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Disaster Assistance

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) serves as the Governor's Authorized Representative for disaster events and is responsible for coordinating resources for state and local governments, private non-profits and our Louisiana citizenry.

There are lots of things to think about when your family, pet or business is impacted by a natural or man-made disaster.  After a disaster, in returning home you are faced with the need to rebuild, cleanup, and seek financial and/or other assistance. The resources below provide you potential assistance opportunities.

How do I register for disaster assistance?

For information on how to register for Federal Disaster Assistance, click here.
  • If you need immediate housing, visit the Disaster Assistance.GOV Emergency Shelter page.
  • Learn about financial resources, including disaster assistance loans offered for homeowners and renters by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
DisasterAssistance.gov provides a one-stop shop website that list numerous disaster assistance resources.  To review and request assistance programs, please visit

Louisiana Disaster Specific Assistance Information

American Red Cross
Will provide shelter management (cots, blankets, food, water, hygiene items) for small numbers of individuals.

Relief items: comfort kits contain basic personal supplies needed in the aftermath of a disaster, such as toothbrush, deodorant and shampoo. Other relief items could include tarps, rakes, shovels and trash bags to help people clean up their homes and return to normalcy.

Faith Based Organizations
Will provide food, hygiene, clean up for small numbers of individuals. Contact local FBOs.

Local Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP)
Click here to contact your local OHSEP.  They may be aware of local initiatives within the parish.

A Presidential declaration opens the door for Federal assistance:
  • FEMA Public Assistance (PA)
  • FEMA Individual Assistance (IA)
  • Direct Federal Assistance (DFA) for other Federal support
Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs)
As requested by parishes, GOHSEP will initiate a PDA team to conduct an onsite assessment of parish damage and estimated cost. If GOHSEP estimates that the parish has met or close to reaching their threshold, we would then initiate the FEMA PDA team to conduct their assessment.

Public Assistance
The State must meet its threshold of $6,392,055 in damages in order to receive a Presidential declaration. The parish per captia is $3.57.Each parish (in addition to the State) must meet their threshold in order to be eligible for PA assistance.

Individual Assistance (IA) program

The IA program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and provides financial or direct assistance to individuals or families for temporary housing, the repair or replacement of their home, and the repair or replacement of certain personal property items not covered by insurance. Other expenses such as medical and dental expenses may be eligible, to view a more complete list please visit 0http://www.fema.gov/disaster-assistance-available-fema.  The maximum grant value per household for the IA program is currently $33,000.

In order to receive assistance, the household must be within a presidentially declared disaster area. The criteria to receive a disaster declaration for the IA program are subjective. The State, FEMA and the SBA will conduct preliminary damage assessments and a declaration request from the Governor must demonstrate that an effective response is beyond the capacity of the State and local government and a significant number (historically in excess of 75) of uninsured primary residences have sustained major damage or been destroyed.

Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA may provide low interest loans to businesses and individuals to repair or replace property that has been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. Renters and Homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 for clothing and other personal property. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition.  A number of other resources are described at the following link:  http://www.sba.gov/content/disaster-assistance.

To be eligible for SBA disaster assistance loans, you must be located in a declared disaster area. The process and determining criteria for a SBA disaster declaration are available at the link, How SBA disaster declarations are made (13 CFR 123.3).The basic criteria for a declaration include a request from the Governor and a total of at least 25 homes or businesses with uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of the estimated fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value, whichever is lower.

You can view the current Presidential-level and SBA agency-level disaster declarations for your area at the following link: http://www.sba.gov/content/current-disaster-declarations.

Interim Emergency Board (IEB)

The Interim Emergency Board (IEB) is responsible for obtaining funds or recommending that a state agency deficit spends its current year budget when an emergency situation arises between sessions of the legislature. The Board has no specific criteria or eligibility requirements. More information and applications are available at http://doa.louisiana.gov/ieb/Funding.htm.


  • Available to state or local government that does not have the ability to fund recovery for its cost share from a presidentially declared emergency or other emergency event. 
  • Requests for emergency appropriations include:
    • State agencies or State sponsored programs
    • Political subdivisions generated as a result of disaster situations (i.e., hurricane, flood, severe freezing, tornado, etc.)
  • Requests Submitted on the Board's official application form by: 
    • Head of a State department or educational management board
    • State legislator for a disaster situation application on behalf of a political subdivision

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