WASHINGTON —The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending $7.4 million to Louisiana in Hurricane Isaac recovery funds to help impacted families with additional household and education needs and more.
The FEMA dollars are going to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services for a Disaster Case Management Program to aid Isaac victims.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., announced the new grant Tuesday and noted that she had pressed for such family assistance with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate.
“In the aftermath of a disaster, the closure of schools, hospitals, transportation systems, churches and community centers places a massive strain on the physical, mental, emotional and financial well-being of residents and families,” Landrieu said in the announcement. “The sort of individualized attention this program offers will help families navigate the various resources and services available to help get them back on their feet as they continue to recover from Hurricane Isaac.”
State Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier also praised the funds.
“The process is designed to get results by helping individuals navigate the services and resources available and provides accountability for identifying and coordinating services to address needs,” she said.
Before hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, there was no federal authority to fund disaster case management. Consequently, case management relied entirely upon donations and volunteers. Many of those affected found themselves in need of replacement housing, re-employment, and access to health care, child care and education services.
Case managers are expected to assess individual and family needs and connect people with the appropriate services both in the short and long term.
The program’s process involves assessing the hurricane victim’s verified disaster-caused unmet needs and developing a goal-oriented plan that outlines the steps necessary to achieve recovery. The program is then meant to coordinate information on available resources that match the disaster-caused needs and then monitor the progress toward reaching the recovery plan goals.