TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Four months after Hurricane Michael struck, Florida Division of Emergency Management, FEMA and other state and federal agencies continue assisting survivors and communities as they recover from the storm. This is a long-term commitment.
As of Feb. 12, more than $935 million in federal funding has been provided in grants, loans and flood insurance payments. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided $605 million to homeowners, renters and business and is operating five centers to assist applicants with disaster loans. The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $195 million in flood claims. FEMA has approved more than $135 million in grants for homeowners and renters.
Nearly 21,000 homeowners and renters have received financial rental assistance from FEMA. FEMA continues placing eligible survivors in temporary housing units while they make plans for more permanent housing. To date, households have been placed in 556 units. Seven group housing sites are receiving occupants or are under construction. FEMA has contracted with 30 commercial parks for housing units to be placed. Many units also are placed on survivors’ property.
After a disaster declaration, FEMA usually operates disaster recovery centers for short periods. In Florida, FEMA began opening centers in October 2018. To date, centers have opened in 29 locations in the Panhandle. Survivors have made more than 49,000 visits to these centers to speak with representatives of state, FEMA and other agencies.
FEMA coordinates with the State of Florida to determine where there is a need for a center and how long it remains open. After a center closes, survivors can still get updates about applications, learn about the appeal process or check the status of their application in any of the following ways:
- Logging into their account at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
- Visiting any open recovery center; to find the nearest one go online to www.FEMA.gov/DRC
- Calling the disaster assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362, (TTY, 800-462-7585). Toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
To help state and local agencies defray the cost of response and recovery, FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides supplemental federal disaster grants for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain private nonprofit organizations.
State and local agencies have cleared more than 26 million cubic yards of debris. The Public Assistance program is working with the state and local communities to reimburse eligible costs of debris removal.
The Public Assistance program also encourages protection of damaged facilities from future events by providing funding for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The Hazard Mitigation program works with the state on grant funding for projects that will make the Panhandle more resilient to damage from future storms.
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.
Follow FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Twitter at @FEMARegion4 and @FLSERT. You may also visit FEMA and the Division’s Facebook pages at Facebook.com/FEMA and Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.