By Bob Anderson
Florida Parishes bureau
September 19, 2012
The number of people registering for individual assistance grants in the wake of Hurricane Isaac continues to swell with 2,427 people from East Baton Rouge Parish now in the mix after the parish was added to the Federal Emergency Management Agency list Friday.
The heaviest concentration of residents seeking assistance still comes from those parishes hit by the storm surge from Isaac.
As of Monday morning, 2,591 people from Ascension Parish, 4,301 people from Livingston Parish and 8,522 from Tangipahoa Parish had registered for the federal disaster program that provides grants and loans to storm victims, FEMA spokeswoman Gina Cortez said.
So far, FEMA has approved the East Baton Rouge residents for about $270,000 in assistance, she said.
FEMA has approved Ascension residents for $1.1 million in assistance, Livingston residents for $4.6 million and Tangipahoa residents for $5.9 million in aid, Cortez said.
Smaller numbers of residents also have received help in St. Helena, East Feliciana and West Feliciana parishes, according to FEMA.
Some area residents have started to receive notices of ineligibility for disaster relief, but people need to read those letters completely because the reason for ineligibility might be something simple like not providing a piece of information or signing a document, FEMA spokesman Tom Pechal said.
Residents can seek help for such problems through the disaster recovery centers in their parishes, Pechal said.
People also can call the FEMA helpline at (800) 621-3362 for assistance if they receive a notice of ineligibility, according to a FEMA news release.
More than 178,500 Louisiana residents have registered with FEMA in the 21 parishes designated for individual assistance grants and have been approved for more than $100 million in assistance, according to FEMA.
The agency has made individual assistance available in Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.
Grants are available to help pay for emergency home repairs, temporary housing and serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance, according to FEMA.
The U.S. Small Business Administration also makes low- interest loans available to individuals and businesses struck by disaster.