TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- In less than 72 hours from the time that a major Florida disaster for individual assistance was declared in north Florida, recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) generated a spate of action -- including sending $81,304 to survivors of the storms, tornadoes and flooding that started on March 26.
And this, disaster recovery officials vowed, is just the very start.
When the April 28 order designated the first 12 counties eligible to get help for individuals - then two additional counties later - scores of state and federal disaster recovery specialists descended on 14 north Florida counties to help people who suffered losses as a result of the March 26 storms.
Here is a snapshot of recovery action between April 28 and Friday, May 1.
- $81,304 was disbursed for housing expenses, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- $2,914 was approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- 249 applicants registered with FEMA for some form of disaster assistance.
- 8 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) were opened in the disaster area to help people seeking federal-state assistance. The centers are operated jointly by FEMA and the state of Florida.
- 143 survivors visited DRCs in quest of help.
- 57 home inspections were completed.
- More than 1,500 flyers that explained how to apply for assistance were distributed by Community Relations specialists by the close of business Friday.
- 26 Community Relations specialists have made more than 50 visits to homes and businesses in the affected counties to help identify and assist disaster survivors.
- 194 requests for housing inspections were received, with 57 reports returned to FEMA.
- 10 briefings have been scheduled for the upcoming week for state and local community representatives seeking financial assistance in repairing or restoring public infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the storms and flooding.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.