PENSACOLA, Fla. — The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are working together to connect survivors to a wide array of disaster services and resources. This includes crucial help for people who are experiencing disaster-related unemployment, legal issues or stress.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Disaster survivors who lost their jobs or those who are self-employed and have lost income as a direct result of the severe storms and flooding that took place April 28 through May 6 in parts of the Panhandle may be eligible for FEMA-funded unemployment benefits.
The state-administered disaster unemployment assistance program is available for those who lost work as a direct result of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment assistance.
To file a claim for disaster unemployment assistance, call 800-681-8102.
Disaster Legal Services
Assistance is available for survivors who need help with disaster-related legal issues but can’t afford a lawyer. Free legal services, including legal advice and counseling, may be provided to disaster survivors through a FEMA program administered by the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Division.
To request free legal assistance, survivors can call 866-550-2929. Callers will likely get a recording, but they are urged to leave a message and they will receive a call back within two business days.
Disaster-Related Stress Help
Survivors who are experiencing stress as a result of the recent storms and flooding can call the disaster distress helpline any time at 800-985-5990. People can also text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
Disaster Recovery Centers
Survivors with questions about disaster assistance can also meet face to face with recovery specialistsfrom the State Emergency Response Team, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration at five disaster recovery centers in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.
To locate the nearest disaster recovery center, go to FEMA.gov/DRCLocator or call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.
If possible, before visiting a center, survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA. Register online at DisasterAssistance.gov, via smartphone at m.fema.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability can call (TTY) 800-462-7585. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. central time and assistance is available in multiple languages.
For more information on Florida disaster recovery, click fema.gov/disaster/4177. Visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management website at FloridaDisaster.org or Facebook page at facebook.com/FloridaSERT.