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|FEMA center departs parish|
A small band of Federal Emergency Management Agency workers packed and left Winnsboro Monday, leaving money and advice for Franklin Parish residents while taking something they seldom get.
"We feel like we were really appreciated," said Jan Foucault, manager of the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center employees who spend a full week in the city.
FEMA has suffered from almost constant criticism since the agency's response to Hurricane Katrina, particularly in New Orleans.
About 375 parish residents talked with FEMA representatives during the six days the office was open, including 65 on Saturday and about 30 on the final Monday.
While many assistance decisions are still pending, FEMA's financial assistance in the parish was listed at $652,243 as of Oct. 4. The Small Business Administration, which also had an office in the FEMA location, had no parish figures. The SBA had approved statewide over $23 million in loans for recovery assistance from Gustav and Ike.
Foucault, offered advice to Franklin Parish residents who are now registered with FEMA's disaster assistance: "Be patient. We have a lot of inspectors out there now, but they're also busy elsewhere.
"Send in your insurance information as soon as you get it. This includes the worksheet from your adjuster, a list of what he saw. Also include any deductible amounts that are associated with your claim," she said.
Those who qualify for either FEMA individual or household assistance will either receive a check or have funds deposited into bank accounts electronically.
An SBA representative said several churches in the area have applied for loans under the SBA disaster program. In many cases, SBA loans are more attractive because of lower interest rates.
Residents who need to file insurance information with FEMA can use any of three methods:
*Regular mail to: FEMA, NPSC, P. O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782.
*FAX to: 1-800-827-8112, or
*Call help line at 1800-621-3362 with your application number.
Members of the FEMA office who worked in Winnsboro are scheduled to operate similar offices in Colfax, Harrisonburg and Jena in the next few weeks.