By Catherine Zeilman

The Advocate

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Aerial photos of Grand Isle are seen on Monday, August 30, 2021 after Hurricane Ida moved through area. (Photo by Brett Duke, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)STAFF PHOTO BY BRETT DUKE

Louisiana residents whose homes have been affected by Hurricane Ida may qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

To get started, FEMA first urges residents to contact their insurance company and file a claim for disaster-caused damage. 

Assistance from FEMA will only provide “the basic needs to make a home safe, sanitary and functional,” the agency said in a fact sheet. Assistance doesn’t typically cover all damages.

FEMA will not pay for hotel costs for those who evacuated for the storm. The agency took to Twitter to address such rumors

To qualify for assistance, damage must be related to Hurricane Ida. 

How to apply

The fastest way to apply for FEMA assistance is through their website. Applications can also be made by phone at 1-800-621-3362, or on FEMA’s mobile app. 

Be sure to take photos of the damage and make a list of damaged or lost items before starting the application process.

Here’s what FEMA can help with:

Grants

Grants are only for expenses related to the hurricane. Recipients are asked to keep receipts for three years to show how the assistance is spent. 

Those who misuse the grants could be required to repay FEMA and become ineligible for FEMA assistance in the future. 

Loans

A resident may be given an application for a loan through the U.S. Small Business Association. Those who receive an application are asked to complete it even if they decide not to take it in order to be eligible for other FEMA programs. 

  • Homeowners may qualify for loans of up to $200,000 to repair or replace their residence.
  • Homeowners and renters may qualify for loans of up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.
  • Businesses of any size and most nonprofits may qualify for loans of up to $2 million for property damage.
  • Small businesses and most nonprofits may qualify for up to $2 million for working capital need, even if they had no property damage.

Businesses and residents can apply for grants online here.

For the latest information from FEMA and to learn more, click here.