USA: Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers open in Jena, Rayne and Jean Lafitte to assist residents

Release Date: October 24, 2008

Release Number: 1786-081

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) will visit Jena, Rayne and Jean Lafitte starting Monday, Oct. 27 to assist residents who had damage or losses from hurricanes Gustav and Ike, according to Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials. These MDRCs will close on Friday, Oct. 31, 2008 at the close of business. The hours of operation will be 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Disaster Recovery Center location and hours of operation:

LaSalle Parish
First Baptist Church Family Life Center
2725 East Oak Street
Jena, LA 71342

Acadia Parish
The Civic Center at Raynes-The Mural Room
110 Frog Festival Drive
Rayne, LA 70578

Jefferson Parish

The Lafitte Senior Citizen Center
4927 Treasurer Drive
Jean Lafitte, LA 70067

Additional Disaster Recovery Center locations will be announced in the coming days.

The Disaster Recovery Center in Port Sulphur will close on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. The mission of servicing individuals seeking disaster assistance from FEMA has been completed and staff will now locate to areas still in need of help.

Plaquemines Parish
St Patrick Church
28698 Hwy 23
Port Sulphur, LA 70083

Disaster Recovery Center staff can answer questions about registration for disaster assistance and hazard mitigation, help with disaster loan applications and provide information and contacts for other programs.

Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike are encouraged to register for assistance by calling the toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 1-800-462-7585) which is open 24 hours a day seven days a week. Applicants also may register on-line at

Residents are encouraged to register prior to visiting a Disaster Recovery Center.

Officials remind affected residents who have already filled out damage report forms with the state, parish emergency managers or voluntary agencies that they must register with FEMA at the above numbers or Web site to be considered for federal assistance.

All residents also are encouraged to get involved with the recovery process by helping spread the word about available assistance and the registration numbers.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) representatives at the Disaster Recovery Centers will meet individually with each applicant to provide assistance in completing his or her disaster loan application and to accept completed disaster loan applications. Returning the applications is an essential part of the disaster recovery process even for individuals who do not want a loan.

The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations for losses not fully covered by insurance. The SBA may loan up to $200,000 to repair or replace homes and up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Up to $2 million is available for uncompensated business disaster losses.

Residents and business owners can receive information about SBA disaster loans and help with the application process by calling the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or visiting the SBA Web site at

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.