Office of the Secretary

Angelle sends FEMA letter on generator policy

Friday, September 19, 2008

Louisiana Secretary of Natural Resources Scott Angelle has called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to change its rules to give more relief to people and families dealing with long-term loss of electrical power following the recent hurricane strikes on the Gulf Coast.

Angelle has written a letter to David Paulison, administrator of FEMA, asking for a change in the current FEMA policy allowing reimbursement of rental or purchase of home-based generators up to 5.5 kilowatt capability only in instances where needed to power a medically required appliance or piece of equipment.

Angelle’s letter calls for FEMA to modify the policy to allow reimbursement of rental or purchase costs for such home-based generators for all residents in a FEMA-managed disaster area incurring a loss of electrical power for more than seven days.

The letter echoes and supports the request made by U.S. Rep. Don Cazayoux Jr., D-La., earlier in September, after state officials had assessed the damage Hurricane Gustav inflicted upon Louisiana’s electrical power infrastructure.

The request made in the Cazayoux and Angelle letters was in turn followed and supported by a letter on the same subject by Mark Cooper, director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s authorized representative in the matter.

Angelle noted that more than two-thirds of the state lost power due to the storm, creating the largest electrical outage in Louisiana history, and that some areas of the state will continue to be without power for some time.

In such circumstances, the ability to have access to electrical power is crucial to the state’s recovery and the ability of residents to return to their homes and jobs, Angelle said.

“Our ultimate recovery will be directly related to residents returning, which will result in businesses reopening, stabilizing the tax bases, volunteers quickly organizing to help neighbors, and a general rebounding of the economy,” Angelle said.

No timetable has yet been set on when FEMA will make a decision on the request or act on that decision.

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