (in the local time zone), Monday through Friday. People enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual health plans who have a smartphone can download the free Health4Me app, which provides instant access to their ID card, network care providers, their personal health benefits and more. The Health4Me app is available as a free download at the Apple iTunes App Store and the Android Market on Google Play.

FREE CHARGING, INTERNET AND CALLS

Verizon’s providing free service – data, text and voice to customers from August 14-28 – to its customers in certain Louisiana parishes. More details and the list of qualified parishes can be found here. It also should be noted that customers may receive usage alerts, but they can be ignored.

Verizon’s still offering help to all residents - regardless of carrier - free charging, free internet and free calls at the following area Verizon stores: 

  • Baton Rouge - 3131 College Dr; hours 10 am – 8 pm
  • Baton Rouge – 7415 Corporate Blvd; hours 10 am – 8 pm
  • New Iberia – 1104-E East Main St; hours 10 am – 7 pm
  • Lafayette – 3201 Louisiana Ave; hours 10 am – 7 pm

Hot meals for those in need: For a minimum of two weeks, a cooking team with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief will set up on The Bayou Church campus to cook up to 20,000 meals a day for relief efforts in Acadiana. In order to do this, they will need to occupy the full Ministry Center for their personal housing. 

"These are incredible times to put action to our faith," says Senior Pastor Mike Walker. "As followers of Jesus Christ, we desire to share hope, love and His Gospel with everyone."

YOUNGSVILLE ASSISTANCE

Atmos Energy will be serving brown bag lunches at Bead Busters on Bonin Road today (8/24/16) at 11 a.m. 

Tony Chachere's Famous Creole Cuisine will be serving lunch at City Hall in the parking lot today (8/24/16) at 11 a.m. 

Debris removal will resume Monday morning at 7 a.m. and will continue in Highland Ridge subdivision, Almonaster, Cane Wagon, Cane Derrick, Cane Field, Nicole, & Maureen Drives.  Debris pickup may also begin in Chelsi Meadows if time permits late Monday afternoon. Please keep the streets in these areas as clear as possible so that crews can have access.  Debris cannot be picked up if vehicles are blocking the property. For your safety please have patience with our crews and Youngsville Police as they block access to streets.  Traffic on Almonaster will be restricted while debris is being removed. Visibility is limited with equipment and heavy trucks.  

Youngsville residents will be requested to sign an electronic hold harmless agreement if there is a need to access debris on private property.  A majority of the homes in Highland Ridge subdivision will require access to private property. There are several options to submit this form: You can stop by City Hall; find them in Highland Ridge walking door-to-door; submit online via the following link here

IDs are being checked and must show you live in the city if Youngsville.

The City of Youngsville does not have anyone soliciting permits door to door.  If you see someone suspicious, please contact 911.  The Acadiana Homebuilders Association has provided an informative article on how to avoid scams post storm events: AHBA Scams & Suspicious Activity

Mayor Ritter and the City Council are waiving reconstruction permit fees for residents affected by the flooding until October 31, 2016.  Apply in person at City Hall at 305 Iberia Street. Regular business hours are Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Youngsville residents who are in need of clothes, cleaning supplies, baby items, or if you would like to volunteer, please stop by Bead Busters, 2034 Bonin Rd., in Youngsville from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. This location will be accepting donations and would like to request:

Cleaning supplies
Bleach
Water
Wipes
Diapers
Formula
Laundry detergent
Non perishable food items
Toilet paper
Paper towels
School supplies
Their supply is running low and they would like to restock. They have plenty of clothes for distribution and will not need any additional clothes at this time. 

Water bills are due August 27, but Mayor Ritter has announced that the city of Youngsville will extend the due date to September 15.

DISASTER ASSISTANCE WITH ANIMALS:

The ASPCA is working with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) to coordinate local resources required to rescue the large number of animals displaced by the flash floods. Residents who need assistance with recovering a pet from their home or emergency sheltering for their pets are encouraged to contact the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP). Residents can find contact information for their parish’s OHSEP office at http://gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.  

Animal assistance:

The Dog Stop, A locally owned Dog Care Facility here in Lafayette, is working as a Drop Off Location for Donations for Animals in our Acadiana that have been affected by the recent flooding. The Dog Stop is working with multiple shelters here in Acadiana and are requesting the following items: Puppy Dog Food, Adult Dog Food, Crates, Towels, Cleaning Supplies (such as bleach), Paper Towels, and Any Items that Pet Owners May Have that they no longer need. The Dog Stop is located on Pinhook between Verot School Road and Bonin Road at 103 Turn Row Lafayette, La 70508 and open from 7am-7pm Monday-Friday. ALL supplies that are donated will go to helping animals in OUR community that are affected. For more information, please call us at 337-628-BARK or visit our Facebook at The Dog Stop – Pinhook.

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INFO FOR MEDICAID PATIENTS

Due to the recent flooding, many Louisiana Medicaid recipients are in need of essential medications.

Patients in the affected areas may receive a one-time emergency prescription refill of up to a 30-day supply of a prescribed medication required for health maintenance of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.

Pharmacists may dispense medications even if the patient is not due for a medication refill at this time. Patients are encouraged to go to their regular pharmacy chain or to bring their empty prescription bottle to the nearest pharmacy.

Individuals with private health care coverage may also receive a one-time emergency refill for maintenance medication.  These individuals should contact their insurance carrier for assistance.

Patients may be responsible for their regular copays.

SEEK ASSISTANCE or VOLUNTEER/DONATE

In light of the recent events in Louisiana, Airbnb is waiving all service fees and enabling hosts to list for free. They have launched a disaster response page so landlords can easily connect with people in need of a place to stay. If someone chooses to open their rental properties at a no cost basis, they will still be protected under Airbnb's insurance policies, security measures, and host guarantees. Potential guests must request to stay in the space and landlords can decide whether or not to host them.

The Outreach Center's Lighthouse is open as an emergency shelter for women or women with children who are displaced from the flood and are finding themselves homeless and in need of longer term shelter.  People in need can call (337) 289-9141.

United Ways across Acadiana are accepting donations and volunteers to assist those impacted by flooding in the region.  
St. Landry-Evangeline United Way, United Way of Acadiana, United Way of Iberia and United Way of Southwest Louisiana have partnered to launch the Greater Acadiana United Way Disaster Fund. To donate, text keyword FLOOD2016 to 41444, visit each individual United Way web site or contact the individual United Way.

 United Ways are also working with Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to assess all other volunteer needs. Once those other volunteer have been identified, a United Way representative will contact registered volunteers with additional information. You can register to volunteer for emerging volunteer needs at www.unitedwayofacadiana.org .
 
For more information:
 
St. Landry-Evangeline United Way
337-942-7815
www.uwsle.org
 
United Way of Acadiana
337-233-8302
www.unitedwayofacadiana.org
 
United Way of Iberia
337-364-0424
www.unitedwayofiberia.org
 
United Way of Southwest Louisiana
337-433-1088
www.unitedwayswla.org

Second Harvest’s toll-free Helpline, 1-855-392-9338, is connecting individuals and families to their local food pantries and resources for additional assistance.  Online donations may be made securely online at www.no-hunger.org.  Every dollar donated helps Second Harvest provide three meals to families in need. Donations of nonperishable food items such as canned vegetables, fruit, and meats (tuna and chicken), soups and stews, beans and chili. Peanut butter, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal and shelf-stable milk are needed.  Cleaning supplies including bleach, disinfectants, gloves, sponges, trash bags, and scrub brushes are also needed to help residents with the cleanup of flooded homes.   Food and cleaning supply donations can be delivered to Second Harvest Food Bank from 7:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at two locations -- 700 Edwards Avenue in the Elmwood Warehouse District or Second Harvest’s Lafayette location at 215 E. Pinhook.

FoodNet is in need of donations of food and funds to replenish the food supply in our warehouse.  Donations may be dropped off at the FoodNet Food Bank warehouse at 217 Surrey St., Lafayette, LA on Mon., Wed., Thurs., or Fri. from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Food donations may also be dropped off in the Community Market Bins in local supermarkets: Adrien's, Albertson's on Johnston St., Albertson's at Congress & Amb. Caffery, Super 1 Foods on Amb. Caffery, Super 1 Fods on Evang. Thwy & Willow, Whole Foods Market and Champagne's Supermarket in the Oil Center.
Monetary Donations may be made by clicking here or by mail at FoodNet Food Bank, P. O. Box 53997, Lafayette, LA 70505.

Metro Life Church located at 3210 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy is accepting donations for flood victims and can also be contacted to send out Relief Teams. 

Coulee Croche Fire District 4, in St. Landry Parish  conducting a food drive for the flood victims to be delivered to the shelters in the area.
Drop off locations include Koles Crazy Cones in Cankton, The Little Cupcake Lady in Cankton, and the Fire Station on Hwy 93 in Cankton, across from St John Berchmans Catholic. They are accepting all non perishable food items, toiletries as well as also baby items such as cereal, baby formula and diapers. For more information, call the Fire Station (337)668- 4477 or The Little Cupcake  Lady (337)308-2351

Drop off donations at Acadiana Mall:  Acadiana Mall is accepting donations to help those affected by recent flooding.

“In the wake of the devastation surrounding Lafayette after the flooding, we were anxious to offer assistance to those who were affected,” stated Bryan LeBlanc, General Manager of Acadiana Mall. “Our office staff and retailers are reaching out in hopes of collecting items that have been lost,” he added.

Donations of cleaning supplies, baby items, non-perishable food items, toiletries, blankets and pillows can be delivered to one of the below locations.

  • Acadiana Mall Office - Monday - Friday (8:30am - 5pm)
  • Acadiana Mall Customer Service Center - Monday - Friday (noon-8pm), Saturday (10am-8pm) and Sunday (noon-6pm)
  • Buckle - Monday - Saturday (11am-7pm), Sunday (noon-6pm)
  • Gap - Monday - Saturday (10am-9pm) and Sunday (noon-6pm)

STATE AND FEDERAL ASSISTANCE 

Disaster Food Stamps:  FOR THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION ON FOOD STAMPS PLEASE CLICK HERE. 

DONATIONS: The United Way is accepting donations at its office at 215 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. No clothes are needed at this time. There is a high need for pillows, blankets, diapers, baby food and formula, toilet paper, bottled water and non-perishable food items. 

SUPPLIESThe Bayou Church is gathering a list of needs from those most affected by the flood. 

The church is accepting donations including bedding, diapers, clothing, canned goods, and wipes until 8 PM Sunday evening and from 8 AM-8 PM on Monday in the Kids Area of our Ministry Center (2234 Kaliste Saloom Road).

People who have suffered losses because of the flood also can stop by to get help at the church. 

SHELTER: Unity Events Center at 211 J.B. Road in Scott is accepting evacuees and donations. They have lots of room and can accept donations of clothing, food and personal items for people who are displaced by the floods. For information, call 981-8954. 

The American Red Cross – Acadiana Chapter  has established a temporary, emergency shelter at the Heymann Convention Center, located at 1373 S. College Rd., for Lafayette Parish residents who have been evacuated from their homes as a result of flooding. Citizens needing temporary housing at the shelter should provide a state-issued ID to show proof of residence within Lafayette Parish. 

Anyone evacuating to the shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family, as possible:

Local hotels are offering special weekend rates for those affected by flooding. For the most up-to-date listing of hotel rates and availability, visitwww.lafayettetravel.com/hotels/specials  The American Red Cross also reminds homeowners to check with their insurance agent to determine if they are covered for emergency housing. These hotel charges could be reimbursable.

SHELTER: A shelter at the Unity Events Center in Scott is accepting donations and flood victims who need help.

Spokeswoman Loretta Perrot said the facility is very large and donations of clothing, personal items, blankets, food, etc., are welcome. 

The facility is located at 211 J.B. Road in Scott. For more information, call the Center at 981-8954.

In Lafayette, United Way of Acadiana is managing volunteer and donation efforts to match needs with available resources. Visit www.unitedwayofacadiana.org for more information about relief and recovery efforts.

As residents begin to return to their homes, LCG recommends the following ways to stay safe and optimize the efficiency of utilities during this time:

  • If your home was flooded or flood waters were close to the home, use caution when reentering. Turn the electricity and gas off before returning into the home, and do not use any electronic appliances which may have been submerged until they have been dried.
  • If any structural concerns are suspected, as is often the case when waters rise, residents are advised not to enter the home until a licensed professional has assisted in a home inspection.

Individuals able to return home may be interested in beginning the process of assessing the damage to property.

Residents should also make contact with their insurance provider as soon as possible and follow all instructions from the carrier to ensure full compliance with their procedures.

Residents are encouraged to take photographs of all damage to property as well as keep receipts for any expenditures.

As cleanup begins, residents are asked to keep debris, including furniture, appliances and construction materials, out of ditches as waters may rise again over the next few days. More information about debris pick up will be coming in the next few days.

Parish officials urge all residents against sharing any personal details, including social security numbers, with individuals claiming to represent FEMA or other federal, state or local agencies.

FEMA has not yet issued a disaster declaration for the Lafayette area. Should this rain event qualify for such a declaration, FEMA will then establish a process, including a phone number to call, for those affected to make a claim. LCG will disseminate any information on FEMA claims when it becomes available.

If a FEMA declaration is made, parish officials will be prepared to open up a Disaster Recovery Center to assist in the claims process.

ACADIA PARISH:

An American Red Cross shelter has been set up at the International Rice Festival Building for those displaced by the flooding in Crowley.
 
Those coming to the shelter are to bring clothes for possibly 2-3 day stay, pillows and blankets, medicines and diabetic supplies, toiletry items, diapers, wipes and formula if you have infants, snacks, playing cards, board games and the like.
 
Also, no pets will be allowed in the shelter.
 If you need to be transported, call either Crowley Police Department at 783-1234 or Crowley City Hall at 783-0824.

IBERIA PARISH

SHELTER: The Red Cross shelter is still open at Cyr­-Gates Recreational Center in New Iberia's City Park. Anyone needing evacuation to the shelter or assistance leaving their homes should call 911. 

VERMILION PARISH

SHELTER: A. A. Comeaux Park is the only shelter that remains open in the parish.  The shelter in Kaplan at Rene Rost Elementary is now closed.  All evacuees will be sent to A. A. Comeaux Park.

The shelter is in need of donations of non-perishable food items and bottled water. To get to the shelter, a truck is required because of water. To get to Abbeville, La. 14 is passable, but only by truck. If anyone has donations but can't get to the shelter to drop them off, they should call 898-4308.

OEP leaders urge evacuees to wait until law enforcement officials say it's safe to return to their homes before they do return.

ST. LANDRY PARISH

The St. Landry Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness is asking any resident of St. Landry Parish that experienced damages from flooding to their residence on August 12-14, 2016, please call damage information to St. Landry Parish Government at (337) 948-3688, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9 am to 4 pm.

The information collected will be used for assessing damages sustained to residential dwellings.   

SHELTERS STATEWIDE: To see updated lists of shelters across south Louisiana, click here

 TAX EXTENSION: A one-month filing and payment extension is available to Louisiana taxpayers affected by recent severe storms and flooding.

The extension applies to Louisiana tax returns and payments due August 15, 2016. The extended deadline is September 15, 2016.

For returns and payments submitted by the extended deadline, the Louisiana Department of Revenue will waive any late filing penalties, late payment penalties and interest that would otherwise apply.

UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE 

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is accepting applications for DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE from residents and businesses in the following parishes until the deadline of September 15, 2016: East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Acadia, Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry and Vermilion.

Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by established deadlines. DUA is available to those who:

  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income; 
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster or
  • Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.

Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause. Applicants must submit their Social Security number, check stubs and documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the DUA application is filed.

DUA is available from weeks of unemployment beginning August 14, 2016 and up to February 18, 2017, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster.

To file for DUA, applicants should apply online by visiting www.laworks.net and filing an application through the LWC’s HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) portal or by calling the Benefits Analysis Team at 1-866-783-5567 Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT. Due to high call volume at this time, applicants are encouraged to try the online method first. Additional information is available at www.laworks.net.

USDA Offers Flood Impacted Louisiana Farmers and Ranchers Immediate Disaster Assistance

FSA offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following floods or similar qualifying natural disasters. Available programs and loans include:

Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) - provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters (includes native grass for grazing). Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2016 crops.

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) - offers payments to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible losses may include those determined by FSA to have been caused by hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, tropical storms, tornadoes lightening, extreme heat, and extreme cold. Producers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.

Tree Assistance Program (TAP) – provides assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers for qualifying tree, shrub and vine losses due to natural disaster. 

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) - provides emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, which are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs. ELAP covers physically damaged or destroyed livestock feed that was purchased or mechanically harvested forage or feedstuffs intended for use as feed for the producer's eligible livestock. In order to be considered eligible, harvested forage must be baled; forage that is only cut, raked or windrowed is not eligible. Producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent.

ELAP also covers up to 150 lost grazing days in instances when a producer has been forced to remove livestock from a grazing pasture due to floodwaters.

For beekeepers, ELAP covers beehive losses (the physical structure) in instances where the hive has been destroyed by a natural disaster including flooding, high winds and tornadoes.

Emergency Loan Program – Available to producers with agriculture operations located in a county under a primary or contiguousSecretarial Disaster designation. These low interest loans help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding.

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate land severely damaged by natural disasters; includes fence loss.

HayNet - is an Internet-based Hay and Grazing Net Ad Service allowing farmers and ranchers to share 'Need Hay' ads and 'Have Hay' ads online. Farmers also can use another feature to post advertisements for grazing land, specifically ads announcing the availability of grazing land or ads requesting a need for land to graze. www.fsa.usda.gov/haynet.

To establish or retain FSA program eligibility, farmers and ranchers must report prevented planting and failed acres (crops and grasses). Prevented planting acreage must be reported on Form FSA-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA).

For more information on disaster assistance programs and loans visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ or contact your local FSA Office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov

SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE 

The U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network today announced that Business Recovery Centers will open in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Baker, Prairieville and Amite to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by recent flooding. A sixth center, in Walker, began serving businesses in Livingston Parish and neighboring areas on Thursday.

LED is providing a complete resource guide for flood assistance at OpportunityLouisiana.com.

The new Business Recovery Centers will be open at the following locations and times:

  • Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane (near Interstate 12), Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Lafayette: Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) Executive Conference Room, 537 Cajundome Blvd., Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Baker: Baker Workforce Development Center, 3262 Baker Blvd., Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Prairieville: BancorpSouth Bank, 13423 Louisiana 73, Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Amite: Amite Chamber of Commerce, 101 SE Central Ave., Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
  • The Amite center will open for the first time Saturday, Aug. 20, at 9 a.m. The other four new centers will begin operations Monday.
  • The Livingston Parish facility, which began operations Thursday, is located at the Southeastern Louisiana University Literacy and Technology Center, Room 101, 9261 Florida Blvd. in Walker. It is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

SBA wants to provide every available service to help businesses in Louisiana get up and running again following the severe property damage and economic losses inflicted by the flooding, SBA’s Louisiana District Director Michael Ricks said. The centers provide a one-stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help.

No appointment is necessary, and all services are provided free of charge. Specialists from SBA and LSBDC will be available to meet individually with each business owner; the SBA representatives can explain how an SBA disaster loan can help finance their recovery and guide the business owner through the application process. 

LSBDC consultants at the center will provide counseling on a wide variety of matters designed to help small business owners re-establish their operations, overcome the effects of the disaster and plan for their future, LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said. Services include assessing business economic injury, evaluating the business’s strength, cash flow projections and, most importantly, a review of all options to ensure each business makes decisions that are appropriate for its situation.

Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. These loans cover losses that are not fully covered by insurance or other recoveries. 

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Business owners may also apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or get help from SBA representatives at any disaster recovery center in Louisiana. Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877 8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET HOME: 

For tips on filing claims from the National Flood Insurance Program, click here

The NFIP advises that anyone suffering damage do the following: 

  • If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.
  • Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
  • Take photos of any floodwater in your home and save any damaged personal property.
  • Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.
  • Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
  • Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe.
  • Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
  • Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.

TIPS FROM ACADIAN HOME BUILDER'S ASSOCIATION

The clean-up process is underway for many families through Acadiana tonight. For some it may be overwhelming and they may not know where to start.

Dave Anderson with Acadian Home Builder's Association said when re-entering a home that took on water, be careful because the floor may be slippery and contents inside the home may have shifted.

Anderson said the first step is drying out the home. He said to turn on the fans, air conditioner and dehumidifiers, if you have them.

"Getting all the material off the floor that they can off the floors out," Anderson said. "Try to salvage what they can. Try to get the carpet out of the house."

Anderson said the rule of thumb when it comes to sheet rock is that it needs to be cut out about six inches above where the water line was and remove the insulation.

"They forget that cabinets that are on the exterior walls that there is trapped moisture in those walls behind the cabinets," Anderson said. "Somehow or another you've got to get those cabinets out or open those areas up in those confined spaces to get that moisture or that wet insulation out of there or you'll have an issue with mold later."

Anderson suggests hiring a professional to help you out in the restoration process. He said many of them deal with these situations all the time.  

"All the homes can be restored to its previous way they were," Anderson said. "It just takes time. Unfortunately there's so many people in this same shape it's going to take time with the resources we have here in Lafayette."

The Acadian Home Builder's Association has a list of trusted contractors listed on their website. They also have more information on how to get a professional to come out and give free advice on where to go next in your clean-up process.  

HOW TO STABILIZE YOUR WATER DAMAGED FURNITURE

Here are some tips for folks who have water-damaged furniture from George Parker, owner/operator of Parker Woodworks, a full service professional furniture restoration shop in Lafayette.

1) Assess the construction of each piece of furniture. 
a) Particleboard furniture will not be worth the restoration efforts as the particleboard will break apart once it is dried, and can hold mold and mildew giving way to a possible health hazard.
b) Hard wood furniture can withstand these harsh conditions, and in most cases, can be restored back to pre-flood condition if treated properly immediately after being under water
2) Once you have determined that your furniture is hardwood in construction, please follow these steps to stabilize the furniture during the times you will be focusing your attention on your homes structure.
a) Using a garden hose, wash away all of the sediment that has settled on the furniture. If it is a cabinet piece with drawers, attempt to remove the drawers and the contents. If the drawers are stuck, you may need to remove the back of the cabinet in order to push the drawer box out, causing the least damage to the drawer box. Once you have removed the contents and the drawers, you may then rinse out the piece and the drawers as much as possible. In order to prevent or kill mold or mildew, you may use a spray bottle and mix of 10% Clorox, and 90% water, allows it to soak in, and then rinse with fresh water. Remember, it has already been wet, so you will not hurt it further. You may also remove any hardware like drawer pulls or hinges to prevent rust from staining the wood. This also gives you a chance to dry the hardware and save it for use after restoration of the finish.
b) Once you have washed away sediment and the like, you will want to air dry the piece. DO NOT USE THE SUN TO DRY WET FURNITURE!! If you have power, you can use fans to dry the piece in the carport, garage or other shaded area. Sun drying wood will cause the individual components to warp, twist or crack, making restoration efforts more complicated, and time consuming. If you are without power, which is likely, then please air dry your furniture in the same shaded areas. Placing it away from the house in the shaded area of the yard will give way to more air circulation, being sure to avoid direct sunlight. 
c) Once the furniture is dry, you may want to secure a climate controlled storage locker, to store your furniture while focusing your efforts on restoring your homes structure. This will be a good time to contact a reputable furniture refinishing or restoration shop, for damage assessment, and the cost to refinish or restore your valued pieces.
3) There is hope for your water damaged furniture, so in your stressed state of mind, please do not discard your cherished heirloom pieces without careful consideration to keeping these pieces and having them restored.
4) Lastly and very important: Do not place you furniture near the road at any time if you wish to keep it. Salvage people will likely be coming to the area to confiscate discarded furniture to sell at a future date. Only place near the road if you think you will not want it later. Many people discarded furniture following the 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita, only to regret it later.

For questions about stabilizing or restoring your heirloom furniture or antiques, call Parker WoodWords M-F, 8am-4:30pm at 337-232-0306, or visit the website here

The Picard Center is now accepting donations of gently-used or new children's books and toys for children who lost these things in the recent flood . If you have a surplus of books and/or toys you would like to donate to families in need, drop off your donations at the Picard Center, 200 E. Devalcourt St., Lafayette, LA 70506. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Contact Megan Bergeron (482-0505) or Chelsea Comeaux (482-1557) if no one is at the front desk to accept your donations. Here is more information regarding their donations drop-off.  https://www.facebook.com/picardcenter/photos/a.759607664143441.1073741828.754826521288222/880905378680335/

The Bridge Fellowship Church, 2005 Rees St., Breaux Bridge 70517 is accepting donations for flood victims. For more information call Pastor Rodney Chitwood 337-344-7257. The church is accepting cleaning supplies, baby supplies, water, blankets, toiletries, non-perishable food, etc. Hours of operations: Mon. - Friday 8 am - 5 pm.

Faculty, staff and students at of Our Lady of Fatima School are hosting a drive for flood victims "Fatima Peacemakers:  Providing Prayer Packages of Peace" beginning Monday, August 22 through Friday, August 26, 2016.  Please see the attached flyer for detailed information.  These items will be distributed to needy families in our community. 

These are the items being collected:

 Cleaning Supplies:
• Scrub Brushes
• Sponges
• Scouring Pads
• Heavy Duty Trash Bags
• Dust Masks
• Rubber Gloves

Toiletries:
• Shampoo
• Soap
• Deodorant
• Toilet Paper
• Toothbrushes
• Toothpaste
 


 

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