Florida Hurricane Matthew (DR-4283-FL)
Incident Period: October 3, 2016 - October 19, 2016
Declaration Date: October 8, 2016
How to Help
When disaster strikes, every little bit helps. To make the most of your contributions, please follow our guidelines to learn the most effective and safest ways to donate cash, goods, or time following a disaster.
- Cash is best. Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible, and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through area businesses which supports economic recovery.
- Confirm donations needed. Critical needs change rapidly – confirm needed items BEFORE collecting; pack and label carefully; confirm delivery locations; arrange transportation. Unsolicited goods NOT needed burden local organizations’ ability to meet survivors’ confirmed needs, drawing away valuable volunteer labor, transportation, and warehouse space.
- Connect to volunteer. Trusted organizations operating in the affected area know where volunteers are needed, and can ensure appropriate volunteer safety, training, and housing.
States affected by Hurricane Matthew have provided the following additional information on the best ways to help survivors.
Volunteer Florida serves as Florida’s lead agency for volunteers & donations before, during, & after disasters. Individuals interested in helping following Hurricane Matthew may register online to volunteer. volunteerflorida.org/hurricane-matthew
Volunteer Florida CEO Chester W. Spellman said “One of the most critical times to use volunteers is following disasters. Whether it is shelter staffing, food distribution, or to assist with clean up, we will need volunteers positioned to serve immediately with local disaster relief organizations. Having volunteers prepared and ready to deploy will be a critical tool as we move forward.”
Filing a Flood Insurance Claim
If you have experienced a flood, you can file your flood insurance claim by following these three steps.
STEP ONE: NOTIFY YOUR INSURER TO START THE CLAIMS PROCESS
After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you have the following information handy:
- The name of your insurance company
- Your policy number
- A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, please contact your insurance agent or company again. Find your company’s toll-free phone number.
STEP TWO: DOCUMENT THE DAMAGE
Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.
- Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
- Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.
- Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.
STEP THREE: COMPLETE A PROOF OF LOSS TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM
Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. You'll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. You'll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss.
Beware of Fraud & Scams When Seeking Disaster Assistance
After a disaster scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.
Survivors should keep in mind:
- Federal and state workers never ask for, or accept money, and always carry identification badges
- There is NO FEE required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration or the state
- Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, text or in person
Price gouging occurs when a supplier marks up the price of an item more than is justified by his actual costs. Survivors are particularly susceptible because their needs are immediate, and have few alternatives to choose from. If you find price gouging, contact your State's Office of the Attorney General.
Dealing with Contractors:
Survivors should take steps to protect themselves and avoid fraud when hiring contractors to clean property, remove debris or make repairs.
Simple rules to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:
- Only use contractors licensed by your state
- Get a written estimate and get more than one estimate
- Demand and check references
- Ask for proof of insurance
- i.e., liability and Workmen's Compensation
- Insist on a written contract and refuse to sign a contract with blank spaces
- Get any guarantees in writing
- Make final payments only after the work is completed
- Pay by check.
The best way to avoid fraud is to arm yourself against it by having a checklist to remind you of what you need to demand when hiring a contractor.
Charitable Giving Scams
Donating money or supplies to the relief effort is another way to help survivors. Be alert to scams during an emergency. Learn more about donating.
If you are aware of a potential charity scam in a state affected by Hurricane Matthew, you can report it to that state's consumer affairs or attorney general's office:
- Florida - Call toll free 1-866-966-7226 or file a complaint online.
- Georgia - Call 404-651-8600 or toll free 1-800-869-1123 or file a complaint online.
- North Carolina - Call toll free 1-877-566-7226 or file a complaint online.
- South Carolina - Call 803-734-4200 or toll free 1-800-922-1594 or file a complaint online.
Those who question the validity of a contact or suspect fraud are encouraged to call the toll free FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement agencies.
|Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved||$17,967,178.06|
|Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved||$3,138,352.90|
|Total Individual & Households Program Dollars Approved||$21,105,530.96|
|Individual Assistance Applications Approved||6817|
|Emergency Work (Categories A-B) - Dollars Obligated||$247,075,773.46|
|Permanent Work (Categories C-G) - Dollars Obligated||$109,012,624.39|
|Total Public Assistance Grants Dollars Obligated||$369,266,420.85|
News and Information
Designated Counties (Individual Assistance)
- Brevard (County)
- Duval (County)
- Flagler (County)
- Indian River (County)
- Nassau (County)
- Putnam (County)
- Seminole (County)
- St. Johns (County)
- Volusia (County)