Gov Edwards talked about DSNAP, shelters, generators and power outages during a press conference on Sunday afternoon about the state's response to Hurricane Laura recovery.
You can see the presser below.
"We have a long road ahead of us," the governor said. "This is going to take a tremendous team effort. A very significant portion of our state's population's lives are completely upside down today. I'm going to ask that we all do what we can to make our fellow citizens as comfortable as they can be in these circumstances, that we lift everyone up in prayer, and we make the best possible decisions. None of this is going to be easy."
The state has a website set up with information and links to resources. You can see it here.
DSNAP is not turned on anywhere. That usually happens about two weeks after the storm, meaning Louisiana hopes to have it by September 10, the governor said.
If you already get SNAP, you don't need to register. But if you don't, you can go to DCFS.la.gov/dsnap to pre-register. SNAP recipients will get their regular benefits early, he said.
The state is cross-referencing SNAP rolls with outage information to find people who are eligible, he said.
Louisiana is sheltering people who need it in hotels, the governor said. Many of them are in the New Orleans area. We're using hotels because of COVID, he explained. The reception center in Baton Rouge is closed, but a new one opened in Metairie, he said.
Also, a total of 5,875 people are sheltering in Texas hotels.
"We do want to thank the state of Texas for being a good neighbor to our people in need," he said. After Hurricane Harvey we sheltered about 3,000 Texans, he said, and Texas is returning the favor and then some.
Text LaShelter to 898211 to find more info on where to go if you need a shelter.
Sightseeing needs to stop, the governor said. If you don't need to be out on the roads where the damage is, don't, the governor said. Extra traffic makes it harder for people, work crews and utility workers to do their work, he said.
He added that volunteers are great, but don't just show up unannounced. Try to network with people in the affected area and ask what is really needed, he said. For instance, churches who want to help can call churches in affected areas for guidance, he said. You can also visit this website to find volunteer opportunities: https://volunteerlouisiana.gov/
More than 6,200 National Guard members are on the ground in Louisiana delivering food, water, ice and tarps. They're also working security missions, delivering generators and other duties, the governor said.
Crews are working across the state to restore power knocked out by Laura. We've gone from more than 600,000 outages to 368,000 outages.
All the state's electric providers are working with the help of out-of-state assistance, he said. For instance, Entergy has 13,000 people from 29 different states here, helping. Cleco has more than 2,600 people, co-operates have another 700 people, he said. More than 500 transmission towers are damaged or destroyed just in Lake Charles, he said.
The utility companies contract and arrange for out-of-state assistance, not the government.
Tony Robinson of FEMA said the first step is to file with your insurance if you have it. FEMA is focused on making your home safe, secure and livable. Insurance is the best way to go to make you whole, he explained.
If you're in a parish that has been declared a disaster area, you can file with FEMA now. Those parishes as of this evening are: Vernon, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes.
The governor also has asked for FEMA aid in another 17 parishes, but that request hasn't yet been approved. People who sustained losses in Hurricane Laura in the designated parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon parishes can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov [gov.louisiana.gov] or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
A live stream can also be viewed below:
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