TALLAHASEE, Fla. – Two months after Hurricane Michael raked Northwest Florida with 155 mph winds and devastating storm surge, federal disaster assistance awarded to survivors exceeds $656 million.
"The Florida State Emergency Response Team provided a historic response to the strongest hurricane to impact the Panhandle in living memory, completing thousands of missions in support of local response efforts," said Wes Maul, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Thomas J. McCool, the federal coordinating officer for Florida’s hurricane recovery, added: "Florida is on a long road to recovery. Survivors can be assured that the state, FEMA and our federal partners continue to work together to help those affected by Hurricane Michael rebuild their lives and communities."
As of Dec. 9, total federal disaster assistance includes:
- More than $119.3 million in individual and housing grants to provide financial help to those who have necessary expenses following the disaster and are unable to meet those needs through insurance or other means.
- Of that amount, nearly $97.8 million includes housing assistance to help homeowners repair or replace residential property damage from the disaster that is not covered by insurance, and
- More than $21.5 million for Other Needs Assistance. This assistance covers necessary, disaster-related expenses such as medical bills; money to clean, repair or replace household items; to repair or replace vehicles damaged by the disaster and other non-housing needs.
- Nearly $411.4 million in U.S. Small Business Administration loans approved, including more than $363.3 million to homeowners and renters and more than $48 million to businesses to repair, rebuild and replace damaged property and contents and for economic injury.
- More than $126 million in claims paid to 3,300 National Flood Insurance policyholders.
Federal housing assistance has provided:
- Temporary hotel room stays for more than 1,800 households with 651 still checked in under the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program.
- 52 Temporary Housing Units to survivors approved for Direct Temporary Housing, and
- Almost all – 99.5 percent – of the 67,914 housing inspections issued in the disaster area completed.
In another milestone to recovery, contractors managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed the final temporary "blue roof" in the Florida Panhandle last week providing more than 7,800 coverings so survivors can shelter in their own homes while making repairs.
Disaster recovery centers have received more than 33,600 visitors seeking disaster assistance or information, while Disaster Survivor Assistance outreach teams have conducted more than 1,270 visits to community facilities, more than 2,200 to businesses, more than 95,800 home visits and made nearly 30,000 referrals to whole community resources.
Disaster recovery centers remain open in most of the designated counties to provide information and assistance. Survivors can find center locations with the FEMA mobile app, by visiting FEMA.gov/DRC, or by texting DRC and your ZIP code to 43362. Representatives of the state of Florida, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other organizations are at the centers to explain available assistance programs and help connect survivors with resources that best match their recovery needs.
FEMA is helping state and local governments recover. Eighteen counties and the state are eligible for FEMA’s Public Assistance program. Federal funding is available to reimburse communities and some nonprofits for the costs incurred for disaster cleanup, emergency actions taken to protect lives or property, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged infrastructure.
These communities and organizations are advised to file a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) by going online to https://floridapa.org. The deadline for filing an RPA is Dec. 31.
For more Hurricane Michael recovery information, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4399.
FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.
For a list of resources available to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Michael, visit www.floridadisaster.org/info
For more Hurricane Michael recovery information, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4399