Disaster Recovery Center opens in Lake Charles

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Drive-thru Disaster Recovery Centers have opened in Louisiana.

Different from the standard in-person facility, the new feature of the centers is an easy and COVID-safe way for Hurricane Laura survivors to have documents scanned into their case file.

The drive-thru is staffed with FEMA personnel who are available to scan documents, assist with registration, and answer questions about disaster assistance programs.

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The center operates under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure visitors are safe. Masks or face coverings are required for entry and service. Survivors remain in their cars. A specialist wearing a face mask will receive documents through the window and return them.

No appointments are necessary. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The nearest center is at the Calcasieu Parish School Board office, 3310 Broad St. in Lake Charles.

Survivors do not need to visit a drive-thru center to apply or update their application. To ask individual questions or submit information:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.
  • Visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Download the FEMA app.

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 or follow the

FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.


What to expect after registration

Those who live in Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion, Vernon, or Winn Parish may be eligible for FEMA help.

Assistance provided by FEMA for homeowners and renters can include grants for rent and repairs to make their primary home habitable. It can also help other serious disaster-related needs like replacing essential household items, medical and dental expenses and funeral and burial costs.

Survivors should file an insurance claim at the same time as they apply to FEMA. If you have insurance, you must file a claim.

If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, contact FEMA by either going online to disasterassistance.gov, downloading the FEMA app or by calling the helpline.

Information that you need to have when you register includes:

  • Address of the damaged primary dwelling where the damage occurred
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account so FEMA can directly

transfer disaster assistance funds

  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses


Home inspections and COVID-19

If you reported that you cannot or may not be able to safely live in your home, it may be necessary for FEMA to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. Due to COVID-19, home inspections may be conducted remotely by phone.

For remote inspections, FEMA inspectors will contact you by phone to ask questions about the type and extent of damage sustained. Remote inspections provide a new way of evaluating damage — comparable to traditional, in-person inspections — and expedite the delivery of recovery assistance to survivors based on their eligibility.

If you had minimal damage and can live in your home, you will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection when applying to FEMA. If you find significant disaster-caused damage after you apply to FEMA, you can request an inspection.

Part of the FEMA disaster assistance registration process includes providing a call back phone number for FEMA to contact you to set up a home inspection for damages caused by the disaster and other helpline information.

Applicants using a relay service, such as your videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel, should provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.