Joe Biden makes ‘major disaster’ declaration for Seminole Tribe of Florida
Joe Biden makes a preemptive disaster declaration.

'We're all in this together.'

The Seminole Tribe of Florida received a hand from the federal government on disaster assistance at the end of the week as President Joe Biden approved a declaration of major disaster for the tribe, which makes federal dollars available to those affected members of the tribe and the Seminoles’ associated lands.

“I’ve directed that every possible action be taken to save lives and get help to survivors,” Biden said in a news conference on Hurricane Ian. “Because every single minute counts. It’s not just a crisis for Florida. This is an American crisis. We’re all in this together.”

This money can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to help handle property losses for the uninsured, and other programs that are geared to help individuals and businesses put their lives and livelihoods back together.

“We’re just beginning to see the scale of that destruction. It’s likely to rank among the worst … in the nation’s history,” Biden told reporters Friday.

Funding is also available to the tribe “and to certain private nonprofit organizations” on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work.

“For a period of 30 days from the start of the incident period, assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, is authorized at 100 percent of the total eligible costs,” according to the White House.  

Residents and businesses who sustained losses in Seminole Tribe areas can apply for assistance at, calling 800-621-FEMA or by using the Federal Emergency Management Agency app.

“In times like these Americans come together. They put aside politics, they put aside division,” Biden said. “We come together to help each other because we know if it were us who just lost our home or a loved one, we hope people would show up to help us as well.”

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


  • Tom Dumbass

    October 1, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Tropical 4 sea wind

    • Harsh Truths

      October 1, 2022 at 3:19 pm

      The Seminole Tirbe of Florida can afford this themselves. They own plenty of casinos.

      • Alex Clapp

        October 2, 2022 at 5:32 am

        Joe Biden administration hoping to “launder” more Tax – payer dollars THROUGH those Casinos

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