FEMA Takes Action to Speed ​​Up Debris Removal in Florida; Federal aid totals $1.67 billion

WASHINGTON – To expedite Hurricane Ian debris removal in Florida, FEMA is providing limited waivers in the private property debris removal/commercial property debris removal application process. In areas designated as severely damaged, FEMA will waive the applicant approval requirement for all storm-related residential debris and commercial right-of-way debris. Severity determinations are based on the best available data: damage assessment and storm impact data, including wind damage, storm surge and flooding.

After Hurricane Ian, more than $1.67 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance was provided to the state of Florida and to households. FEMA provided $680 million to households and $322 million to the state for emergency response, while the U.S. Small Business Administration provided $429 million in disaster loans and the National Flood Insurance Program paid $244 million in claims.

How FEMA is helping Floridians

  • FEMA will provide temporary housing to eligible Hurricane Ian survivors in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties. FEMA has approved direct temporary housing assistance to provide options for those whose homes are unlivable due to the hurricane. FEMA has determined that rental assistance is insufficient to meet housing needs in these counties due to a lack of available housing resources. FEMA will notify applicants who are eligible for direct housing. It will take time to transport, permit, install and inspect these units before they are available. Direct Temporary Housing Assistance may be provided for up to 18 months from September 29, 2022, the date of the federal disaster declaration, to March 28, 2024.
  • FEMA has made individual assistance available to 26 Florida counties. Residents in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole , districts of St. Johns and Volusia can apply for individual assistance.
  • FEMA is meeting with survivors to help jump-start their recovery. Disaster relief specialists are going door-to-door in Florida neighborhoods to help individuals register for assistance. These teams interacted with almost 77,000 survivors in districts designated for individual assistance.
  • Survivors can visit one of 23 disaster recovery centers operating in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee (2 locations), Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia Counties. More centers are planned. Interpreting services and translated materials are available at these centers to help victims communicate in the language they are most comfortable with. Disaster Recovery Center locations are chosen for their accessibility to reach as many people as possible. As centers are added, real-time locations will be updated on FloridaDisaster.org.
  • FEMA has extended temporary shelter assistance to seven additional counties, bringing the total to 26 counties that are eligible for temporary hotel stays for survivors who cannot remain in their homes due to storm damage. To date, the program provides housing for 2,362 households with 5,966 members.
  • Hundreds of FEMA inspectors they overplayed 178,000 home inspections for survivors who have applied for federal disaster assistance.
  • The US Small Business Administration has approved $429 million in low-interest disaster loans homeowners, renters and business owners. Business Recovery Centers are located in Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee and Seminole counties.
  • As of October 29, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) had received more than 43,000 flood insurance claims and paid out more than $244 million to policyholders, including $142 million in advances.
  • NFIP policyholders can receive up to $1,000 cover the purchase of consumables such as sandbags, plastic sheeting and lumber. They can also receive up to $1,000 in storage costs if they have moved the insured property. Policyholders should file a claim for flood prevention coverage regardless of whether they were able to avoid the flood damage.
  • FEMA is recruiting locally for more than 300 jobs in Brandon, Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Orlando and Sarasota. These positions are full-time, 120-day appointments that may be extended based on operational needs. Applicants are encouraged to apply online through USAJobs.gov.
  • Disaster unemployment assistance is available to eligible survivors. Floridians can file a Hurricane Ian income loss claim by going to Disaster Unemployment Assistance – FloridaJobs.org and selecting “Apply for Hurricane Ian DUA,” visiting your local CareerSource Career Center, or calling 800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM ET.
  • Low-income Floridians recovering from Hurricane Ian may be eligible for assistance from the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Survivors can find more information about Florida’s D-SNAP program at the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery website.
  • Operation Blue Roof installed 17,321 roofs. It is a free service provided to homeowners and currently operates in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Lee and Sarasota counties. Residents affected by Hurricane Ian can register at BlueRoof.us or call toll-free 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information. The call center will be open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.
  • National Flood Insurance Program Policyholders in Florida who suffered flood damage from a hurricane have a 90-day window to renew their policies. The extension applies to policies with a renewal date between August 25 and October 23. Policyholders whose renewal date is within this range should contact their representative or insurance company. FEMA also extended the proof-of-loss requirement for Florida flood insurance policyholders who experienced flood damage from Hurricane Ian from 60 to 365 days. For more information on how to file a flood insurance claim, see How to start a flood insurance claim.
  • If you or a member of your household uses adaptive or accessible items that were damaged by Hurricane Ian, you may be eligible for FEMA assistance for those items. For homeowners, items can include an outdoor ramp, handrails, and a paved path to the home entrance from the vehicle. Awards do not count towards maximum housing or personal property assistance awards. For more information for homeowners and renters, visit the FEMA Individual Assistance Program Update and Policy Guide.

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