NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff
says hotel bills for people who fled Hurricane Gustav will be paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency if those people register
Chertoff made the announcement Wednesday at a news conference in Baton Rouge with Governor Bobby Jindal. It was unclear whether
bills of people who have already checked out of hotels following a
brief evacuation would be covered.
Chertoff said the hotel aid was designed "to make sure that
people don't feel economic pressure to return home prematurely,
before it's safe."
It was unclear whether other evacuation costs, such as fuel and
food, would also be covered under a recent presidential disaster
declaration. FEMA spokesman Manuel Broussard said that while such a
determination is being made, evacuees should save receipts for
gasoline and other expenses and they should register with FEMA by
calling 1-800-621-FEMA or goig online to www.fema.gov.