FEMA clarifies rules for chainsaw, generator reimbursement

Viral social media posts and vague comments from some elected leaders led many to be under the impression that FEMA as going to issue widespread reimbursements for chainsaws and generators. FEMA is now clarifying that you can get up to $800 for a generator and up to $250 for a chainsaw, but only under specific conditions.

FEMA spokesman John Mills says to get a generator purchase reimbursed you had to have bought the device on August 26th or after, and because of a power outage due to Hurricane Ida. He stressed that purchases made after your power was restored will not be reimbursed.

“If your power was back on you will likely not be eligible if you go out and buy a generator right now,” said Mills.

The requirements for chainsaw reimbursement are even more specific. Mills said you can get up to $250 dollars for the rental or purchase of a chainsaw but you need to document exactly why you needed it.

“To be eligible the chainsaw must have been used to gain access to the home, or remove hazards from the home,” said Mills who added that purchasing a chainsaw to remove a tree that fell harmlessly in your yard won’t count.

Mills, during an appearance on WWL Tuesday morning, reminded listeners that FEMA cannot reimburse you for expenses already covered under your homeowners’ insurance due to the duplication of benefits rule. That also applies to other government aid you may receive.

Mills reported that FEMA has provided 325 million dollars in Ida grants to 285,000 Louisiana households.