TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- More than $1.5 million in federal disaster aid has been provided in the last 10 days to help people recover from losses caused by severe March storms, tornadoes and flooding across north Florida that resulted in a major disaster declaration by the president.
The help went to people who were found to be eligible for assistance in 14 counties that were designated disaster areas. The counties are: Calhoun, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Walton and Washington.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Response Team (SERT) continue to encourage people who suffered uninsured or underinsured losses related to March 26 - May 5 storms and flooding in the designated counties to register for help with FEMA.
There is still time to register, and it is as easy as dialing 800-621-FEMA (3362) any day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time or TTY 800-462-7585 for people with speech or hearing impairment. An application can also be made on FEMA's new Web site, www.disasterassistance.gov at any time. A person may also track the status of an application on that site.
Here is a summary of assistance to individuals through Thursday, May 7:
- $1,218,567 has been disbursed for housing expenses, including temporary rental assistance, home repair costs and assistance toward replacing destroyed homes.
- $154,662 has been disbursed to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- $206,800 in loans to homeowners, renters or business owners has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- 659 applicants have registered with FEMA for some form of disaster assistance.
- 645 visits have been made at Disaster Recovery Centers operated jointly by FEMA and the state of Florida.
- 419 home inspections to confirm disaster damage have been completed.
- Teams of state and FEMA Community Relations field specialists have distributed more than 7,000 flyers and worked in the affected counties to help identify and assist disaster survivors. In the course of explaining the recovery process, they have visited:
- - 760 residents
- - 138 businesses
- - 97 faith-based groups
- - 21 community organizations
- - 11 schools
- - 65 emergency managers, fire and law enforcement officials
- - 17 government officials
- - 14 post offices
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.