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FEMA Takes A Look At Irma Recovery Efforts In Florida Two Months After The Storm

By on November 10, 2017 in WNDB News

Florida – Two months after Hurricane Irma ripped across our state, Florida is continuing to make efforts to recover, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is giving residents a look at where recovery efforts stand.

According to FEMA, affected communities are making progress together, trying to rebuild after the storm. Survivors in 48 of the 67 Florida counties are eligible to apply for help under FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) program. All 67 counties in the state are eligible to receive federal funding through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance.

Additionally, local, county, and state government infrastructure and certain private nonprofit organizations in 55 Florida counties are eligible to receive all categories of PA funding, including the repair and rebuilding of certain eligible disaster-damaged facilities. FEMA pays 75% of eligible costs to repair essential services such as roads, utilities, schools, and hospitals through the PA program.

Volusia and Flagler Counties are both eligible for at least some categories of both public and individual FEMA assistance, and Volusia County is eligible for all categories of public and individual FEMA assistance. For more information on the FEMA assistance programs, click here.

According to FEMA, more than 2.6 million Florida households have contacted the agency for IA help. The deadline to register for IA aid is November 24.

Below are some highlights from FEMA regarding the individual assistance program:

  • To date, Floridians have received more than $1.5 billion through funding from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Of that total, more than $899 million in FEMA individual assistance has gone to homeowners and renters whose insurance, or other forms of disaster assistance received, could not meet their disaster-caused needs.
  • Homeowners, renters, and businesses have received $388 million in 10,579 low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to repair, rebuild, and replace damaged property and contents. SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters. The deadline to apply is Nov. 24.
  • NFIP policyholders have received more than $239.5 million in more than 26,600 claims to repair and rebuild the flood-damaged property.
  • More than 76,700 survivors have visited Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). The first centers opened six days after the presidential disaster declaration.
  • More than 797,000 FEMA housing inspections have been completed.
  • FEMA disaster survivor assistance specialists canvassed the affected communities, visiting more than 208,000 homes.

Disaster recovery officials and volunteers continue to aid communities in Irma recovery efforts. More than 300 voluntary agencies logged more than 520,000 volunteer hours to meet the needs of those affected by the hurricane. The following are some ways in which the state and participating agencies have helped Floridians rebuild, according to FEMA:

  • 13,370 temporary roofs have been installed in Florida by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through Operation Blue Roof. The temporary covering of blue plastic sheeting is installed using strips of wood that are secured to the roof with nails or screws.
  • 1,492 sunken vessels displaced by Irma have been recovered and removed from Florida waterways by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and private owners.
  • Through the State of Florida, Floridians have received an estimated $1 million in disaster unemployment assistance if they lost work or are out of work due to Hurricane Irma. This dollar amount continues to increase to assist eligible applicants.
  • The State of Florida reopened approximately 100 roads impacted by the storm across Florida within two weeks after landfall. In addition, local power crews and crews brought in from across the U.S. and Canada restored 99.9 percent of power to 12 million customers in Florida within two weeks after the storm.

For more information, you can follow FEMA’s Facebook and Twitter page.

Photo courtesy Elena Fernandez Z and Shutterstock.com.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.

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