TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- More than a month after Tropical Storm Debby soaked Florida, $21 million in state and federal aid has been approved to help those affected by the storm and flooding.
More than 12,000 survivors have contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help or information regarding disaster assistance. Many people are seeking housing assistance from FEMA because their primary home is unlivable or inaccessible.
For survivors who have needs other than federal assistance, the FEMA helpline (800-621-3362) serves as a single source of information - referring survivors to partner agencies such as the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Other callers may be interested in disaster unemployment assistance or legal aid. Businesses are also referred to the SBA.
The following is a snapshot of the disaster recovery effort as of July 27:
- 4,190 households approved for FEMA grants that assist with housing and personal property loss.
- $14.8 million approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance, home repair and replacement costs.
- $1.9 million approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.
- $4.3 million approved for SBA low-interest disaster loans to help repair homes and replace damaged personal property.
- 9,233 home inspections completed.
- 6,721 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.
People who have insurance are urged to apply for help because they may be underinsured. 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 www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By tablet or smartphone, use the FEMA app or go to m.fema.gov.
Businesses that need help may contact the U.S. Small Business Administration directly at the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply.
For more information on Florida’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or http://www.floridadisaster.org. On Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/FloridaSERT. To receive Twitter updates: www.twitter.com/FLSERT or www.twitter.com/femaregion4.
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.
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.