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Saturday, Oct. 8: FEMA in Southwest Florida What’s happening and how to get help

As of Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, more than $150 million in federal disaster assistance has gone to Hurricane Ian survivors since the federal disaster declaration. The assistance helps them with temporary housing, essential home repairs and other uninsured and underinsured disaster-related losses so they can jumpstart their recovery. Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams continue to go door-to-door to meet people where they are and help survivors with their unique needs.

What FEMA is doing or can do to help you:

§ FEMA will pay hotel and motel costs for eligible survivors from counties hardest hit by Hurricane Ian. Yesterday, FEMA and the state of Florida activated the Transitional Shelter Assistance Program, providing eligible support for survivors in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. FEMA makes these payments directly to participating hotel and motels in Alabama, Florida and Georgia that provide emergency shelter to survivors.

§ Hundreds of Disaster Survivor Assistance specialists are going door-to-door in Florida to help survivors apply for assistance. Teams are in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties.

§ FEMA and its state partners are now operating five Disaster Recovery Centers across the state. Centers are open in Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota counties, with two centers operating in Lee county. More centers are planned to open over the next few days. Centers are accessible offices staffed by state, federal and volunteer organizations that let everyone access recovery information. As centers are added, real-time locations will be updated at FloridaDisaster.org.

§ Over 700 FEMA inspectors are in the field going to homes of survivors who registered for federal disaster assistance. To date, they have performed over 14,000 inspections.

§ FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is issuing advance payments. To date, Florida policyholders have received more than $5.9 million to help Floridians jumpstart their recoveries.

§ 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 if it was successful in preventing flood damage.

§ Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to eligible survivors. Floridians should 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.

§ More than 4,400 federal staff are supporting Ian response efforts. This includes more than 1,500 staff from other federal agencies. More than 1,800 emergency management personnel from 26 states were deployed to Florida through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

§ Operation Blue Roof is a free service to homeowners and is currently operating in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Lee and Sarasota counties. The first completed roof installation is expected today. 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 now 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 policy 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 suffered flood damage from Hurricane Ian from 60 to 365 days.

§ FEMA approved Critical Needs Assistance for disaster survivors with immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are life-saving and life-sustaining items. This assistance is a one-time payment of $700 per household.

§ 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.