FEMA program allows Harvey victims to stay in Mid-South hotels for free

FEMA program allows Harvey victims to stay in Mid-South hotels for free

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two hotels in Memphis are taking in people displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

The hotels are part of a FEMA program that helps evacuees find a place to stay during emergencies. FEMA will pay the cost for victims to stay in certain hotels or motels for a limited period of time.

FEMAevachotels.com allows people to easily look up hotels that are part of the program. Memphis, Olive Branch, Southaven, Tupelo, and Paragould are cities in the Mid-South that have hotels in the program.

Yet, one family that evacuated to Memphis had trouble getting the hotel to let them inside.

She said she went to La Quinta Inn on Millbranch Road, but the hotel told her to go elsewhere.

FEMA told WMC Action News 5 many hotels are still new to the process. The agency said it is still working out the kinks on how to best handle the paperwork and help the families in need.

La Quinta Inn responded Wednesday saying "Once FEMA's Emergency Lodging Assistance (ELA) was activated, the hotel staff of La Quinta's franchise location made every attempt to work with the guest, to ensure the necessary paperwork and a voucher was in place. However, the guest made the decision to leave before the process was completed."

The guest did not wish to comment Wednesday on her experience.

We were told the problem was that you have to have your FEMA number first, in order to get your room paid for.

How you can help Harvey victims

Make a $10 donation to Red Cross by texting the word HARVEY to 90999.

Learn about other donation and volunteer opportunities by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by clicking here.

Donate to the Salvation Army at HelpSalvationArmy.org or call 1-800-725-2769.

Houston's mayor set up a relief fund with the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Click here to donate to that fund.

Blood donations are also encouraged at a time like this. Lifeblood said all blood types are needed. Click here or call 901-290-9743 to schedule a blood donation appointment.

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