Residents, businesses: Register for disaster assistance

By Cynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Homeowners, renters and business owners in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco and Pinellas counties who were affected by Hurricane Hermine are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.

The Sept. 28 presidential disaster declaration makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and businesses from the hurricane and associated severe storms and flooding in Florida.

Individuals and businesses in the designated counties can begin the disaster assistance process by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362, which is video relay service accessible. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have difficulty speaking may call TTY 800-462-7585. Helpline hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week until further notice.

Assistance may include grants for temporary housing, rental assistance and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed personal property, and medical and dental expenses. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration may also be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Florida residents should register with FEMA even if they have insurance, but only if their property was damaged by the floods or high winds. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster-relief organization. Federal disaster aid does not affect other government benefits, such as Social Security and Medicaid, and is not considered taxable income. Only one person per household is eligible to register. Survivors must use the name that appears on their Social Security cards when registering with FEMA.

Applicants will be asked for the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged home or apartment
  • Description of the damage
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • A current contact telephone number
  • An address where they can receive mail
  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.

The declaration also authorizes Public Assistance to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Hermine in the counties of Citrus, Dixie, Franklin, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Pasco, Pinellas, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

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 loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

SO YOU KNOW:

https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2016/09/30/florida-survivors-urged-register-disaster-assistance

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