ORLANDO, Fla. – Two Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers (MDRCs) will open Saturday, Sept. 30, in Marion and Polk counties to help Florida storm survivors. The MDRCs will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 8:00 p.m.
DRCs, like these, are mobile disaster resources that allow state and local officials to maximize their reach to as many affected areas and survivors as possible. They offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the state, are available to provide assistance to anyone with filling out applications or updating their status. Voluntary organizations are available and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.
The MDRCs are at the following addresses:
Marion County Public Library (Marion County)2720 NE Silver Springs Blvd.Ocala, FL 34470Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. THIS LOCATION CLOSES OCT. 3Stuart Center (Polk County)1702 US Highway 17 SouthBartow, FL 33830Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. THIS LOCATION CLOSES OCT. 3
As more centers open, survivors may locate one near them by going to https://www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers, by using the FEMA Mobile App, or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, (TTY) 800-462-7585. Helpline numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
The registration process is the first step in recovery and requires information such as insurance policies, and bank information for possible direct transfer of funds. Survivors are encouraged to register before visiting a DRC.
If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register in one of the following ways:
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. Information on the registration process is available in ASL at: fema.gov/medialibrary/assets/videos/111546.
- Help is available in most languages.
- Download the FEMA Mobile App and apply.
You may have other needs while visiting a DRC:
- If you require a reasonable accommodation such as American Sign Language interpreting, Braille, large print, etc., you may call the Helpline number for support at 800-621-3362.
- Language translations are offered through Telephonic Interpretation Services in 200 languages.
Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) crews are canvassing affected areas and are able to register survivors for FEMA assistance, if needed. When residents require further assistance, the teams may refer them to a DRC.
If you’re already registered, it is not necessary to visit a DRC, but you may still want to go speak with a Recovery Specialist to update your status or find help from the other organizations.
FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
Survivors should register even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims have been settled.
For more recovery information, visit fema.gov/hurricane-irma.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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.