Miami, FL -- If you live, work, or own property in any of the four South Florida disaster counties (Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe), and your life was adversely affected by the severe storms and flooding that hit the area beginning October 3, you should register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA's disaster application number is: 1-800-462-9029. The number for speech and hearing impaired individuals is: 1-800-462-7585. The number will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
Federal disaster assistance available for residents and businesses in the flooded counties includes:
Temporary Housing Assistance: The Temporary Housing Assistance Program assures that people whose homes are damaged by disasters have a safe place to live until repairs can be completed. The type of assistance is determined by FEMA, based on criteria that assure that the option chosen is appropriate to the individual's need and can be delivered quickly. The basic forms of temporary housing are rental assistance and essential home repair.
Disaster Loans: The Small Business Administration (SBA) can make federally subsidized loans to repair or replace homes, personal property or businesses, which sustained damages, not covered by insurance. For many persons this loan program is the primary form of disaster assistance they receive.
Individual and Family Grants: This program, administered by the state but underwritten with 75 percent FEMA funding, can provide grants to meet serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not provided for by other programs, insurance or other means. Based on guidelines provided by the Small Business Administration, FEMA makes the determination as to whether the applicant needs to apply for a loan from SBA or if they are automatically referred to the grant program. Among needs that can be met with grant funds are housing repairs, home cleaning and sanitation, necessary household items, replacement of tools of the applicant's trade, clothing, transportation, and medical and dental expenses.
Other key programs an individual assistance designation can provide include emergency loans for farmers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and tax relief from the IRS.