As we continue to operate shelters, serve meals and provide critical relief supplies to support those affected by the devastating floods in Louisiana, the American Red Cross will begin helping residents start the recovery process by connecting them to services and resources they need, including the provision of limited financial assistance for those who qualify. This means talking with people individually, providing them an opportunity to share their needs with a trained Red Cross caseworker who coordinates follow-up services, and—for those who qualify—provide financial assistance.
The Red Cross strongly encourages those affected to register with FEMA. For those who do not qualify for federal disaster assistance, the Red Cross is able to provide limited financial assistance to help meet recovery needs. Red Cross financial assistance is available for Louisianans who meet both of the following criteria:
- They do not qualify for federal disaster assistance
- They have had major damage or their home has been destroyed
For those who qualify, the Red Cross will provide $125 per person. For example, a family of four will receive $500. This assistance can help families begin their recovery by providing funds which can be used for such needs as an apartment deposit, to buy clothes or food, or to cover immediate transportation expenses. Again, we urge people to apply to FEMA first for assistance as what the Red Cross provides is a relatively small amount compared to what is made available by the federal government.
We believe this casework support is the fastest, most efficient way to get a small amount of money into the hands of people who do not have access to federal aid. This assistance allows people to make decisions about their own needs. Expending these funds locally will also allow the community to begin recovering from the economic loss caused by the floods.
People who may be eligible for Red Cross financial assistance should register online at www.redcross.org/lafloodassistance or by calling 855-224-2490. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or require accessible communications may text 571-422-1144.
For those still in shelters, the Red Cross will help with the registration process. The Red Cross is also developing plans for those who are unable to register over the phone or online. After registering, the Red Cross will be in touch within approximately 48 to 72 hours. Caseworkers will verify each registrant’s information, and those eligible will receive $125 per person through a debit card or PayPal account. For those who do not qualify for Red Cross financial assistance, a Red Cross caseworker can still help to create a recovery plan and locate assistance from other agencies.