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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Daily Digest Bulletin

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
FEMA Advisory: Tropical Depression Laura Update (August 30, 2020)



Tropical Depression Laura 

President Trump visited Louisiana and Texas to survey damage and meet with the Governors and state and local leaders.

  • President Trump approved a major disaster declaration, providing assistance for disaster survivors in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes. That assistance can include grants, low-cost loans, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
    • If you live in the impacted parishes and your home is not safe, sanitary and functional due to damage from Hurricane Laura, the fastest and easiest way to get assistance is to apply online at
    • You can also use the FEMA app or call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585 to apply for disaster assistance and find referrals to other local, state, federal and voluntary organizations.
    • The Disaster Assistance line has received nearly 40,000 registrations for individual assistance.
    • The major disaster declaration is in addition to the emergency declarations for Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, to cover emergency actions taken by state, local and tribal officials.
  • Power and water restoration are priority efforts with over 350,000 Louisiana customers and 96,000 Texas customers without power.
    • The Louisiana Public Service Commission reports complete destruction of the power grid in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes.
    • Multiple public water systems are inoperable with over 200,000 customers without water and 385,000 under boil water orders
    • More than 50 Louisiana medical facilities remain on generator power.
    • Louisiana and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Power Restoration Teams are conducting assessments of critical infrastructure to include water/waste-water facilities. FEMA has 400 generators available for use if necessary and we are supporting state requests related to impacts of these power and water outages.
    • Over 23,000 utility workers from across the country as well as Canada are in the impacted areas and have restored nearly half of the electrical power outages caused by Hurricane Laura.
    • In Texas, most customers should be restored by late Sunday, though restoring power in the Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange area in Texas will extend into later next week due to heavy damage. In Arkansas, customers who lost power in hard-hit El Dorado, Magnolia and Warren counties should be restored by late Sunday.
    • Extensive damage is reported to almost every building/business in Calcasieu Parish in southwest Louisiana. Beauregard Parish also reported catastrophic damage with crippled infrastructure.  Multiple residential and commercial structures were damaged in Allen Parish.

Although the storm has passed, we still need everyone to stay focused on safety. 

  • Residents impacted by Laura should continue to follow guidance from officials in their area. 
    • Texas residents should visit to access emergency resources.
    • Louisiana and Arkansas residents should call 2-1-1 for to access available resources.
  • If you have been evacuated, do not return until local officials tell you it is safe to do so
  • Extreme heat is impacting Louisiana, Arkansas and parts of Texas. If you are outdoors, dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes. Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day and take frequent breaks. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty water. Know the signs of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do if you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms.
  • Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators, or removing debris. Never use generators indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water, and other hidden hazards. 
  • Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
  • When clearing debris from a property, make sure you know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent personal injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
  • Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Residents in Louisiana should call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
  • Response is a whole community effort; if it’s safe to do so, check on your neighbors. You may be the help they need right now.

Federal personnel and supplies were pre-positioned before the storm hit and we continue to move resources into the area to meet requests from state and local authorities. 

  • FEMA has over 500 personnel deployed in the field to support the response and recovery, including three regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) and National IMATs deployed to Louisiana.
  • Four Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams are conducting search and rescue and other missions in Louisiana and Texas. A US&R Incident Support Team is in Louisiana to coordinate with the state. 
  • Mobile disaster communications equipment is in Louisiana, supporting staging and command and control operations.
  • A Disaster Medical Assistance Team, logistics support and assessment team are in Lake Charles, Louisiana. A FEMA ambulance contract is active, and 50 ambulances began operations evacuating hospitals and providing other services. Additional air and ground ambulances have arrived and are ready to support.   
  • FEMA pre-positioned more than 3.5 million meals and 1.6 million liters of water into the area ahead of landfall.
  • Blue roof sheeting, infant toddler kits and generators are also pre-positioned at Camp Beauregard.
  • The American Red Cross has mobilized more than 900 trained disaster workers to support relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. As of Saturday night, more than 17,000 people were sheltered in emergency lodging. Evacuees who were in congregate shelters are being moved to non-congregate options to reduce COVID risks.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Temporary Emergency Power Teams, an Advanced Contract Initiative contractor and 249th Prime Power Battalion personnel, debris and temporary roofing subject matter experts are in Texas and Louisiana.
  • U.S. Coast Guard assets including rotary and fixed wing aircrafts, shallow watercrafts and supporting units in Alabama and Louisiana were readied before the storm and have provided reconnaissance and assessment overflights to assist in response.
  • Additional personnel from across the federal government, including the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy are deployed and available to provide support. 

How to help survivors and communities impacted by Hurricane Laura.

  • Recovery will take many years, and people can help by donating to or volunteering with the voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already areas impacted by Laura supporting survivors. Learn how to best help those in need.
  • Cash is the best donation. When people support voluntary organizations with financial contributions, it helps ensure a steady flow of important services to the people in need after a disaster. To find a reputable organization, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster Hurricane Laura Response page.

We are working closely with state, territorial, tribal and local partners to make sure we are considering impacts from COVID-19 in response and recovery actions.

  • Before hurricane season began, we shared Pandemic Operational Guidance, with our state, local, tribal and territorial partners and have been working closely with our partners
  • FEMA, other federal agencies, and the American Red Cross have modified policies and planning and have taken actions to ensure the federal government can respond to any disaster during our continued coronavirus response efforts.
  • FEMA expanded the capacity of its National Response Coordination Center, response centers around the country, and trained additional staff to be postured to respond to multiple on-going incidents.
  • To address COVID-19 sheltering needs, this year FEMA will now include reimbursement of costs to state and local governments for non-congregate emergency sheltering, such as hotel rooms. 
  • FEMA is also using technology to do virtual damage assessments and inspections in order to provide assistance while protecting health.
  • COVID-19 response funding has strengthened emergency preparedness for all threatened regions and will support safe response in a COVID-19 environment. 
  • While some aspects of program delivery may look different this year, our commitment to helping people before, during and after disaster remains our full focus and we are ready to deliver on our mission.

How to file a flood insurance claim.

  • Report your loss immediately to your insurance agent or carrier. Be sure to ask them about advance payments. If you need help finding your insurance agent or carrier, call the National Flood Insurance Program at 877-336-2627.
  • If you are able to safely return to your home, before you discard anything take as many photos and videos of your flood-damaged home and personal property as possible including flood water lines on the outside of the structure. For appliances and electronics, take a photograph of the make, model and serial number.
  • Learn more about starting your recovery with the National Flood Insurance Program at

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Helping people before, during, and after disasters.


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