FEMA official: Unprecedented Louisiana flooding affecting many uninsured, but federal help available _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Governor John Bel Edwards, front left, talks about the meeting to discuss the recent severe weather and flooding in Louisiana with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, front right, at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). Watching, background from left, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, LA GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom and LSP Major Doug Cain.

Residents affected by recent flooding can apply for assistance from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Applications will be accepted in three phases.

DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster, a news release said.

With DSNAP phase one underway, phase two will be from Aug. 29-Sept. 3 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Acadia and Lafayette parishes. DSNAP phase three is Sept. 5-10 for Avoyelles, Evangeline, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, St. Martin, Washington and West Feliciana parishes.

Acadia Parish: City of Rayne Civic Center, 300 Frog Festival Drive, Rayne

Ascension Parish: amar Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Avenue, Gonzales

East Baton Rouge Parish

-- Council on Aging Capital City Event Center, 6955 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge

-- F. G. Clark Activity Center, 798 Harding Blvd, Baton Rouge

-- Gloryland Baptist Church, 6745 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge

-- Louisiana Leadership Institute, 5763 Hooper Road, Baton Rouge

Lafayette Parish: Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston Street, Lafayette

To minimize wait times, applicants and anyone who pre-registered for benefits must go to the DSNAP location on the day indicated by the first letter of their last name.

-- Monday, Aug. 29: A-D

-- Tuesday, Aug. 30: E-K

-- Wednesday, Aug. 31: L-R

-- Thursday, Sept. 1: S-Z

-- Friday, Sept. 2: A-K applicants unable to make prior scheduled day

-- Saturday, Sept. 3: L-Z applicants unable to make prior scheduled day

The following locations will be open Aug. 22-27 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for residents living in the following parishes and ZIP codes:

-- East Feliciana Parish: Residents in all zip codes should report to the Early Learning Center, 9414 La. 67 (Plank Road), Clinton

-- Iberia Parish: Residents in 70518, 70518, 70528, 70552, 70560, 70563, 70582 and 70592, South LA Community College, 908 Ember Drive, New Iberia

-- Livingston Parish: Residents in all ZIP codes should report to Amvets Post 68, 26890 La. 42, Springfield, or Judson Baptist Church, 32470 Walker Road North, Walker

-- Pointe Coupee Parish: Residents living in ZIP codes 70749, 70755, 70756, 70757, 70760, 70762 and 70783, Pointe Coupee Multi-Use Facility, 1400 Major Parkway, New Roads

-- St. Helena Parish: Residents in all ZIP codes should report to Greater Turner Chapel AME, 875 Turner Chapel Road, Greensburg

-- St. Landry Parish: Residents in all zip codes should report to Southeast Community Center, 101 City Ave., Eunice, or Yambilee Building, 1939 W. Landry St., Opelousas

-- Tangipahoa Parish: Residents in all zip codes report to Eagle Heights Community Church, 47318 Rufus Bankston Road, Tickfaw

-- Vermilion Parish: Residents in all zip codes report to First Baptist Church, 210 N. St. Charles St., Abbeville

Applicants will be served on a staggered alphabetical schedule, and to minimize wait times, applicants and anyone who pre-registered for benefits should go to a DSNAP location only on one of the days indicated by the first letter of their last name.

Residents unable to visit a site on their designated day should go on one of the final days specified.

For the above locations, applicants should go on the following days based on their last name: Thursday, S-Z; Friday, A-K applicants unable to make a prior scheduled day; and Saturday, L-Z applicants unable to make prior scheduled day.

Those applying for DSNAP benefits must go to a specified DSNAP site for the parish where they resided during flooding to apply and receive benefits, if eligible.

Applicants can name an authorized representative to go to a DSNAP site on their behalf, however, authorized persons must bring a picture identification and the picture ID of the applicant along with a signed statement from the applicant, head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative, the release said.

Accommodations will be made for the elderly and those with disabilities to reduce on-site wait times.

Regular SNAP households do not need to apply for DSNAP. Impacted households that receive regular SNAP benefits in the DSNAP parishes will have additional SNAP benefits added to their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards if they are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size, the news release said.

To help expedite the application process, DCFS is encouraging residents in all affected areas to pre-register for DSNAP benefits. Pre-registration is not an application for DSNAP, and residents will need to visit dcfs.la.gov/preregister.

Flood victims may also register by phone at (888) LAHELP-U (888 524-3578). The call center’s hours have been from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Friday. Hours for Saturday and Sunday are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Callers must select options 3 and 3, and all pre-registrants will have to provide the following information: name; Social Security number; date of birth for each household member; current address and parish of household; monthly income for each household member; and all liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings).

The pre-registration process does not guarantee benefits but is designed to save time, minimize long waits and prevent applicants from coming to the site, only to find out that they do not have the right information needed to apply.