Use FEMA Grants for Intended Purpose

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
November 17, 2020

PENSACOLA, Fla. – FEMA reminds Panhandle residents who have received federal disaster assistance for Hurricane Sally to use the money for its intended purpose and to keep receipts for three years.

Disaster assistance is intended to help residents meet basic disaster-related needs. A letter explaining what the payment is to be used for arrives within a day or two of the check or direct deposit payment.

If applicants spend the payment on anything other than the purpose for which it is intended, they may be denied future disaster assistance. In some cases, FEMA may ask that the money be returned.

Those receiving assistance are urged to keep receipts for their disaster spending for three years to document that the money was used to meet disaster-related needs. If recipients receive an insurance settlement to cover the same expenses, they must reimburse FEMA. Audits are conducted to confirm funds were spent properly.

Disaster survivors in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties with uninsured losses can apply by:

  • Visiting;
  • Downloading the FEMA App; or by
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should provide FEMA with their specific phone number assigned to that service.

The deadline to register is Dec. 1, 2020.

For more information about Hurricane Sally recovery in Florida, visit the FEMA disaster webpage at or the Florida Division of Emergency Management webpage at


FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during and after disasters.

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