ORLANDO, Fla. -- One month since destructive tornadoes ripped through four Central Florida counties, many residents' lives remain disrupted and personal property destroyed. State-federal recovery efforts continue and more than $18 million in disaster assistance has been approved for over 550 households and business owners.
As cleanup continues and lives begin to rebuild, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Response Team (SERT) remind residents and business owners who have not yet registered for disaster assistance to apply as soon as possible.
Floridians who sustained damage by tornadoes occurring on Dec. 25, 2006, and February 2, have only one month left to apply for disaster assistance. In most instances, victims have 60 days from the date a disaster is declared to file for assistance. April 3 is the last day applications will be accepted for assistance for victims of the February 2 tornadoes and storms. Applicants who have damage from the December 25 tornado and local flooding have until April 7.
One Month Review - By the Numbers (combined total-both declarations)
- 2,631 total registrations requesting some form of assistance.
- 570 assistance grants have been approved for the Individuals and Household Program.
- $3,309,878 in grants has been approved through the Individuals and Household Program.
- $2.8 million in grants has been approved for Housing Assistance. This temporary disaster housing assistance includes repairing disaster-damaged, uninsured homes to a safe, sanitary and functional condition.
- $508,092 in grants has been approved for Other Needs Assistance (ONA). ONA grants are for disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs, such as medical expenses, transportation costs and the repair or replacement of household appliances, clothing and necessary educational materials.
- $15,111,300 in loans has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters and businesses.
- $13,519,400 in loans has been approved for homeowners and renters.
- $1,591,900 in loans has been approved for businesses.
- SBA officials encourage anyone who has received an application to turn it in as soon as possible. The SBA application is a key information-gathering tool and must be completed. Filling out the applications does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan if it is offered.
- 1,266 home inspections have been completed to date.
- 3,218 people have visited the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) that are setup in declared disaster areas to help meet the needs of disaster victims. At peak, six centers were operational. Two remain open from 8am - 6pm, Monday through Saturday at:
- 1706 South Woodland Blvd in DeLand
- 38521 Lakeview Drive , Lady Lake
- 2,036 home loan applications have been issued by the SBA.
- 33 residents occupy a FEMA travel trailer under the emergency temporary housing program.
Other Assistance Highlights:
- Counselors are available to speak with Florida residents who are suffering from disaster-related stress. Residents in need of assistance are encouraged to call the state crisis counseling helpline at (713) HOTLINE (468-5463).
- Community Relations (CR) staff continues to canvass communities and neighborhoods encouraging registration with FEMA and loc...