ORLANDO, Fla. – Floridians are rebuilding and repairing their homes, businesses, roads, bridges and schools.
As the focus turns toward long-term recovery from Hurricane Irma, survivors have many resources available from nonprofits and government agencies to assist with unmet needs.
Twenty-six Long Term Recovery Groups across the state, supported by a wide variety of nonprofits and FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons, are helping Irma survivors connect with those resources.
The VALs support the effort by participating in meetings between volunteer groups and communities and by providing technical support and suggestions on how best to coordinate their current recovery efforts locally. They also assist with their recovery strategy by providing best practices from National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Florida VOAD and Volunteer Florida.
Some of the nonprofit groups supporting long-term recovery are FL Baptist Disaster Relief, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, United Methodist FL Conference, Jewish Community Services, Lutheran Social Services, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, St. Vincent De Paul, United Way and the Salvation Army. Housing and homeless organizations, foundations and food banks also assist in long-term recovery efforts.
These volunteer- and faith-based, civic service and community organizations, along with disability service, support and advocacy organizations comprise LTRGs. They help take care of unmet disaster-related needs of people who may need more time and resources to recover.
Hurricane Irma survivors with unmet needs may contact FLVOAD@gmail.com for assistance from LTRGs in their community.
Specialists from several federal agencies also offer support by working with local groups to help build stronger and safer communities better prepared to face disasters.
The agencies involved, led by FEMA, are working to:
- Return businesses, including agriculture, to a healthy state and develop new economic opportunities.
- Restore and improve health and social service networks.
- Rebuild and support affordable and accessible housing, including rural development.
- Restore and improve resilience of infrastructure systems.
- Protect natural and cultural resources and historic properties.
- Help plan for safer and more resilient communities.
Federal agencies include the Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency and Rural Development, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Interior and FEMA.
Helping people before, during, and after disasters.
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). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
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 to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.