Here is a link to a video from CBS and the Mike Brown, FEMA director detailing FEMA's plans. Unfortunately, I have dial-up, so I'm not offering a review as to how helpful this is.
There are a lot of other Katrina related story links on that page.
Here is a link to a page for applying for FEMA relief.
Here is a link to their PDF for Individuals and Homes Program.
When disasters take place, the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides money and services to people in the disaster area when losses are not covered by insurance ...
It states that some money is available through the IHP, but most money is in the form of loans from the Small Business Administration that must be repaid. And that applicants may be required to go through the SBA first.
This seems silly on the face of it. If we could expedite this process, and avoid going to a Business related group, for non-business needs, that would seem to be better. (editor.)
IHP will not cover all of your losses from damage to your property (home, personal property, household goods) that resulted from the disaster.
IHP is not intended to restore your damaged property to its condition before the disaster. In some cases, IHP may only provide enough money, up to the program limits, for you to return an item to service.
IHP does not cover business-related losses that resulted from the disaster.
By law, IHP cannot provide money to you for losses that are covered by your insurance.
In other words, businesses, insured and covered damage is not dealt with here. Also, the money is more focused on getting things functional, than getting stuff completely back up...
As a thought example (because I'm not sure they do cars at all.): Its as if they say...The company car isn't covered. Only the deductible on your car, and any above limits is covered, and we aren't going repaint your car, but it will run. Update: Yes, to disaster damaged vehicles.
How to apply:
(To be used by people in Presidentially declared disaster areas.) 1. Apply over the phone to FEMA: Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (hearing/speech impaired ONLY—call 1-800-462-7585). In addition to having a pen and paper, please have the following information ready to give to the person who takes your call:
-Your Social Security Number.
-A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.
-Directions to your damaged property.
-A telephone number where you can be contacted.
You can use the FEMA money for some repairs on your house, and for some other needs as listed below.
-Disaster-related medical and dental costs.
-Disaster-related funeral and burial cost.
-Clothing; household items (room furnishings, appliances); tools (specialized or protective clothing and equipment) required for your job; necessary educational materials (computers, school books, supplies).
-Fuels for primary heat source (heating oil, gas, firewood).
-Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, air purifier, dehumidifier).
-Disaster damaged vehicle.
-Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster (moving and storing property to avoid additional disaster damage while disaster-related repairs are being made to the home).
-Other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA.
Note: This is an amateur skimming through a 24 page PDF, and trying to excerpt the most useful parts, and explain it a bit. Keep that in mind. Hope this helps.