ATLANTA, Ga. -- Florida’s State Emergency Response Team and the Federal Emergency Management Agency community relations teams are in the 11 declared counties going door to door with disaster assistance information to help survivors recover from Tropical Storm Debby.
Anyone representing the SERT or FEMA, including FEMA-contracted home and property damage inspectors, carries a photo ID ensuring they are easily identifiable. FEMA and SERT teams wear agency shirts.
The teams are visiting with individuals to provide information on resources that are available and to identify people who need assistance in the federally designated counties of Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Franklin, Hernando, Highlands, Pasco, Pinellas, Suwannee and Wakulla.
Officials with the FEMA and SERT teams will not request personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers. Survivors will be asked to provide personal information only when calling FEMA to register the first time.
Once a survivor has registered with FEMA, an inspector will call and set up an appointment to see the damaged property. The inspector will ask for identification and proof of ownership and occupancy (for homeowners) or occupancy only (for renters).
Official FEMA-contracted housing inspectors assess damage, but do not determine cost estimates. They do not charge a survivor for this inspection service. FEMA contractors are not allowed to endorse a contractor or to hire someone on behalf of the survivor.
Suspicions of fraud or attempts to scam survivors should be reported to local law enforcement immediately. People who suspect anyone of committing contractor fraud should contact the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation by calling 866-532-1440 or by emailing ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us.
Survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), going online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or using the FEMA app or m.FEMA.gov with a smartphone or tablet.
For the latest Tropical Storm Debby recovery information, follow @FLSERT on Twitter or visit www.facebook.com/floridasert. To get a disaster preparedness plan, go to the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website at www.FloridaDisaster.org
For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to get a disaster preparedness plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/flsert and visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridasert.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.