Due to recent flooding affecting the state of Louisiana, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster for East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa parishes. Mike Steele, spokesman for the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness – “urges people to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary and to check with officials and official websites to see which roads have been closed due to flooding” – according to the Wall Street Journal.
Unfortunately, after a disaster, resources such as emergency managers, health professionals, and contractors are overwhelmed and inundated with work. Keeping this in mind - be sure to research all professional’s credentials before hiring them to conduct work on your behalf. It is too often that after a large disaster strikes, post-disaster scams become more prominent. To be sure you are protected, read our article on “Post-Disaster Scams: Don’t Suffer from the Same Disaster Twice.”
- For up to date road closures, visit the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) website:
- The Department of Children and Family Services encourages residents in declared disaster areas affected by the floods to pre-register for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits.
- For residents who need emergency shelter for their pets, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is available.
- For a comprehensive list of shelters open to the public for meals, housing, and emotional support, visit WDSU News website or WAFB’s website.
To help from afar:
- Salvation Army’s Gulf Coast fund – volunteer or donate as they provide “resources such as canteens (mobile feeding units), clean up and hygiene kits and sending support personnel to the affected areas.” – via CNN
- Operation Blessing Eternal – volunteer opportunities
- Volunteer Louisiana – volunteer opportunities
- The United Way of Southeast Louisiana – volunteer opportunities and taking donations
- Save the Children – Gulf Coast Floods Children’s Relief Fund – taking donations
For additional reading concerning your property damage insurance claim, check out:
- Commercial Flood Claims
- Residential Flood Claims
- “What to Expect Following a Disaster: Costs, Clean-Up and Coverages”
- “12 Ways to Reduce Water Damage”
- “Helping Children Understand and Cope With a Natural Disaster”
- “Four Signs You Need to Hire a Public Adjuster”
- “Preserving and Protecting Your Damaged Property: What are your responsibilities?”