La. Closing Number of Disaster Recovery Centers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) are closing four Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Bogalusa (2/23), Reserve (2/24), Grand Lake (2/27), and Covington (3/1). Resources and personnel from these DRCs will be shifted to other sites throughout the state.

“These DRCs have served thousands of individuals in the last few months. As relief and recovery efforts continue in Louisiana , closing these DRCs will enable us to focus our resources to assist the maximum number of people,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Scott Wells.

Disaster victims in need of assistance may call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY)1-800-462-7585. After registering, individuals with questions will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists at any of the 21 DRCs in the state. Hours of operation at these locations are Mon. thru Sat. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is March 11, 2006.

“These DRCs have allowed communities that were affected by the disasters to discuss their disaster related needs and to obtain information about disaster assistance programs,” said State Coordinating Officer Jeff Smith.

Representatives of state, federal, and voluntary agencies, as well as customer service representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, will be on hand to answer questions and provide recovery information. No cash, checks, debit cards or vouchers are distributed at Disaster Recovery Centers. These centers are for the dissemination of information to assist in victim recovery. Written materials about various state and federal programs are also available to individuals and business owners.