Tuesday, November 1, 2022

FEMA Takes Steps to Accelerate Debris Removal in Florida; Federal Support Totals $1.67 Billion

FEMA Advisory


To accelerate the removal of debris from Hurricane Ian in Florida, FEMA is providing limited waivers to the application process for Public Assistance Private Property Debris Removal/Commercial Property Debris Removal. 

In areas designated with severe damage, FEMA will waive the requirement for approval of applicants for all storm-related residential debris and commercial right-of-way debris. Determinations of severe damage are based on the best available data: damage assessments and storm impact data, to include wind damage, storm surge and flood inundation.

More than $1.67 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments has been provided to the State of Florida and to households after Hurricane Ian. FEMA has provided $680 million to households and $322 million to the state for emergency response, while the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided $429 million in disaster loans and the National Flood Insurance Program has 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 approved Direct Temporary Housing Assistance to provide options for those whose homes are uninhabitable because of the hurricane. FEMA determined that rental assistance is insufficient to meet the housing need in those counties because of 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 Sept. 29, 2022, the date of the federal disaster declaration, to March 28, 2024.
  • FEMA has made individual assistance available to 26 counties in Florida. 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, St. Johns and Volusia counties are eligible to apply for Individual Assistance.
  • FEMA is meeting survivors where they are to help jumpstart their recoveries. Disaster Survivor Assistance specialists are going door-to-door in Florida neighborhoods to help individuals register for assistance. These teams have interacted with almost 77,000 survivors in counties 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. Interpretation services and translated materials are available at these centers to help survivors communicate in the language with which they feel most comfortable. Disaster Recovery Center locations are chosen for their accessibility, with the goal of reaching as many people as possible. As centers are added, real-time locations will be updated at FloridaDisaster.org.
  • FEMA expanded Transitional Sheltering Assistance to seven more counties bringing to a total 26 counties that are eligible for temporary hotel stays for survivors who cannot remain in their homes because of storm damage. As of today, the program is providing housing for 2,362 households with 5,966 members.
  • Hundreds of FEMA inspectors have performed over 178,000 home inspections for survivors who applied for federal disaster assistance.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $429 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and business owners. Business Recovery Centers are located in Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee and Seminole counties.
  • As of Oct. 29, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has received more than 43,000 flood insurance claims and paid more than $244 million to policyholders, including $142 million in advance payments.
  • NFIP policyholders may receive up to $1,000 to reimburse the purchase of supplies like sandbags, plastic sheeting and lumber. They may also receive up to $1,000 in storage expenses if they moved insured property. Policyholders should file a claim for flood loss avoidance reimbursement, regardless of whether it was successful in preventing flood damage.
  • FEMA is conducting local hiring 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 depending on operational needs. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply online through USAJobs.gov.
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to eligible survivors. Floridians can file a claim for loss of income caused by Hurricane Ian by going to Disaster Unemployment Assistance - FloridaJobs.org and selecting “Apply for Hurricane Ian DUA,” visiting a local CareerSource Career Center, or calling 800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET. 
  • Low-income Florida residents recovering from Hurricane Ian may be eligible for assistance from the Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Survivors can find more information on Florida’s D-SNAP program by visiting the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery website.
  • Operation Blue Roof has installed 17,321 roofs. This is a free service provided to homeowners and is currently operating in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Lee and Sarasota counties. Residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can sign up at BlueRoof.us or call toll-free at 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information. The call center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
  • National Flood Insurance Program Florida policyholders who had flood damage from the hurricane have a 90-day window to renew their policies. The extension applies to policies with renewal dates beginning Aug. 25 through Oct. 23. Policyholders whose renewal date is in this range should contact their agent or insurance company. FEMA also extended the proof of loss requirement for flood insurance policyholders in Florida who experienced flood damage from Hurricane Ian from 60 to 365 days. For more information on how to file a flood insurance claim, visit How to Start Your Flood Insurance Claim.
If you or a member of your household uses adaptive or accessibility items that were damaged by Hurricane Ian, you may be eligible for FEMA assistance for those items. For homeowners, items can include an exterior ramp, grab bars and a paved pathway to the home’s entrance from a vehicle. Awards do not count toward your Housing Assistance or Personal Property maximum awards. For more information for homeowners and renters, visit Update to FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide 




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