Hurricane Relief Updates

Interested in volunteering in southwest Louisiana?

Hurricanes Laura and Delta devastated southwest Louisiana in the fall of 2020. Many households sustained additional damage during a severe winter storm in February 2021. Volunteer teams will primarily be painting and repairing siding, windows, and doors, as well as replacing drywall, insulation, and flooring. Our local construction partner, Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders, has reserved the first week of each month for Disciples of Christ mission teams, and we currently have many spots available. Teams (16 people max) will stay at the Celebration Worship Center in Sulphur, LA. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age; those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A $100 registration fee covers room and board, including breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Week of Compassion Mission Station Volunteer Grants are available if assistance is needed with registration costs.

Interested groups should call or email Caroline Hamilton-Arnold with their group size and preferred dates, to receive a registration form.

Email:  Phone: 203.772.8597

Hurricane Zeta

If you’ve been affected by Hurricane Zeta and need help please contact Rev. Caroline Hamilton-Arnold at 203.772.8597.

From FEMA: Richard Elliott Morris Voluntary Agency Group (VAL) Supervisor | DR-4559-LA

• Total number of FEMA IA Registrations for Hurricane Laura is 184,372. Deadline to register is 10/27/2020

• Local and state officials continue assessing damages from Hurricane Delta. Survivors are encouraged to self-report their damages to the state by visiting: Any determination for federal assistance due to damages from Delta will be made after damage assessments are completed by local and state officials

• If survivors have new or additional damages to their homes, they should take photos, document damage and be prepared to report the information to their insurance company and their local emergency management office

• FEMA received Federal Emergency Declaration (EM) which is for reimbursement for eligible emergency protective measures

• Drive thru-DRCs in Alexandria, Dry Prong, Leesville, Many, Jena and Rayne opened and DRCs in Lake Charles and Sulphur opened today. Centers in Beauregard and Cameron Parishes will re-open on 10/13. A center will also open in Lincoln Parish in Ruston on 10/14. As conditions allow, other facilities will be reopening as well. For information go to DRC Locator:

• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) re-instated signups for Operation Blue Roof for Cameron, Calcasieu, Vernon, Jefferson Davis, Beauregard, and Allen Parishes through 10/24. A new reinitiated right of entry (ROE) will be required for homes with previously installed temporary roofs after Hurricane Laura, and sustained damages from Hurricane Delta. Also, homeowners within the six eligible parishes may apply, even if there was not temporary roofing installed following Hurricane Laura. Call 888-roof-blu, 888-766-3258 or visit

• Any non-profits or VOADs wishing to obtain blue plastic sheeting from USACE – please get with offline for further coordination with USACE to get those materials.

• To differentiate damages between Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta, aerial imagery taken after Laura will be compared new imagery after Hurricane Delta. This will be more for the harder hit areas. Silver lining is Delta was more flooding versus wind.

• Evacuees in New Orleans will be scheduled for appointment to meet with FEMA IA Staff and other partners. FEMA VALs will be in attendance to provide resources for unmet needs and collaborate with any NGOs or VOAD agencies. The same will happen at Mega Shelter in Alexandria

Resources for Individuals and Congregation from Week of Compassion

Week of Compassion Grants:

Week of Compassion has solidarity grants available for churches that sustain damage to their buildings and for households connected to the congregation who have damage to their homes. For each of those they ask for the following information:

  1. Extent of damage—a 1-sentence summary is fine, just to give us a sense of scope
  2. Insurance coverage—homeowner and/or flood (if known, include deductible amount and whether coverage is sufficient)
  3. Special considerations–any factors that will make recovery more difficult, such as being a low-income or elderly household

 They also have grants available to congregations to provide community support. This might be to provide food, charging stations, clean-up assistance, or other relief to their neighbors.

Contact: Rev. Caroline Hamilton-Arnold at 203.772.8597 to learn how to apply.

Hurricane Laura

Check out this video for a brief message regarding Hurricane Laura on behalf of Week of Compassion. Stay safe!

Update: Morehouse and Union Parishes were just declared for Individual Assistance; now 18 parishes overall. Registration for FEMA assistance is now 128,112 households.

New info: Eligible Hurricane Laura survivors may now be eligible to be reimbursed for purchases like generators, chainsaws and carbon monoxide detector through FEMA’s ONA. This also includes smoke detectors, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and weather radios. Information on how to apply for assistance: 1 (800) 621-3362 (711 or Video Relay Service available) / TTY: 1 (800) 462-7585 / Call 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. CT / Open 7 days per week

New Info: If your church is coordinating volunteers, report those donated labor hours to GOHSEP so they can be counted toward the required State contribution for federal reimbursement funds. A volunteer hour reporting form is available here: and should be returned to the GOHSEP rep for your parish (

Update: We have been informed that a federal disaster declaration has been approved, including assistance for individuals and households in the following 6 parishes (more parishes may be added as damage assessments are completed—each parish has to meet a minimum threshold of damage to be added to the declaration.): Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Vernon, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis Parishes.

People who have been displaced or have losses/damage from the storm, can register for Individual Assistance here: encourage everyone to apply, even if they don’t think they will need/qualify for assistance, for 3 reasons: 1. All applications become part of the total damage record for the parish, which helps the community access more resources (federal and philanthropic); 2. Folks might find they need the assistance later on, and if the application deadline has passed they will have limited recourse; and 3. Registering for FEMA Individual Assistance is often the first step for accessing other assistance (such as SBA Disaster Loans). Everyone should also be aware that appeals to FEMA Individual Assistance decisions are very common.