December 4, 2021

Yes, FEMA will pay to replace a generator that broke during Hurricane Ida, but only if you meet the eligibility requirements

To qualify for assistance through FEMA, a state needs to receive a major disaster declaration. Louisiana is the only state to receive that declaration as of Sept. 3.

Over a million people in Louisiana lost power as a result of Hurricane Ida, which first made landfall near New Orleans on Aug. 29. 

Many families rely on generators to provide the energy they need while the power is out after a major storm passes through a region. 

In the days after the storm, a lot of people have been searching for whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will pay to replace a generator that broke during the hurricane. 

THE QUESTION

Will FEMA pay to replace a generator that broke during Hurricane Ida?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, FEMA will pay to replace a generator that broke during Hurricane Ida, but only if you meet the eligibility requirements.

WHAT WE FOUND

Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, the president can enact two types of disaster declarations: emergency declarations and major disaster declarations. 

According to FEMA, the president can declare an emergency for any instance when it is determined federal assistance is needed, including in the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety, or to lessen the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the U.S.

Meanwhile, the president can declare a major disaster for any natural event, including a hurricane, tornado, storm, fire, flood, or explosion, that FEMA says “has caused damage of such severity that it is beyond the combined capabilities of state and local governments to respond.” 

A state needs to receive a “major disaster declaration” in order to qualify for individual assistance under the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) provision of FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP). As of Sept. 3, Louisiana is the only state to receive that declaration from President Joe Biden as a result of Hurricane Ida.

According to a fact sheet, applicants for disaster assistance may be eligible to be reimbursed through FEMA for the purchase or rental of a generator that is required for medical purposes. 

FEMA says in order to qualify for reimbursement:

  • The generator must be purchased or rented due to an event that results in a presidentially declared emergency or major disaster;
  • The applicant’s dwelling must be located in a declared area designated for individual assistance;
  • An applicant must provide proof-of-purchase or rental receipts for the generator;
  • The generator must be needed for a medically required appliance or piece of equipment; and
  • There must be proof that the appliance or equipment was required for medical purposes 

The window for eligible individual assistance claims in Louisiana started on Aug. 26 after Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency

According to the White House, FEMA has deployed nearly 250 generators in the region, and FEMA and the Department of Energy (DOE) are working to deliver more generators to expand temporary power to emergency services as of Sept. 2. 

Louisiana homeowners and renters affected by Hurricane Ida who live in parishes that have recently been designated for individual assistance could be eligible to receive help from FEMA. To apply, visit disasterassistance.gov/.

More from VERIFY: Yes, Hurricane Ida temporarily reversed the flow of part of the Mississippi River

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