ATLANTA, Ga. -- Two weeks after Tropical Storm Debby struck Florida, $5.3 million in state and federal aid has been approved to help those affected by the storm and flooding.
Almost 3,500 survivors have contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help or information regarding disaster assistance. Some are seeking housing assistance from FEMA because the flooding has made their home unlivable or inaccessible.
Other forms of disaster assistance are provided by partner agencies such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Small Business Administration. FEMA refers survivors to those agencies. Businesses are also referred to the SBA. Other callers may be interested in disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling or legal aid.
The following is a snapshot of the disaster recovery effort as of July 9:
- 932 households already approved for FEMA grants that assist with temporary rentals and personal property loss.
- $4.7 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
- More than $551,000 approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- 1,715 home inspections completed.
- 620 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.
- 5 disaster recovery centers currently open.
No matter the degree of loss or insurance coverage, survivors are urged to apply for help. They can use any of the following methods:
- By phone, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Assistance is available in most languages. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (TTY) 800-462-7585.
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By tablet or smartphone, use the FEMA app or go to m.fema.gov.
Businesses that need help may contact the Small Business Administration at the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), send an e-mail to Disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or go to Disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply.
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.