Over 92K homes have been inspected, FEMA says, 1,468 households have been sheltered (3,817 people), and 39K flood insurance claims have been filed.

WASHINGTON – While it will take a long time to help the victims of Hurricane Ian and clean up the debris, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) latest update suggests much has been done so far.

FEMA provides rental assistance, hotel stays, repair assistance, reimbursement for temporary lodging and other forms of support for Hurricane Ian survivors. That help is now available in 26 Florida counties.

Florida counties eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance

  • Brevard
  • Charlotte
  • Collier
  • DeSoto
  • Flagler
  • Glades
  • Hardee
  • Hendry
  • Highlands
  • Hillsborough
  • Lake
  • Lee
  • Manatee
  • Monroe
  • Okeechobee
  • Orange
  • Osceola
  • Palm Beach
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Putnam
  • Sarasota
  • Seminole
  • St. Johns
  • Volusia

FEMA options and advances

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance specialists are going door-to-door in Florida neighborhoods to help individuals register for assistance and have met, so far, 34,700 individuals.

Disaster Recovery Centers: Survivors can visit one of 15 Disaster Recovery Centers operating in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Lee (2 locations), Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. More centers are planned. Interpretation services and translated materials are available to help survivors communicate. Disaster Recovery Center locations are chosen for their accessibility, with the goal of reaching as many people as possible. As centers are added, real-time locations will be updated at FloridaDisaster.org.

Temporary housing: FEMA pays hotel and motel costs for eligible survivors and, working with the state of Florida, activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program, which allows FEMA to make payments directly to participating hotels and motels in Alabama, Florida and Georgia that provide emergency shelter. The program provides housing for 1,468 households (3,817 members) so far.

Inspections: Hundreds of FEMA inspectors have performed over 92,000 home inspections for survivors who applied for federal disaster assistance.

Business loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $85 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and business owners. Business Recovery Centers are located in Collier, DeSoto, Hillsborough, Lee and Seminole counties.

Flood insurance: As of Oct. 18, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) received more than 39,000 flood insurance claims and paid more than $82 million to policyholders, including $59 million in advance payments.

NFIP policyholders may receive up to $1,000 in immediate aid to reimburse the purchase of supplies like sandbags, plastic sheeting and lumber. They may also receive up to $1,000 in storage expenses if they moved insured property. Policyholders should file a claim for flood loss avoidance reimbursement, regardless of whether it was successful in preventing flood damage.

Florida policyholders who had hurricane flood damage after failing to recently renew a policy have a 90-day window to renew their policies. The extension applies to policies with renewal dates beginning Aug. 25, through Oct. 23. Policyholders should contact their agent or insurance company for details.

FEMA also extended the proof-of-loss requirement for Florida flood insurance policyholders with flood damage from Hurricane Ian from 60 to 365 days. For more information on how to file a flood insurance claim, visit How to Start Your Flood Insurance Claim.

Unemployment help: Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to eligible survivors. Floridians can file a claim for loss of income caused by Hurricane Ian by going to Disaster Unemployment Assistance at FloridaJobs.org and selecting “Apply for Hurricane Ian DUA,” visiting a local CareerSource Career Center, or calling (800) 385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Low-income assistance: Low-income Florida residents recovering from Hurricane Ian may be eligible for assistance from the Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Survivors can find more information on Florida’s D-SNAP program by visiting the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery website.

Roofing: Operation Blue Roof has installed 3,244 roofs so far. The free service provided to homeowners and currently operates in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Lee and Sarasota counties. Residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can sign up at BlueRoof.us or call toll-free at (888) ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Accessible housing: If anyone in a household uses adaptive or accessibility items that were damaged by Hurricane Ian, FEMA may be able to help. For homeowners, items can include an exterior ramp, grab bars and a paved pathway to the home’s entrance from a vehicle. Grants for these products don’t take away from other potential damage funding. More information for homeowners and renters: Update to FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

For more information on Hurricane Ian recovery efforts and survivor options, visit Florida Realtors Hurricane Recovery Center.

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Author: kerrys