In the aftereffects of Hurricane Ida, much uncertainty remains. This Category 4 hurricane was the second most damaging hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. State of Louisiana, falling short only of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Ida’s winds were so strong that the Mississippi river’s flow was reversed at one point, and over a million homes and businesses were still without power as of August 31st.
In a news conference last month, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said, “I can’t tell you when the power is going to be restored. I can’t tell you when all the debris is going to be cleaned up and repairs made and so forth. But what I can tell you is we’re going to work hard every single day to deliver as much assistance as we possibly can.”
As Military Families in Louisiana and surrounding states walk through these difficult times, Army Emergency Relief is coming alongside our Soldiers to help. To relieve the financial burden amongst Soldiers and retired Soldiers who have been impacted by any type of natural disaster or emergency, AER allocated $1 million dollars this year towards our Natural Disaster Assistance program, which covers a wide range of needs from preparation to evacuation.
How AER Can Help
As of August 27th, AER is providing a one-time grant of $500 for those who have been ordered to evacuate Louisiana and the adjacent states (Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas). Exceptions may apply for those in need of more on a case-by-case basis. Active-Duty Soldiers who possess a Government Travel Card (GTC) should take advantage of it for evacuation-related expenses. Those who do not have one will be assisted in the form of a loan and later on be reimbursed via a travel voucher.
AER is also providing Recovery Assistance to eligible Army Families who can present a valid need. This may include financial support for minor home repairs, basic needs during evacuation and any other essential need as Families prepare, evacuate, and afterward, rebuild.
How to Request Assistance
To apply or learn more, Soldiers should contact their local AER office. If you are not located near an AER office, you or your immediate Family member may visit any other service relief society to request assistance and they’ll make sure you get the help you need regardless of what branch your affiliate with.
In the event a local office is inaccessible or located further than 50 miles away, the American Red Cross is authorized to process the assistance request (1-877-272-7337). Use our Office Locator tool to find your nearest AER Office.
Learn more about our Natural Disaster Assistance programs with our Chief of Loan Management, SGM (R) Bill Hagzan!
Are you an AER officer?
Click here to view Hurricane Ida Disaster Assistance Guidance Bulletin.