The water has been receding but the damage has been done as Louisiana residents begin to cope with the aftermath from the catastrophic flooding that has now left more than 95,000 residents seeking help from FEMA.
FEMA is looking at how to best maximize its resources to get people back into their homes and many residents feel the maximum payout of $33,000 FEMA hands out for flood damage is not nearly enough.
“FEMA wasn’t designed to be a fix all; it was really a safety net to get started. And knowing that, the amount of money is not going to make people whole, we are working closely with our partners at Housing and Urban Development, other volunteer groups that will be going in and providing assistance,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said during an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast.
Nearly $17 million has been approved to help survivors with temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and other serious disaster-related needs. However, some residents may feel frustrated with the Federal government because the funds FEMA is allocating might not simply be enough.
“We know that our programs don’t make people whole, but we are working to get people places to stay and start that recovery process. But this is really where it takes a lot of other agencies and resources to get people back into their homes,” he said.
Fugate said there is no substitution for insurance and it’s looking at other Federal programs such as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster loans to assist uninsured home owners and small businesses.
“That’s one of the things we really caution people about flood insurance. You may not live in an area that requires flood insurance, but if you are in an area that is of risk of flooding, your homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover it. The only thing that covers it is flood insurance and again that is your best defense,” Fugate told host Charles Payne.
According to the American Red Cross, the Louisiana flooding is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast in 2012.
FEMA’s assistant grants do not require any repayment while the SBA disaster loans are paid back with low interest over a period of time.
Fugate went on to say, “They [grants] are set to provide a level of assistance to start a recovery, but it will not make a full recovery.”