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Florida Hurricane Irma (DR-4337)

Incident Period: September 04, 2017 - October 18, 2017
Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 10, 2017

Individual Assistance Applications
Approved: 774,691

Total Individual & Households Program
Dollars Approved: $1,020,968,233.16

Total Public Assistance Grants
Dollars Obligated: $1,828,314,727.47

Designated Counties (Individual Assistance):

Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Volusia

The deadline to apply for individual disaster assistance was November 24, 2017, but that does not mean FEMA is leaving. FEMA continues working with the State to help survivors and communities recover. View additional deadline dates for disaster recovery assistance.

If you have registered for assistance, FEMA encourages you to keep in touch to track your claim or to notify the agency of changes to your mailing or email addresses or phone numbers, and to report insurance settlements or additional damage you may have discovered since your home inspection.

 

Quick Links

Visit our disaster pages in multiple languages:

How to Appeal a FEMA Decision

Applicants have a right to appeal any FEMA decision.

Some survivors who registered for federal disaster assistance may have received a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that says they are ineligible. The reason for the decision may be something that can be easily fixed, such as providing insurance documents or new contact information.

What to do if you disagree with FEMA’s decision letter1. Read the letter carefully to find out why the decision was made.Do you need to provide additional information?• Insurance determination letter.• Proof of occupancy or ownership.• Proof of ID.• Applicant’s signature.Common reasons for the initial decision:• The damage was to a secondary home or a rental property, not a primary residence.• Someone else in the household applied and received assistance.• Disaster-related losses could not be verified.• Insurance covered all losses.2. Contact FEMA for help with filing an appeal or any questions.Call800-621-3362 (711 or Video Relay Service available)800-462-7585 (TTY)VisitA Disaster Recovery Center3. File a written appeal.Explain why you think the decision was not correct.• Provide supporting information and documents.• Include your FEMA registration number on all documents.• Sign the letter.Mail or fax your appeal within 60 days of the decision letter date, or drop it off at a Disaster Recovery Center.
This graphic explains the appeals process for individuals who've applied for disaster assistance. Download Original

When survivors apply for individual disaster assistance through FEMA, their needs are assessed based on a number of factors, including eligibility requirements laid out under federal law.  Sometimes people do not qualify for financial help right away. Some of the reasons for an initial turn down can be:

  • You might not have gotten your insurance settlement;
  • You may not have given FEMA all the information we need;
  • You haven’t given us proof of ownership or residence;
  • You may not have returned the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application;
  • You may not have provided records that showed the damaged property was the primary residence at the time of the disaster;
  • You may not have signed essential documents.

Read your letter carefully. FEMA may only need you to provide additional information. Your appeal should include new or missing information, documents and damage repair estimates that support the appeal request. If it isn’t clear, or more information is needed, a specialist at the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711, video relay service) can help. TTY users can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

All appeals must be made in the form of a signed letter within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. It is important to date the appeal letter and mail it to the following address:

FEMA National Processing Service Center
P. O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

 

Appeals may also be faxed to: 1-800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA. You can also call the helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center, where you can talk with someone about your particular case.

Everyone should read their letters carefully, ask questions, ask for help, and tell us if you think we got it wrong. We are here to serve you – the disaster survivor – and it is your right to ask us to reconsider our decision.

Contact FEMA with Insurance Settlement Documentation

Survivors who suffered wind and water damage from Hurricane Irma and find themselves insured for some, but not all damages, may initially be designated ineligible for FEMA disaster assistance due to insurance coverage.

Even if you received an initial denial from FEMA, you may be eligible later for help after your insurance claims have been settled if you can demonstrate that your insurance didn’t cover essential needs.

Contact your insurance company and request a settlement letter that details exactly what is covered under the claim.

FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments but may be able to help where homeowners and/or flood insurance did not.

You have up to 12 months from the date you apply with FEMA to submit your insurance settlement records for review. If your settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed your claim, you may write FEMA to explain the reason for the delay. Any funds you get from FEMA would then be considered an advance and must be repaid when you get your settlement.

If you’ve received a letter saying you’re ineligible, whether because of insurance coverage or another reason, additional documentation may be all that is needed to change it. It’s important to read your letter carefully to understand FEMA’s decision so you will know exactly what you need to do.

Examples of documentation are proof of residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property, and proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.

You can submit missing documentation to FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. A list of DRCs is available on the FEMA App or by calling 800-621-3362.

You may mail:
FEMA – Individuals & Households Program
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

Or fax your documentation to:
800-827-8112
Attention: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program

Resource Directory for Hurricane Irma Survivors in Florida

Quickly locate services needed. This information has links to connect to multiple sites that have disaster needs information. All pages have links to state, local, FEMA, and federal resources.

Recovery Resources:

  • Links to: FEMA registration, insurance and insurance company contact information, unemployment assistance, debris and pollution notices, children and family needs, mental health services.

Financial, Legal, and Volunteer Resources:

  • Links to: FEMA registration, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), insurance and insurance contact information, legal services, and volunteers and donations.

Foreclosure Relief:

  • This news release provides information about foreclosure relief for homeowners from the Federal Housing Administration.

 

Stories of Recovery

Volunteers

As soon as the skies cleared and the roads opened after Hurricane Irma, thousands of people began helping survivors put their lives back together. The Florida Baptist Kitchen prepared 30,000 meals per day that volunteers distributed to survivors. The Red Cross Meal Delivery project offered food to hundreds of survivors in hard-hit Immokalee, Florida.

The Florida Baptist Supply Distribution program worked with local and out-of-state partners to provide food, water and emergency supplies to survivors in Naples.

Over a seven day period, AmeriCorps Volunteers cleared enough debris to fill 200 dump trucks.

Even as Monroe County began to recover from Hurricane Irma, debris still clogged many waterways. A group of friends decided to make marine debris removal their mission. A few months later, the 1,000 members of the Conch Republic Marine Army has collected 90 tons of debris.

St. Columba Episcopal Church Providing Housing:

Eighteen days after Hurricane Irma’s landfall, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church brought in travel trailers to house survivors who had lost everything. The church later acquired 17 more trailers and is currently rehabbing an apartment complex to help provide affordable housing for Keys residents.

Preserving Florida’s Culture and History

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

Flooding caused by Hurricane Irma swamped gardens at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville. Staff from FEMA’s Public Assistance and Environmental and Historic Preservation departments toured the facility to assess the storm’s impact and explain how FEMA can help restore the historic gardens.

Marathon Community Theatre:

Hurricane Irma tore the roof off the nonprofit theater and scattered it across the neighborhood. The next day, staff began cleaning up, contacting the theater’s insurance company and filing for assistance from the SBA and FEMA. One month later, the theater reopened.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami:

The museum and gardens, a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places built a large glass canopy to protects art displayed in an outside courtyard, After Florida’s new building codes were enacted, the museum received more than $1.8 million from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to replace it with a hurricane-resistant canopy.

 

Recovery

ESF-10 in the Florida Keys:

Hurricane Irma displaced hundreds of boats, creating the potential for navigation hazards and discharge of oil and other pollutants into Florida’s waters. FEMA mission-assigned the U.S. Coast Guard which worked with the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife to recover and safely remove vessels.

Open to Care for You

When Fishermen’s Hospital was closed due to damage from Hurricane Irma, a field hospital was established to provide health care to Keys residents. Although services are limited, the hospital is able to offer medical services to people in need.

Mitigation

The Evolution of Mitigation:

Seeing is believing. Prompted by the devastation of Hurricane Andrew, Florida adopted some of the most stringent building codes in the country. Homes built before Hurricane Andrew in 1992 sustained extreme damage when Irma roared into the Keys, destroying most of them. Houses built after the stronger codes were enacted came through the Category 4 hurricane with minimal  damage.

Building Back Stronger:

St. Peter Church in Marathon, Florida offers another example of the effectiveness of Florida’s building codes. The church, rectory and office were all severely damaged by Hurricane Irma. But, the ministry center—built after the stronger building codes were enacted and designed to withstand Category 4 hurricane winds—survived intact.

The Turtle Hospital Was Ready For Hurricane Irma:

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma’s five-foot storm surge flooded the sea turtle enclosure, pushing turtles out of their pools. To avoid that happening again, the Turtle Hospital built new, elevated tanks and developed a preparedness plan. As Irma closed in, the turtles were evacuated and medical equipment was moved to protect it from the hurricane’s wind, rain and storm surge. The church will be rebuilt to comply with the stronger codes and elevated five feet to reduce the potential of future flooding.

 

Want to learn more of the Hurricane Irma response and recovery? Check out our one year video roundup: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/168673

Join the Conversation

We’re using social media to provide updates on recovery efforts, and information on programs and resources for Hurricane Irma survivors. Visit one or all of the sites below and join the conversation:

https://www.facebook.com/FEMA/

https://www.facebook.com/FEMAespanol/

https://twitter.com/femaregion4

National Flood Insurance Program

Information about Loss Avoidance. NFIP flood insurance policyholders may be able to get up to $1,000 to help with protective measures taken to avoid flood damage when a flood is imminent.

Steps to File a Claim

FEMA’s How do I File My Flood Claim?  page offers more details on each of the steps below, along with more information for Hurricane Irma survivors who have flood insurance with the National Flood Insurance Program.How to file a flood insurance claim1. Call Your AgentReport your loss immediately to your insurance agent or insurance carrier and ask them about Advance Payments.Advance payments are being granted to eligible policyholders. If you send photo or video documentation, you may be able to receive up to $20,000 before the adjuster inspects your damage.Normally a claims adjuster will contact you within a week.2. Take PhotosBefore entering your home, first make sure it’s safe.Take as many pictures and videos of your flood damaged property as possible – both on the outside and the inside of the building.If you need help finding your insurance carrier, call 800-621-FEMA.For appliances and electronics, take a photograph of the make, model, and serial number for the adjuster.3. Begin CleanupRemove your flood-damaged items. Keep samples of items like flooring and curtains for your adjuster’s inspection. Immediately throw away flooded contents that pose a health risk (like perishable food and pillows), after photographing them.4. Meet Your AdjusterWhen your claims adjuster arrives, make sure they show you their official identification.NFIP Policyholders must follow the guidelines of their flood policy when cleaning up. Visit www.epa.gov/mold/moldcleanup- after-floods for more information.For Hurricane Irma, FEMA has waived the Proof of Loss requirement for initial claims. However, you will need a Proof of Loss if you find additional flood damage. The deadline to submit is one year from the date of the flood loss.5. Receive Final PaymentAfter your adjuster inspects your property, you will receive a package from the NFIP with your adjuster’s report and a check made out to you and/or your mortgage company. You should carefully review the report before depositing the check.If you are unsatisfied with your claim determination, NFIP offers a no-cost appeals process: www.fema.gov/floodclaim- appeals-and-guidance

  1. STEP ONE: File a Claim
    • Who to call
    • What information to provide when reporting your claim
    • How to register for FEMA assistance online
  2. STEP TWO: Prepare For Your Inspection
    • How to document damage
    • How to remove your flood damaged items
    • Who to contact as you make repairs
  3. STEP THREE: Work with Your Adjuster
    • What you should expect from your adjuster visit
    • What to know, do, and discuss with your adjuster
    • What to do after your inspection
  4. STEP FOUR: Complete A Proof of Loss

Note for Hurricane Irma Survivors: Although ordinarily required within 60 days from the date of loss, completing a Proof of Loss (POL) will be waived for a period of one-year. The insurance company will accept the adjuster’s report to pay your claim. You will need a POL if you find additional flood damage or if you disagree with what the insurance company pays you.

Please keep in mind that even after you receive an initial payment for your flood claim, you have the option to request additional payment. You will need to submit a POL by one year from the date of loss if you request additional payment(s).

Unsatisfied With Your Claim Payment? If after you receive a denial letter (for all or some of your flood insurance claim) from your insurer you are unsatisfied with the dollar amount being offered for flood-loss repairs or replacements, you may explore other options. These options are only available for policyholders who have received a denial letter.

Interagency Recovery Coordination

In the days and weeks after a disaster, a range of work begins to get the affected community back on its feet and rebuild stronger, smarter and safer.

The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) provides context for how the whole community works together to restore, redevelop and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural and environmental fabric of the community.

After Hurricane Irma carved a path of destruction from the Keys to the Florida/Georgia line, multiple federal agencies came together to assist residents, assess damage and help rebuild a stronger, more resilient Florida.

 

Fact Sheets:

Business Continuity and Preparedness Guide

Business Continuity and Preparedness Guide

Multimedia

Financial Assistance

Individual Assistance - Dollars Approved

$1,020,968,233.16

Total Individual & Households Program (IHP) - Dollars Approved*

$712,483,650.67

Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved*

$308,484,582.49

Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved*

774,691

Total Individual Assistance (IA) - Applications Approved*

Public Assistance - Dollars Approved

$1,828,314,727.47

Total Public Assistance Grants (PA) - Dollars Obligated✝

$1,427,987,041.24

Emergency Work (Categories A-B) - Dollars Obligated✝

$364,620,281.59

Permanent Work (Categories C-G) - Dollars Obligated✝

* Dollars Approved: Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.
✝ Dollars Obligated: Funds made available to the State via electronic transfer following FEMA's final review and approval of Public Assistance projects.

Learn more about FEMA Disaster definitions. Information is updated every 24 hours.

Preliminary Damage Assessment Report

PDA Report; FEMA-4337-DR

Related Links

Last Updated: 2017-10-20 04:00