Utility poles and damaged power lines line the streets following Hurricane Ida, a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds up to 150 MPH. IDA took out all eight main transmission lines feeding southeast Louisiana. As of Sept 15, 80,000 utility customers still do not have power.

Power Outages Persist Three Weeks after Landfall

Baton Rouge, LA. September 6, 2021. Residents who purchased or rented a generator or chainsaw following Hurricane Ida may qualify for reimbursement. Chainsaws and Generators purchased between August 26, 2021 and September 25, 2021 may apply for reimbursement through the disaster assistance program.

7 Hurricane Preparedness Steps You Must Know

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The category 4-5 storm destroyed local power distribution and transmission lines, leaving most of southeast Louisiana without power for more than a week. More than 1 million utility customers and up to three million people were left without power. Nearly three weeks later, eighty thousand Louisiana utility customers still don’t have power.

How to Use a Generator for Power During an Outage

Those utility customers may be eligible for reimbursement if they purchase a generator before September 25. According to a FEMA press release, survivors of Hurricane Ida may receive financial assistance through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.

  • Applicants must meet general eligibility requirements.
  • The home is the applicant’s primary residence and is located within a parish designated for the program. The following parishes are designated for assistance: The parishes are: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.
  • The generator was purchased or rented due to the disruption of electrical utility service caused by Hurricane Ida.
  • The applicant must have proof of purchase for any items submitted for reimbursement.

FEMA reimbursements include up to 250 dollars for chainsaws and 800 dollars for generators.

FEMA Recommends a Generator for Disaster Power Outages

Applying for Assistance

FEMA offers multiple avenues to apply for disaster assistance.

  • Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App. iPhone or Android
  • Call the FEMA Helpline: 800-621-3362 TTY:  800-462-7585 from 6 AM to 10 PM CDT. FEMA has multilingual operators available
  • Use the 711 or Video Relay Service by calling 800-621-3362

After applying, FEMA will send notification letters by U.S. Mail or by electronic correspondence that explain the next steps. If you reported that you cannot live in your home, a FEMA inspector will contact you by phone to schedule an inspection. Inspectors will not enter your home and will maintain social distance, assess the exterior, and confirm interior damage with you.

Portable Generator Safety Rules to Live By

FEMA has brochures to help with the Disaster Assistance Program.

Fact Sheet About FEMA Inspections

Steps After Applying for Assistance

Help After a Disaster – Available in 27 Languages

The Disaster Assistance Website has links to all currently active disasters in the United States, including Hurricane Ida for Louisiana, New Jersey, New York,  and Pennsylvania.