Hurricane Ida Property Damage Claims & Resources

As South Louisiana residents we despise one thing more than the Atlanta Falcons: hurricanes. Having lived through storms and gutted our fair share of Slidell buildings in our lifetime, we understand how stressful it can be when you've been uprooted from your home or handling repairs. Not just as a Slidell personal injury law firm but as Slidell residents too.

That's why we've put together some resources for our fellow Hurricane Ida survivors in Louisiana and Mississippi. All of this information was also presented by us in conjunction with East St. Tammany Habitat For HumanityHabitat Young Professionals Northshore on September 8, 2021.

If you prefer to listen to the information then please watch the replay here.

Information For Renters (Home & Business):

If you are displaced let your landlord know! (Certain leases have an abandonment clause)- text or email is fine for now if the mail isn't running; note why you are sending a text or email.

Tenants who have struggled to pay rent through the COVID-19 pandemic were protected under a Centers for Disease Control moratorium until Aug. 27. Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed an order that suspends all court deadlines in Louisiana through Friday Sept. 24 to account for Hurricane Ida's impact on the legal system. It applies to evictions, which landlords won't be able to file until after that date. Evictions and all court proceedings have largely been put on hold in southeast Louisiana since the hurricane forced courthouses to close (22nd JDC is closed until at least Sept 13). Under Edwards' order, the eviction process could not begin sooner than Sept. 27, when landlords would have to give five days notice to any tenants they plan to evict.

READ YOUR LEASE! This is going to control most of your answers so please read it.

1. Do you still have to pay rent?

YES, YES, YES, YES. It is an “act of god” that MAY allow you to terminate the lease but it doesn’t get you off the hook for paying rent or rent reduction.

2. Do I still have to pay rent if I am month to month lease?

YES!! HOWEVER- you should notify your landlord via certified mail that you wish not to renew the lease. That prevents you from owing future rent.

3. Renter’s Rights re: cancelling (or terminate) leases:

a. Before you do anything take photos of the unit/home

b. If you want to terminate your lease then you need to send a written demand letter via certified mail to your landlord AND ask for security deposit back. You MUST give your landlord a forwarding address in the letter.

c. State why you are terminating the lease- explain why the “damage to the unit/home is substantial”

d. Deliver the keys back to the landlord (notify landlord where you returned the keys)

4. Can you get your security deposit back?

Remember, read your lease, but you can IF your unit was destroyed because of the hurricane or other Act of God.

a. HOWEVER- your landlord can deduct from that security deposit for damage caused by you or your guests or for fees or rent that are still owed on the lease.

b. Landlord has 30 days to return deposit OR provide you a reason in writing explaining why they are keeping the security deposit or a portion of it

5. Repairs

a. Read your lease, read your lease, read your lease. Ex: roof language v. walls. Who is responsible?

b. You may be eligible to deduct repairs from FUTURE rent BUT not rent that is currently due or past due. Don’t assume that. You have to get a court order or get it in writing from the landlord saying that’s ok to do. KEEP ALL RECEIPTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand. Protect yourself, your family, and your business by documenting your damage and taking action today.


Apply for FEMA assistance:

Households across Southeastern Louisiana may apply for FEMA’s Individuals & Households Program as well as Other Needs Assistance through or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (available 7 AM – 1 AM ET, 7 Days a week).

Survivors have 60 days from the date of declaration (August 29, 2021) to apply.

If FEMA provides notice that you are eligible for Transitional Shelter Assistance, you may apply online: FEMA Evacuee Lodging Provider List (

  • Apply online and create an account to check your status and submit documents at
  • ECNA - CRITICAL NEEDS ASSISTANCE is what is to pay for your necessities and can be used to pay for a hotel. It’s $500 and you will see that you qualify directly in correspondence instead of the main page. You will get the letter before you get the funds. So this what you should be checking for NOW. If you see a denial that is because you have home owners insurance that may cover ALE (Additional Living Expenses). You will need a letter from your insurance company or the cover page to your policy breaking down what you are receiving or not receiving
  • FEMA will not duplicate Benefits.
  • In 12-24 hours after creating your account, check the tab that says correspondence. FEMA will send letters in the mail and online so you will need to check this section to find them. Considering the snail mail is not running right now, online is key. You will see a few documents. One will be a copy of your application which is customary for all accounts. You will also see request for documents to process your case and/or eligibility letters.
  • Documents to send as a renter: Use the upload correspondence tab to send copies of your Louisiana ID (proof of who you are), a copy of a utility bill or lease (proof of occupancy), a copy of your insurance coverage IF you had renters insurance and all photos you have to demonstrate the before and after of your property.
  • FEMA is not insurance and doesn’t cover damages any where even close to what insurance would. If you have insurance you get $0 because they won’t duplicate the help already issued.
  • If your landlord needs to repair your home and you can’t live in it for an extended amount of time you can apply for rental assistance. You will need to submit all supporting documents to request aid.

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP:

Louisiana's Federal Disaster SNAP request is in process. However, residents of parishes approved for federal Individual Assistance as a result of Hurricane Ida are encouraged to pre-register for Disaster SNAP benefits (DSNAP).

  • If DSNAP is declared, pre-registration will speed your application.
  • If you pre-registered or applied for DSNAP over the past year, it is not necessary to pre-register again, although you will have to apply by phone during the DSNAP period.
  • Text LADSNAP to 898-211 to receive DSNAP updates & to see if DSNAP is approved for your area.
  • Current SNAP recipients are not typically eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. In the event of a disaster, if SNAP recipients are eligible for additional benefits, those benefits will be handled through a separate process. 55% of current snap recipients allotment will be automatically loaded on your cards on September 11.

Register for Operation Blue Roof:

Operation Blue Roof is a priority mission managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for FEMA.

  • This program is a free service to homeowners. Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm. Beware of people who say they are part of Operation Blue Roof and charge you. Always ask for identification
  • This program is for primary residences or a permanently occupied rental property with less than 50 percent structural damage. Roofs that are flat or made of metal or clay, slate, or asbestos tile do not qualify. All storm debris must be removed for the roof to qualify.
To get a roof covered until more permanent repairs can be made please call 1-888-766-3258 or visit

Disaster Unemployment Assistance:

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA):

  • Provides assistance to individuals whose employment has been either lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster.
  • 25 Louisiana parishes qualify for DUA assistance as a result of Hurricane Ida.
  • Due to the effects of Hurricane Ida the best way for applicants to file their DUA applications is online by visiting through the LWC's HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) portal.
  • FAQs about DUA are available here.
  • Job Search & One Week Waiting Period if Unemployment related to Ida has been WAIVED.

Disaster Distress Helpline:

Please remember to practice self-care for yourself and staff. The DDH: 1-800-985-5990 is a free national confidential hotline available 24/7 to anyone in the U.S.

Vibrant Health also offers a Crisis & Emotional Care Team comprised of trained mental health professionals who can provided dedicated psychological support for your teams/people served, both in-person or virtually. Email Vibrant's CECT at to learn more.

Mental health is near and dear to our hearts in this office and we even experienced PTSD resurgence after the storm necessitating additional therapy sessions. This is normal and it is ok to seek help.

Tubbs says she is working on making her own claims but we haven't told her she can't speak a human language and her computer is a toy yet.

Insurance Claims

Insurance claims aren't limited to residences. Businesses affected by Hurricane Ida may also have claims for property damage, inventory damage, and business interruption. These types of claims are considered "personal injury" claims even if they may not seem like they are.

Many people have already seen adjusters, turned in estimates and are waiting to receive their checks to begin work.

  • Remember: If you still have a mortgagee listed on your insurance, they will also be listed on a check over $7,500 that is paying for the home. Checks written to you for your CONTENTS, do not require them to be listed.
  • If your mortgage has been paid off BUT you have not notified your insurance agent, it can be removed, but we will need proof that the loan was satisfied.
  • Why? Well, this rule is driven by the mortgage/banking industry because they have an interest in your home and want to ensure that it gets repaired.
  • What Can You Do? Call your mortgagee NOW, don't wait!

To be specific, you will need to contact your mortgagee. You will want to ask them what their procedure is, because there are many different procedures for getting the check endorsed and cashed.

Some banks will be much easier than others...some will require a signed contract with a contractor that will be doing the work and some may require the final invoice.

Once you find out what your bank requires, you will be able to figure out what to do next.

If you are worried you will need up front money for work to be done and your bank wants to wait for the final invoice, go ahead and start writing up your CONTENTS LIST and turn it into your insurance company. This does not require the mortgagee on it and will put some money in your pocket.

Don't wait, get estimates now. The more information you already have and upload into your claim the more you are helping things along.

“My adjuster didn’t even get on my roof or go into my attic, or look at my contents.”

That’s ok. They are there to get their eyes on your property and an overview of the OBVIOUS large damage. They are equipped to use Eagle View aerial imagery for measuring roofs. It is nearly impossible for them to include everything in their estimates, which is why you will turn in invoices and contractor contracts for supplemental payments. Your contractors will be in your home taking note of the details, which will be sent into your claim.

The claims department will pay you for what each of those items are WORTH TODAY, their depreciated value, BUT as soon as you replace that item and turn in the receipt, you will be paid the difference. This only applies if you have Replacement cost on your policy, so check with your agent or adjuster.

The item does not have to be replaced with the exact same thing, only similar in like and kind.

  • DON'T throw away any of the contents until you have thoroughly documented the damage with pictures, videos, etc..
  • The money you receive for contents, will not have your mortgagee included, so that’s one less hassle to deal with.
  • The cashing and/or depositing of an insurance claim payment in no way impacts a policyholder’s rights, coverages and conditions in the policy. What this means is that by accepting the check, you ARE NOT saying this is your final payment.
  • There are no releases to sign, which is why you have the option to have it direct deposited (if the mortgage company isn’t included on the check).
  • All estimates provided by your adjuster, are just that...estimates. The contractor invoices you turn in will be paid through the supplemental process and will handle any additional damage not on the original estimate.

We are handling Hurricane Ida Property Claims & Business Interruption Claims so if you need our assistance, please call or text us at 985-265-7196 or use the CONTACT FORM.

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