Hurricane Irma: Florida One Year, More Than $3 Billion Later

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
August 21, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla – Florida’s recovery has moved forward one year after Hurricane Irma slogged through the state. About 777,000 households received FEMA Individual Assistance; FEMA’s Public Assistance program was made available in all 67 counties—as was the Hazard Mitigation grants program under the September 10, 2017 major disaster declaration.


State officials and federal agencies, volunteers and nonprofits continue to partner in Florida’s comeback from last September’s hurricane. Also, Floridians have committed finances, valuable time and sweat equity to their recovery.

Disaster Recovery Summary as of Aug. 1, 2018


  • Nearly $3 billion in FEMA disaster assistance, low-interest U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans and National Flood Insurance Program payments have flowed to Florida for recovery and rebuilding.
  • $1.4 billion in loans has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration for 34,800 homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the hurricane.
  • More than 28,500 claims have been submitted to the National Flood Insurance Program with about $964 million paid out to survivors. Policyholders have received an average payment of $52,064.
  • More than $9 million in Disaster Unemployment Assistance was paid through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to about 3,800 Floridians who lost work because of the storm.


  • FEMA has approved more than $1.3 billion to help survivors. Of that:
  • About $110 million was paid directly to hotels for temporary accommodations while survivors’ homes were undergoing repairs.
  • The Transitional Sheltering Assistance program sheltered 27,300 households in 1,800 hotels in 46 states and the District of Columbia and ended after six months.
  • Nearly $507 million in rental assistance paid to survivors in temporary housing while their homes were being repaired;
  • About $2.8 million paid to survivors as reimbursement for their hotel stays (not part of Transitional Sheltering Assistance program);
  • About $188 million paid to survivors to make home repairs to make them habitable;
  • About $309 million was paid for other essential needs.


  • Additionally housing was provided directly, without cost, to 318 individuals and families approved to live temporarily in travel trailers or FEMA-leased apartments in the four hardest-hit counties—Collier, Hendry, Lee and Monroe— about 160 households have moved out into longer-term housing.
  • FEMA has obligated about $210 million to the state to reimburse local and state government agencies and certain private nonprofits for eligible activities and disaster-related costs.
    • The state and FEMA are working with more than 1,000 applicants for Public Assistance throughout the state for eligible recovery projects.
  • FEMA typically reimburses 75 percent of eligible disaster-related expenses; some eligible expenses can be reimbursed at 90 or 100 percent depending on circumstances.


Recovery through Partnerships


The state, voluntary agencies, FEMA and other federal recovery partners have coordinated solutions to overcome many recovery challenges after Hurricane Irma.


  • In the days following Hurricane Irma, multiple federal partners came to Florida to assist residents, assess damage and help rebuild a stronger, more resilient Sunshine State. Those partners included the Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Labor.
  • About 47,000 people have volunteered more than 1.5 million hours on Irma-related recovery projects. Volunteer groups are crucial to recovery because federal disaster assistance alone cannot make survivors whole again.
  • 48 Long-Term Recovery Groups comprised of nonprofits and community leaders assist Florida survivors with unmet needs. FEMA liaisons work with these groups on organizational processes.
  • Nearly 200 private sector entities coordinated with FEMA to provide helpful information to more than 1.9 million Floridians about how to register and rebuild safer, stronger and smarter.
    • One partnership resulted in providing jumbotron messaging at a high-profile college football game reaching more than 65,000 attendees.


The 2017 disaster season affected nearly 47 million in the United States. While recovery continues, FEMA and its interagency partners remain focused and dedicated to the continued stabilization and resilience of impacted communities.


As of July 25, 2018, FEMA and its federal partners obligated $22.9 billion to support response and recovery from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the 2017 California wildfires. FEMA and its federal partners have been making long term investments in affected communities and will continue to focus on the progression of recovery for years to come.


The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 served as a wakeup call to the nation about the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive; it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community. Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.


Link to video: Irma One Year: Culture of Preparedness ( library/assets/videos/168673)




Last updated March 18, 2021