Parish residents now eligible for aid

Published 11:07 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2008

VIDALIA — Individuals in Concordia Parish are now eligible for federal disaster assistance for damage caused by Hurricane Gustav.

The federal assistance to repair or replace property that was damaged during the storm could come in the form of grants or loans.

The aid programs are not intended to replace all losses, but instead is to help return housing to a livable state.

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But before residents can apply for aid, they need to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

That way, when FEMA sets up a disaster recovery center in Concordia Parish, things will be streamlined, Concordia Parish Emergency Preparedness Director Morris White said.

“If they go ahead and register, they won’t be in the disaster recovery center but for a few minutes,” White said. “That way we can take a small disaster recovery center and handle twice as many people.”

Though he said he believes the parish will have a disaster recovery center, White said if FEMA elects not to set up a center in Concordia Parish, those residents applying for aid may utilize the centers in Natchez or Harrisonburg.

Residents of Concordia Parish can register for assistance online at or by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362).

Before registering, residents should have their own ready and — if applicable — their spouse’s Social Security number, the address and zip code of the damaged property, directions to the damaged property and telephone numbers where FEMA can reach the applicants ready.

The applicants should also have information about their private insurance policy, bank information to enable direct deposit and a current mailing address available.

The call takes approximately 20 minutes, and can be done in any language.

The deadline to file for individual assistance is Nov. 14.