FEMA continues working with federal, state, local, tribal and non-governmental partners to support the needs of areas affected by Ida. As parts of the south begin their clean-up efforts, the storm continues tracking inland, bringing considerable heavy rain and flooding threats from the Tennessee and Ohio valleys into the central and southern Appalachians and mid-Atlantic through Wednesday.
Individuals who experienced damage and power loss should use extreme caution during the recovery phase. Areas inland will continue to experience dangerous weather conditions, so please be safe and pay attention to local emergency management officials.
“FEMA’s priorities are to support lifesaving and life-sustaining action. Put your health and safety first and be careful in areas with storm damage or flooding,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “If you evacuated, return only when officials say it is safe to do so.”
Federal actions to support areas affected by Hurricane Ida President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s approval of a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Louisiana on Aug. 29 is in addition to the Aug. 27 emergency declaration. The President approved Mississippi’s emergency declaration on Aug. 28. The declaration was amended to include all 84 counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Additional damage assessments are ongoing.
If you were impacted by Ida and have insurance, contact your insurance company and FEMA. You will need to provide your insurance claim information to FEMA to determine eligibility for federal assistance. FEMA cannot provide assistance for losses that are covered by insurance.
If you are in one of the parishes approved for individual assistance and do not have insurance, you can apply for disaster assistance and get referrals to local, state and federal agencies and voluntary organizations. The fastest way to apply is through DisasterAssistance.gov. You can also apply by calling 1-800-621-3362 or through the FEMA mobile app.
If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
Spanish-speakers can call or text the hotline and press “2” for bilingual support. Callers can also connect with counselors in over 100 other languages via 3rd-party interpretation services by indicating their preferred language to the responding counselor, who will connect to a live interpreter.
Deaf or hard of hearing American Sign Language users can contact the DDH through a direct videophone option via any videophone-enabled device and dialing 1-800-985-5990, or by selecting the “ASL Now” option on the DDH website at disasterdistress.samhsa.gov.
Visit Hurricane Ida | FEMA.gov for information and resources available for residents in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and other areas that may be affected by Ida. The page is available in French, Haitian Creole, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.
More than 1,300 FEMA employees are deployed to support Ida response and recovery efforts. There are seven FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected. Five are in Louisiana, and two are in Mississippi. Commodities, equipment and personnel are pre-positioned to assist, as needed.
Other resources available include:
Louisiana residents impacted by Hurricane Ida are getting tax deadline relief from the federal government.
Following the recent disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday (Aug. 31) an extension of the tax filing date to Jan. 3, 2022. The new deadline applies to the filing of various individual and business tax returns and to make tax payments, the IRS said.
The declaration applies to taxpayers who reside in or have a business within the declared disaster area. Certain deadlines that had been postponed to Aug. 26 because of the coronavirus pandemic are postponed through Jan. 3.
Qualifying individuals who already had received a tax-filing extension to Oct. 15 to file their 2020 returns now have until the Jan. 3 deadline.
The IRS said the Jan. 3 deadline applies to the quarterly estimated tax payment normally due on Sept. 15, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Nov. 1.
The extension also applies to tax-exempt organizations operating on a calendar-year basis that had a valid extension scheduled to run out Nov. 15.
The IRS said penalties on deposits due on or after Aug. 26 and before Sept. 10 will be abated as long as the tax deposits were made by Sept. 10.
The agency said the IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies the filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers outside the covered disaster area can call the IRS disaster hotline at (866) 562-5227 to request this tax relief.
How to help:
Funds: A monetary gift is the most efficient way to support our response to this emergency. Go to no-hunger.org to make a tax-deductible donation. Every $1 raised will help us provide 4 meals to someone impacted by this latest South Louisiana emergency. Click here to make a monetary donation
Food, water, disaster supplies: Donations of non-perishable food, especially proteins, are greatly appreciated. Bottled water and cleaning supplies will also be in high demand.
Donations can be dropped off at 700 Edwards Avenue in the Harahan/Elmwood area, or 215 E Pinhook Rd in Lafayette, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (And as long as weather permits, we will also have drop-off bins after-hours in front of our facility before Ida makes landfall.)
Volunteer: There are many volunteer opportunities following a disaster. The most important thing is to get pre-registered as a Second Harvest volunteer now, so that we will already have your contact information in our system. Register now at: no-hunger.org/volunteer
The LRA Office will remain closed through Tuesday, September 7. The power of Hurricane Ida and the slow movement had serious impact on our utility systems. Our office in Metairie is without power or water, so our staff is working remotely.
Our main number (504) 454-2277 has been forwarded, and the direct dial numbers are still in service. If you need to reach us, please consider email. Three major departments are listed below. Simply list whom you need to connect with, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate party.
From our Partners at the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute:
This newsletter comes to you via a cell phone attached to a solar-powered portable charger. It’s made its way to your inbox thanks to a shred of cell phone reception, since catastrophic damage to our electrical infrastructure means the entire city is without power, perhaps for weeks. Although New Orleans was spared the worst of the storm, many of our southeastern Louisiana neighbors have experienced grave tragedy and loss, and this is just the beginning of a long road ahead. 16 years after Katrina, our hearts ache for them.
That’s the bad news.
The good news: This is the first day of Louisiana’s recovery, and the power of this community will carry us all through. Shy of a few leaks, NOCHI is relatively unscathed, and we’re springing to action. Our friends at World Central Kitchen are stationed in our kitchens, working tirelessly to put together nourishing meals to share with our broader community.
If you’re wondering what you can do to help (thank you!), here are some very targeted requests:
We love you. We will get through this together. If you need anything at all, don’t hesitate to let us know.
Due to the expected landfall of Hurricane Ida and the projected impact (widespread power outages, accessibility and property damage), the LRA Office will be closed Monday, August 30. At this time, we hope to reopen on Tuesday and pray for everyone's safety during the next 24-48 hours. We continue to monitor this weather event and stand ready to assist with recovery.
Today, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association, and 50 other state restaurant association partners sent a letter to Congressional leadership sharing new national consumer confidence survey findings and urging swift replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Louisiana has more than 2,900 pending applications that total more than $600 million in stabilization funding that would be addressed by the $60 billion proposed replenishment bills.
The letter urges Congress to complete the mission of the RRF and provide adequate funds to replenish the program and offer relief for the applications still pending.
“There are thousands of Louisiana small business owners stuck in limbo waiting to find out if Congress will act to provide the stability they need to make it through this new pandemic threat and into the future,” said Stan Harris, LRA President and CEO. “The rise of coronavirus variants like delta threaten to push these restaurants closer to permanently closing their doors. It’s time for Congress to step in and fulfill the promise of the RRF.”
The National Restaurant Association survey found that nationally a majority of consumers have already changed their dining behavior, which is beginning to put acute pressure back on the restaurant industry. This faltering consumer confidence comes on top of restaurant labor costs at a 10-year high, increased food and supply prices, continued indoor capacity limits in 11 states, and crushing long-term debt loads for countless restaurant owners.
Specifically, the survey found:
“For an industry that requires a ‘full house’ every evening to make a profit, this is a dangerous trend,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “These changes indicate declining consumer confidence that will make it more difficult for most restaurant owners to maintain their delicate financial stability.”
Read the full letter here.
All Commercial Verification plans will be no-charge for two months upon signup due to new COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
VerifyYou™ Pro Verification Services
What This Means For Businesses
Thursday, August 12, the City of New Orleans announced that effective Aug. 16, proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test will be required to participate in activities with a higher risk of COVID transmission, including indoor dining and bars, indoor gyms and fitness, indoor entertainment, and large outdoor events. This is in addition to the indoor mask mandate and in an effort to curb the unprecedented level of hospitalizations statewide and the growing number of deaths due to the more contagious and more deadly Delta variant.
Anyone 12 years of age and older, including employees, must provide proof of at least one dose of an approved COVID vaccine or negative PCR test within 72 hours to access:
INDOOR ENTERTAINMENT & PERFORMANCE SPACES
LARGE OUTDOOR EVENTS
See the full guidelines at ready.nola.gov/restrictions. Window signs for businesses as well as a detailed handout on how to check for vaccination status and negative tests are also available on the website.
“As a trade association, the Louisiana Restaurant Association historically has objected to broad mandates on its member businesses especially those that add costs to their operations. We were the first business group to support Governor Edward’s mask mandate during the term of his current emergency order. It is a simple step and we hope it will have impact. We have supported vaccinations for Covid and participated in promotions with the Governor’s office and Alcohol and Tobacco Control to encourage them statewide.
During our recent discussions with Mayor Cantrell she commented about following the protocols New York City was implementing. We advised her that in this example the Mayor of New York City gave notice of this change on August 2nd with an effective target date of August 16th and a further delay of any enforcement until September 13th. Mayor Cantrell has skipped these steps and placed another mandate on our industry that begins on August 16th. There has been no data provided that validates the effectiveness of this mandate. Further our smaller restaurants, those with self- service, walk up or seated counters lack the staff during regular operations to manage this verification easily. The Mayor asks for the input from the hospitality industry and then declines to consider the information and feedback we share with her. Our industry has a long way to go to recover from the impact of Covid.
We would never object to any LRA member or private business choosing to establish policies for its business that are more restrictive than the current government orders. This is no different than a business’s right to set it days and hours of operations, wages, prices and menu offerings. That is a hallmark of the free enterprise system. If you believe requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test is in the best interest of your private business, that is your right. Once again, Mayor Cantrell has asked for feedback then proceeded to ignore it.”
Louisiana Restaurant Association