On August 18, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to meet with state and local officials and to review and survey response and recovery efforts in areas affected by severe flooding. He was accompanied by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich.
“The federal government is here. We have been here. We will be here as long as it takes to help this community recover.”
Secretary Johnson met with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and members of the Governor’s cabinet team. U.S. Representatives Cedric Richmond and Garret Graves joined Secretary Johnson to view local shelters, meet with volunteers, and view damage.
Secretary Johnson visited the Lamar Dixon Displacement Shelter, operated by the Red Cross where workers are providing meals, safe sleeping arrangements, and emotional support to those with immediate, disaster-caused needs.
Secretary Johnson then traveled to Ascension to view areas impacted by widespread flooding caused by recent torrential rains. FEMA has been on the ground in the region since before the flooding began and continues to mobilize across the state to respond to emergency needs and to assist with recovery including getting people into temporary housing. Already more than 95,000 have registered for individual assistance. Over 22,000 have filed flood claims. FEMA has over 1,100 personnel on the ground, including 560 housing inspectors and hundreds more on the way. Over $16.7 million has already been approved for temporary housing, emergency repairs for disaster survivors.
In Baton Rouge, Secretary Johnson visited the Louisiana State Emergency Operations Center where he was briefed on flood recovery efforts and met with Operations Center personnel.
While at the Louisiana State Emergency Operations Center, Secretary Johnson participated in a press availability alongside Governor John Bel Edwards, Rep. Cedric Richmond, and CEO of the American Red Cross Gail McGovern. Secretary Johnson highlighted the ongoing relief efforts by FEMA and the U.S. Coast Guard in support of the state of Louisiana.
The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting air and surface rescue operations, which have thus far assisted more than 3,000 people, saved 245 lives, and 71 pets, and continues to actively support ground operations.
Residents and business owners who sustained disaster-related losses can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
“We are devoting a lot of resources and a lot of people to this effort and we pray for everyone here. God bless you.”