TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Tropical Storm Debby survivors in Citrus, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Polk and Sarasota counties in Florida can now apply for federal disaster assistance. Pinellas County is now eligible for Public Assistance, which helps pay for infrastructure damage.
There are 22 counties designated for Individual Assistance. They are: Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Manatee, Nassau, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla.
For survivors and business owners who sustained damages or losses in those counties, money for temporary housing, essential home repairs and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance may be available. Renters, homeowners and business owners can register for help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Survivors living in a county designated for Individual Assistance can register with FEMA by one of the following methods:
- Call 800-621-FEMA (3362). Assistance is available in most languages and lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. If you are deaf or hard of hearing and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585.
- Go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By smartphone or tablet, use the FEMA app or go to m.fema.gov.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are also available to help with residential and business losses not covered by insurance. Survivors and businesses may obtain information on SBA disaster loan applications by calling 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing) or online at www.sba.gov. They may also apply for disaster loans at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
There are 30 counties eligible for Public Assistance. They are: Baker, Bradford, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Franklin, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Nassau, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla.
Public Assistance reimburses eligible state and local governments, tribal organizations and some private nonprofit organizations for eligible expenses incurred due to a disaster. On a cost-share basis, reimbursements can include repairing or replacing damaged buildings and infrastructure and emergency expenses such as debris removal, search and rescue, increased security and overtime pay for employees.
For more information on Florida’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or www.floridadisaster.org. On Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/FloridaSERT. To receive Twitter updates: www.twitter.com/FLSERT or www.twitter.com/femaregion4.
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.