TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — State and federal community relations teams are working door-to-door helping Tropical Storm Debby survivors in the 22 counties designated for federal individual assistance.
State community response teams train year-round in the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Disaster Reservist Program. They are activated to quickly provide help after a disaster. Teams visit individuals and families to explain how the federal assistance process works and can also detail the services available at any of the 13 disaster recovery centers open in response to Tropical Storm Debby.
More than 70 state and federal community response team members are working in the 22 counties designated for federal individual assistance: Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Manatee, Nassau, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla.
Any federal or state team member, along with FEMA-contracted home and property damage inspectors, carry an easily-identifiable photo ID. FEMA and SERT teams wear agency logo shirts. These 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.
Federal assistance can provide help with temporary housing, uninsured personal property losses, medical expenses or other needs such as dental and funeral expenses associated with the disaster.
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.