SATSUMA — Financial aid, food boxes, cleanup help and referrals for clothing, counseling and other needs are among the services being provided at a federal Disaster Recovery Center in Satsuma.
Nearly 3,000 Livingston Parish residents had registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance by close of business Thursday, spokeswoman Gina Cortez said.
Now residents also can sign up at the Disaster Recovery Center, open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 28975 S. Satsuma Road, Suite D, or by calling 1 (800) 621-FEMA, center manager Gary Grabow said.
Visitors to the recovery center can learn about the types of aid available, resolve any issues and check on the status of an application, Grabow said.
The U.S. Small Business Administration also has workers on hand to help residents apply for disaster assistance loans.
The low-interest, long-term loans are not just for business owners, SBA spokesman Michael Flores said. Homeowners and renters can apply for individual assistance, he said.
For property damage, the SBA offers loans of up to $200,000 for homeowners and up to $2 million for business owners, Flores said. Renters can receive up to $40,000 for the loss of their personal property, he said.
The SBA also offers economic injury disaster loans of up to $2 million for business owners who lose business due to the storm, Flores said.
The deadline to apply for a property damage loan is Oct. 30, Flores said. Economic injury loan applications will be accepted until May 29, 2013, he said.
In an adjacent suite, the American Red Cross, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Catholic Charities and Salvation Army are offering assistance as well.
Red Cross will refer residents to service providers who can help with food, clothing, repairs and counseling needs, Gina Troncone said.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has “chainsaw units” with members who can help residents remove debris from their property and “mud out” groups who will help gut and clean flooded houses, Bill Hollifield said.
The group also runs food services in several locations including LaPlace and New Orleans in conjunction with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army; has a network of volunteers for child care services in some areas; and offers laundry and shower units for evacuees and members of the National Guard and law enforcement at the Amvets Hall in Springfield, he said.
Outside the recovery center, Salvation Army volunteers have set up a truck to distribute food boxes and cleanup kits.
The organization also has distribution points set up in Head of Island and at Killian Town Hall, and the Denham Springs store is offering clothing, furniture and food boxes to those in need, Alma Kirkland said.
There are no qualification requirements or limit on the number of food boxes a family may receive, Kirkland said.
“People have enough stress right now without having to worry about qualifying,” she said. “Most people are just trying to get by, just trying to survive.”
The recovery center will remain operational until the state closes it down, Grabow said.
“We’re not just here for seven days and then gone,” Grabow said. “We’re here until the job is done.”
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