Hurricane Katrina Information & Referrals U.S.
De partme nt of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. 20472
Hurricane Katrina Information & Referrals Quick Reference Sheet
Locating Family and Friends
You may contact the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN). This
network takes inquiries and sends them to the disaster area, where SATERN personnel
will attempt to locate the person or persons about whom you are inquiring. Requests may
be submitted at www.satern.org
The American Red Cross (ARC) is mobilizing its resources in the area, and will be taking
inquiries from those outside the disaster area. The Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the
ARC can be reached toll free at 1-800-229-8191, but keep in mind that phone service
may be spotty for the next few days. ARC headquarters can be reached at (866) 438-
4636, and may be able to give you more information on agencies that could help your
relative or friend or on other state or regional ARC locations as they are established.
Applicants may also call this number for information on shelters that have been set up.
Search & Rescue
Callers reporting trapped persons or those needing search and rescue efforts may be
forwarded to the NCT via the Recovery Assistance Form, except for Mississippi. Callers
reporting a need for rescue in Mississippi should be provided the Rescue numbers listed
The „Recovery Assistance Form‟ has all of the information that the coast guard would
like provided. However, if the information on the description of the person is not given
that is fine. Keep in mind the more information provided the easier it will be for the coast
guard. See your Program Specialist or Supervisor for a copy of the Rescue Form.
In the meantime - the callers should be advised that they need to continue calling 911 or
may be provided one of the numbers listed below.
Salvation Army Emergency Radio Net work
Salvation Army Missing Persons Registry (SATE RN)
Rescue Phone Numbers (800) DAD SAFE (323-7233)
Mississippi Medical/Rescue Crisis (866) 230-8674 or (601) 360-0400
U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Requests (314) 539-3900 x-2276, 2277
Recovery Assistance Form Recovery Assistance Form for NCT
ARC # for missing pers ons (Family Links
(877) LOVED-1S (568-3317)
Hurricane Katrina Survivors Webpage
Hurricane Katrina Survivors
"I'm OK Line" to Let Friends/Family Know you're
To Post Messages for Loved Ones Katrina @directv.com text 48433
National Next of Kin Registry (800) 915-5413
State Department's Crisis Management (202) 647-7640 (added 9/11/05)
Vol. 2 - September 11, 2005 (04:00 PM EST)
NPSC Coordination Team Page 2 9/11/2005
Effective Immediately: ALL registrations taken for applicants in shelters must have the
Shelter Address listed as the Current Mailing Address. This is extremely important for
tracking and providing assistance to sheltered applicants. A Master Shelter List with
mailing addresses for each location is posted on the IA Web; the following link will take
you to this document:
Inte rnational Inquiries Regarding the Whereabouts of Foreign Citize ns (Added
The State Department has offered to help with the international inquiries we're receiving
on the whereabouts of foreign citizens impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Please direct
international information requests on the welfare and whereabouts of foreign citizens to
the State Department's Crisis Management Support Operations Center at 202-647-7640
Information and Referrals
CMA for applicants in Shelters
Mailing Address Changes w/Postal Service
The United States Postal Service (USPS) provided the following information regarding
mail service for individuals affected by Hurricane Katrina:
• Postal Service is asking customers unable to receive delivery at their permanent
address to file a change of address. The quickest and easiest way to do this is
• Electronic change of addresses can be filed online at www.usps.com or by
calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777.
• Hurricane victims in areas without telephone service or internet access should
go to the nearest post office, complete a change-of-address form, and submit it to
a postal Retail Associate at the counter or mail it…its postage free.
Federal Agencies can continue to send First-Class Mail to their customer's address. If it
can be delivered, it will be, or it will be made available at the local post office. If the
residence and customer are no longer there, the Postal Service will redirect and deliver
the mail to the customer‟s temporary location based on the change of address. In the
event that the mail cannot be delivered or forwarded, it will be returned to the sender.
Post Office Restorations
When and where it is safe to do so, the Postal Service is reentering storm-damaged areas
to reopen Post Offices to restore mail delivery and service, and establish mobile retail
centers to serve customer needs in damaged areas. Customers with internet access can
quickly check the status of postal services in their ZIP Code area online. A color-coded
map on the Web site also shows the status of Katrina-affected Post Offices (link below).
Bank Routing Numbe r (EFT) (Updated 9/10/05)
Please encourage all applicants affected by Hurricane Katrina to choose the Direct
Deposit Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) option when registering for disaster assistance.
The widespread flooding can cause mail delays. Applicants may be moving from one
location to another to find permanent housing. FEMA assistance direct deposited into
their bank account will help prevent delays and make the award accessible from many
If an applicant does not have a bank account, take the application as normal, obtain a
good mailing address. Many displaced persons know their back account number but not
the Bank‟s routing number. The following link can be used to look it up.
NPSC Coordination Team Page 3 9/11/2005
Note: Please do not instruct applicants to update their Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
on the WEB. The applicants do not have the ability to change EFT information on
the WEB. There have been several media reports informing applicants to make these
changes via the web, this information was not accurate. The IT helpdesk is getting
inundated with calls from applicants that want to change their EFT information but the
system won‟t let them. The applicant‟s capability on the Web is only to make minor
changes and view their status.
Helpful Banking Information for Hurricane Katrina (FDIC) (Updated 9/10/05)
Applicant reporting issues or asking questions about funds in dama ged banks, Social
Security Checks, banks not cashing checks, ATM issues, etc. may be referred to the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) hotline 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-
3342) or their website for assistance with these types of problems. For evacuees who left
behind their checkbooks, ATM cards and other ways to access their bank accounts, the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is trying to help out. The FDIC also said displaced
people can open accounts at the local bank branch where they are te mporarily living
without the usual documentation and paperwork.
As for credit card companies, Discover, American Express, and Citibank are offering
payment relief plus emergency replacement cards and emergency PIN #. Citibank is also
waiving interest and finance fees for three months; American Express is giving a one-
month grace period and allowing people to exceed their credit limit by $1,000.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has reported that they are being inundated
with calls from debit card recipients asking the FDIC to confirm funds on their cards.
FDIC has NOTHING to do with the debit card distribution. Please DO NOT refer Debit
card recipients to the FDIC.
Evacuation Expenses (Lodging Expenses Reimbursement)
Callers inquiring about evacuation expenses may be advised that lodging expenses for up
to 30 days may be reimbursed if their primary residence has sustained damages such that
they cannot live there until repairs are made. Refer the applicant to the „Applicants Guide
to the Individuals & Households Program‟, which will be mailed to them, for additional
guidance regarding this type of assistance. Food, gasoline and other miscellaneous
evacuation expenses other than lodging are not reimbursable, regardless of whether their
home is damaged.
Housing Victims of Hurricane Katrina
The Texas Department of State Health Services has distributed and posted information on
their website advising citizens that house anyone from one of the affected states that they
can call FEMA, file a claim and receive assistance. Callers inquiring about this program
should be advised that the information they received is not accurate, FEMA does not
offer a program to cover these expenses, and we apologize for any inconvenience this
may have caused. Be sure those applicants being housed have been registered and take an
application if/when necessary. We are actively working to have this information removed
from web postings and to stop this information from going out.
Hurricane Katrina evacuees can go to any Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreen‟s or
Kroger‟s in Louisiana or around the country to have their prescriptions filled based on
victims‟ emergency need. For example, Walgreen‟s can provide up to a 30 day supply.
This service is available if the medication is only if the medication is life sustaining and
is not covered by insurance. Disaster victims‟ are asked to bring an old prescription
bottle if available and are required to bring proof of damaged dwelling address. If the
applicant does not have a prescription bottle, then you may suggest they go to retail store
or pharmacy where they have filled prescriptions in the past, where the required
information may be on file.
NPSC Coordination Team Page 4 9/11/2005
Resources for Disabled and Displaced Applicants (added 9/10/05)
In Alabama contact the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services or call (800)
846-3697 for services to assist people with severe disabilities. Another resource in
Alabama if you have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina and need mental health, mental
retardation or substance addiction services may be reached by calling (800) 367-0955 or
checking with the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
In Louisiana some local telephone numbers you can contact are:
Alexandria: (800) 841-5778
Baton Rouge: (800) 349-1372
Lafayette: (800) 901-3210
Shreveport: (800) 841-5776
Monroe: (866) 280-7287
Slidell/Hammond: (866) 280-7724
Lake Charles: (866) 280-2711
Applicants may call the Independent Living Research Utilization for referrals to
Independent Living Facilities for Disabled persons who have relocated to Texas,
Mississippi, and Louisiana and obtain information regarding needs for special medical
equipment or supplies or call (800) 949-4232 or contact the Louisiana Department of
Social Services at (888) 524-3578.
Medicare or Medicaid Assistance (Added 9/11/05)
Applicants on Medicare or Medicaid that need assistance, may contact the Centers of
Medicare and Medicaid Services
• In Alabama, they may want to contact the Alabama Medicaid Agency or call
them at 1 (800) 362-1504.
• In Louisiana, they may want to contact the Bureau of Health Services Financing
at Louisiana Medicaid.
Replacing Vital Documents/Drive r's License/ID Help (Added 9/10/05)
• An immigrant or non- immigrant, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services or call the National Customer Service Center at 1 (800)
• A resident of Alabama and you need to order vital records such as birth, death,
marriage, or divorce records, please contact the Alabama Department of Public
Health – Vital Records or go to your nearest office.
• A resident of Louisiana and you need to order vital records such as birth, death,
marriage, or divorce records, please contact the Louisiana Office of Public Health
– Vital Records or call 1 (800)605-8562.
• A resident of Mississippi and you need to order vital records such as birth,
death, marriage, or divorce records, please contact the Mississippi Department of
Public Health – Vital Records.
• Hurricane-displaced individuals needing Driver License/ID help may call toll-
free 1-866-283-2838 or visit Alabama Department of Public Safety
• Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles information for replacement driver's
license/identification cards for evacuees located inside Louisiana: call (225) 925-
4610 or 925-3993 or evacuees located outside of Louisiana: (225) 925-4195 or 1-
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (added 9/10/05)
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Services Pharmacy are committed to
providing ALL CF patients affected by Hurricane Katrina with CF medications,
regardless of their ability to pay. Should an applicant need CF medications, they will
need to call the CF Services Pharmacy at (800) 541-4959. While the pediatric and adult
CF care programs at Tulane University are not operational at this time, if they require
medical attention, they may contact the following centers:
NPSC Coordination Team Page 5 9/11/2005
University of Mi ssi ssi ppi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Pediatric Care: (601) 984-5205
Adult Care: (601) 984-5650
USA Children's Medical Center, Mobile, AL
Pediatric and Adult Care: (251) 343 -6848
Loui siana State University Medical Center, Shreveport, LA
Pediatric and Adult Care: (318) 675 -6094
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Pediatric and Adult Care: (832) 822 -1000
Social Security Check Distribution
The U.S. Postal Service and the Social Security Administration established temporary,
alternative locations for the distribution of Social Security checks to Louisiana and
Mississippi residents who were unable to receive regular mail delivery service. In
addition, efforts were made to establish a postal presence at the Houston Astrodome for
evacuated Louisiana residents. These distributions ended September 7 ; most residents
should have received their check. Beginning Thursday, September 8, unclaimed checks
were scheduled to be forwarded, if a forwarding address was on file. Those that could not
be forwarded will be returned to the Social Security Administration. Pickup information
and locations are posted on the USPS website.
New Orleans Section 8 Housing
The New Orleans Housing Authority is asking anyone displaced by the storm, that was in
„Section 8 Housing‟, and has found housing, will need to call in with the following
• Name of the Head of Household (HOH)
• Address of the damaged dwelling
• Social Security Number
• Date of Birth
• How many bedrooms that were occupied at the time of the storm
They may contact the following numbers to provide this information and get further
instruction (713) 652-2912, 2915, or 2917.
Food Stamps for Hot Food (Updated 9/10/05)
Starting immediately, Alabama and Mississippi have authorized retail food stores, in the
designated counties, to accept Food Stamp/EBT benefits from Food Stamp customers in
exchange for hot foods with no sales tax. In addition, counties in Florida have been
authorized to accept food stamps in exchange for hot foods. These measures are intended
to assist residents of the Gulf Coast who have been displaced from their homes and
cooking supplies as a result of Katrina. Food Stamps and WIC: (888) 312-4567
• In Alabama, or if you are an Alabama resident, call (866) 465-2285 or visit the
Alabama Department of Human Resources website for a replacement EBT card,
there is no emergency food stamp program in Alabama.
• In Louisiana, call (888) 524-3578 or check with the Department of Social
• In Mississippi, or those needing a replacement EBT card, may call (866) 449-
Beware: An e-mail is being circulated that indicates that food stamps and free gasoline
for Hurricane Katrina evacuees are available from or through the "Texas Department of
Health and Human Services". The e-mail is bogus. However, hurricane evacuees wanting
accurate information about food stamp availability may call 2-1-1 information service or
(888) 312-4567. Some versions of the e- mail include the Website for the former Texas
Department of Health, now part of the Texas Department of State Health Services. The
Food Stamps program is administered by the Texas Health and Human Services
Commission. Neither agency is supplying free gasoline.
NPSC Coordination Team Page 6 9/11/2005
HUD Establishes Toll-Free Housing Hotline (Added 9/11/05)
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has established a single toll- free housing
hotline, 1-888-297-8685, to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The number operates
from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. P reviously, HUD had toll- free numbers
for each of the different services provided by the Department, such as FHA insured-
mortgages, Section 8 rental assistance, multi- family housing, lender information and
public housing residents. Deaf, hearing- impaired or other persons requiring TDD/TTY
services can call 1-800-877-8339. "This nationwide telephone number will provide
callers expanded services and hours and the opportunity to speak with an actual person".
• Providing Temporary Housing and Shelter – HUD is identifying vacant multi-
family housing and HUD-owned homes that could be used as temporary housing
for those forced from their homes. For more information about temporary housing
go to www.fema.gov or call 1-888-297-8685;
• Granting Immediate Foreclosure Relief – HUD has granted a 90-day
moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing
Administration- insured homes;
• Making Available Programs for Damaged or Destroyed Properties – HUD's
Section 203(k) loan program enables homebuyers and homeowners who have lost
their homes to finance both the purchase and/or refinancing of a house and the
cost of its rehabilitation through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners
who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-
family home. This program encourages lenders to make mortgages available to
borrowers who would not otherwise qualify for conventional loans on affordable
terms and to residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods;
• Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims – HUD has a special mortgage
insurance program under Section 203(h) of the National Housing Act to assist
disaster victims. Under this program, individuals or families whose residences
were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is
necessary are eligible for 100 percent financing; and
IRS Creates Disaster Relief Toll-Free Number
The Internal Revenue Service announced today the establishment of a special toll- free
telephone number for use by taxpayers affected by Hurricane Katrina. People affected by
Katrina who need help with tax matters can call (866) 562-5227 - Monday through Friday
from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
Callers to this dedicated telephone line can find out about available tax relief, get free
copies of their tax return transcripts and receive Disaster Tax Loss Kits. Affected
taxpayers who need copies of tax returns to apply for aid or other purposes can have the
normal user fee waived by writing "Hurricane Katrina" in red across the top margin of
their Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. More information about tax relief for
victims, making charitable contributions and links to other government web pages is
available at IRS.gov.
Ope ration Blue Roof for Mississippi (Updated 9/10/05)
The U.S. Corp of Engineers in conjunction with FEMA and the State (MEMA) have
established a program to provide assistance to storm victims in disaster areas through
installation of rolled plastic sheeting on damaged roofs, thereby allowing residents to
remain in their homes. Homeowners, who have had damage to their primary residence,
will need to complete a “Right of Entry” form before contractors will install the plastic
sheeting. After the form has been signed, the Corps roofing team will go to the property
to do a damage and eligibility assessment. Corps team members will have proper
identification and uniforms.
NPSC Coordination Team Page 7 9/11/2005
Blue Roof Signup Locations (Updated 9/10/05)
Harrison County Pearl Rive r County
Harrison County Justice Center Resurrection Church
1620 23rd Ave 795 Memorial Blvd.
Gulfport, MS Picayune, MS
Jackson County Jackson County
OS Hospital (next to American Thrift Store) Jackson Civic Center
3109 Bienville Boulevard (Hwy 90) 2902 Shortcut Road
Ocean Springs, MS 39564 Pascagoula, MS 39567
Golden Age Center
Mt. Carmel Church
1027 Main St.
Note: Additional Blue Roof Sign Up locations will be posted on the Corps of Engineers
disaster website. A Blue Roof Phone Line has been activated: (888)-ROOFBLU (1-888-
Self Help Tarps
Individual homeowners may get tarps by contacting their county Emergency Operations
Center (EOC) for the location of the nearest distribution site. Individuals are responsible
for installing the tarps themselves, or may request assistance from volunteer groups.
Services to assist people with grieving, stress, or mental health problems caused or
aggravated by the disaster or its aftermath may be referred to the phone numbers listed
Crisis Counseling (Updated 9/10/05)
Louisiana Department of Social Services (888) LAHELPU (524-3578)
Mississippi Department of Mental Health (877) 210-8513
Alabama Statewide Crisis Counseling (800) 832-0952
Alabama Statewide Mental Health Treatment (800) 367-0955
Baldwin County (AL) Crisis Counseling Helpline (251) 990-4210
Mobile and Washington County (AL) Crisis Counseling (251) 422-3303
Disaster Une mployme nt
The following phone numbers are for applicants whom have become unemployed as a
result of the disaster
• If you live in Louisiana and you and your family have lost your job or source of
income as a result of Hurricane Katrina you may check Louisiana Works.
• In Mississippi, if you have lost your job or income as a result of the disaster, you
may register for Disaster Unemployment Assistance by calling 1 (888) 844-3577
or checking with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
• Employment through DOL for Dislocated Workers
Federal Employees may visit the Office of Personnel Management. If you have concerns
about payroll or personnel issues, go to the National Finance Center. Another resource
that provides assistance is the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund.
NPSC Coordination Team Page 8 9/11/2005
Farmers and/or ranchers needing assistance may visit the Department of Agriculture
for more information. They may want to contact the Farm Services Agency near them
home because they may be eligible for emergency loans from the Farm Services Agency.
If they are unable to reach their local Farm Services Agency representative, they may call
• In Alabama, they may contact the Alabama State Office at (334) 279-3500.
• If they are a rural development borrower, they may seek info rmation at the
USDA Rural Development or call at 1 (800) 414-1226. There may be
moratoriums for loan payment or reamortization schedules put in place for
Hurricane Katrina victims.
Disaster Une mployme nt (Updated 9/10/05)
Louisiana Works (800) 818-7811
(866) 234-5382 or (800) 499-2035
Working in Alabama (Unemployment)
Mississippi Unemployment (888) 844-3577
U.S. Department of Labor (866) 4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
Federal Employees - Office of Personal
Management (800) 307-8298
Farm Services Agency (352) 379-4500
Farm Services Agency (Alabama) (334) 279-3500
Department of Agriculture Contact Local USDA Service Center
USDA Rural Development (800) 414-1226
Information for Students
If you receive a call from students needing information on where they can continue
school or get help for school related expenses you can refer them to this website
www.regents.state.la.us or give them one of the contacts below. If they do not have
access to the internet they may also obtain additional information, due to educational
displacement resulting from Hurricane Katrina, by contacting the Board of Regents'
hotline at (866) 415-2269.
School Campus Website Phone
(800) 516-6444 (225) 578-
UNO www.uno.edu (225) 578-7816 (225) 578-2264
Main www.ulsystem.net (225) 342-6950
Main www.sus.edu (225) 771-4500
(866) 334-7638 (students) (866) 334-
LCTCS www.lctcs.net (225) 922-2800
Private Universities www.laicu.org NA
If a college student is going to school in any of the Hurricane Katrina affected states,
they may want to check this site set up by the Texas Higher Education Coordination
Board, http://www.katrinacollegestudents.org/ to review information about opportunities
that are being made available to displaced college students.
If they receive student Federal financial aid, check the Federal Student Aid at U.S.
Department of Education
NPSC Coordination Team Page 9 9/11/2005
Donations, Volunteers, Services
Donations, Volunteers, and Services (Updated 9/10/05)
FEMA Donations/Housing Resources (800) 440-6728
FEMA Donations by Internet National Emergency Resource Registry
(800) HELP NOW (435-7669)/(800) 257-
American Red Cross
Salvation Army Donations 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725- 2769)
Medical Personnel Wishing to Volunteer
Mississippi Donations Hotline (866) 230-8903
Contractors looking for work in Louisiana will need to fax their name and phone #. If
they do not have a fax machine refer the caller to the general contractor phone number or
Contractors and Employment Information (Updated 9/10/05)
Contractor Fax Number (225) 925-7501
General Contractor Number (202) 646-4006
Seeking FEMA Employment FEMA.gov/Career
Mississippi Contractors License Board (verify contractor licenses) (800) 880-6161
LA Job Search LAWork.Net
Louisiana Workers looking for employment (866) 310-1585
The link below is a resource that can be given to applicants looking for a rental resource
or callers wishing to list a rental resource. Before referring an applicant to this site check
the rental resources within NEMIS, as there may be resources closer to where the
applicant is currently located. Also if a caller wishes to add rental resources, take the
information, and add this into the NEMIS rental resource database. Then refer the caller
to the website. This way the information will be available for our helpline and also for
people searching this site. If it is an offer of land for travel trailers continue to take the
information and send to your POC to be forwarded to the NCT.