President Donald Trump has approved Gov. John Bel Edwards’ request for federal assistance related to Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura. Gov. Edwards submitted the pre-landfall emergency declaration to the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday, August 22.
“I would like to thank President Trump for his quick approval of federal assistance for Louisiana and for pre-positioning FEMA assets and other federal support for our state during this unprecedented weather event,” Gov. Edwards said. “We’ve never seen two hurricanes hitting the same state back to back within 48 hours, as is anticipated in the coming days in Louisiana. At the same time, we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes the prospect of evacuations, search and rescue and mass sheltering complicated and difficult. We will work alongside our federal and local partners to manage this unique and challenging group of disasters.”
In his remarks this afternoon, the President discussed the declaration and federal preparations.
"I'm asking all Americans in the storm's path to follow the instructions of your state and local governments very closely. And I've approved emergency declarations for Puerto Rico and for Louisiana. FEMA is mobilized on the ground and is ready to help. They will be in there very quickly -- very, very quickly," the President said. "And I spoke to Governor John Bel Edwards also, of Louisiana, and I've informed him. And at his request, also, a major disaster declaration is signed and ready to go. We have everybody ready in Puerto Rico, the Gulf Coast, Louisiana, and also on the forest fires in California. So we have a great team. Unfortunately, we have some very, very powerful natural disasters."
FEMA is authorized to provide Public Assistance, Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support for the parishes of Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.
FEMA is also authorized to provide Public Assistance, Category B emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance for the parishes of Avoyelles, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, De Soto, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn.
Additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further evaluation.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will continue working with FEMA to ensure that reimbursement of other emergency costs will be approved as well as costs for other regions of the state should they be needed for this event.
Direct Federal Assistance (DFA)Gov. Edwards requested direct federal assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property. Examples of DFA include:
• United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – sandbags, self-contained pumps, damage assessment teams, power generation, technical assistance, mapping, GIS support.
• United States Coast Guard - air transportation assets, technical assistance, search and rescue operations.
• Civil Air Patrol - air assets.
• United States Fish and Wildlife Service - wildlife management assistance within the Atchafalaya basin and technical assistance.
• United States Department of Agriculture - crop damage assessment, livestock assistance, technical assistance, water management, and inundation mapping.
Note: Assistance involving other agencies may become necessary. This assistance is requested statewide.
Members of the public should monitor the news for weather updates and follow guidance from local officials about storm issues in the coming days. The Governor’s office will also share updates about severe weather and COVID-19 through its texting system. People may opt-in by texting LAGOV to 67283 and sign up for phone calls by going to Smart911 [gov.louisiana.gov].
Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Listen to conversations on all aspects of emergency management by downloading GOHSEP’s The Get A Game Plan Podcast. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type of emergency. You can download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org [gov.louisiana.gov].