FEMA Guidance on Moving Back Home
Florida Hurricane Irma survivors who return home achieve a recovery milestone. They can reach this goal by creating a realistic permanent housing plan.
Survivors who receive temporary FEMA housing assistance—hotel stays, rental assistance, travel trailers and FEMA-paid apartments—must routinely show they still need help and look for long-term options.
They may show long-term housing progress to FEMA if they:
- Decide whether to repair or rebuild their pre-disaster home, find and purchase a new residence or find and lease an available rental unit.
- Provide evidence of progress—including repair receipts, rebuilding contracts, leases for new residences or causes for delays outside of their control.
- Achieve long-term housing goals in a reasonable time frame.
- Fulfill requests to communicate and meet with their FEMA representative.
For those who want to return to their pre-disaster home, they should prepare to move back when it becomes habitable even if repairs are not 100 percent complete. This means:
- The exterior is structurally sound, including the doors, roof and windows.
- The interior’s habitable areas are structurally sound, including ceilings and floors.
- Electricity, gas, heat, plumbing and sewer and septic systems function properly.
- A home may still be habitable even if non-essential items like dishwashers, home entertainment equipment, blinds, drapes or floor-covering still need to be put in.
FEMA can help Hurricane Irma survivors in temporary housing create permanent housing plans so they can get back home. They should contact their FEMA advisor for assistance.