- Army Corps of Engineers
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Hurricane Ian
- Joe Biden
- National Flood Insurance Program
- Palm Beach
- SBA Business Recovery Centers
- Small Business Administration
- st johns
Florida has received nearly $3 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments to help cover Hurricane Ian recovery costs, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which announced an extension to its deadline for aid applications.
As of Monday, FEMA said it has provided $769 million to households and $358 million to the state to cover emergency response expenditures.
That included individual assistance provided in 26 counties, including 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.
Survivors in those counties now have until Jan. 12 to apply for further support.
FEMA disaster specialists are “going door-to-door” to help individuals register for assistance. So far, the agency said teams have visited 261,000 homes and interacted with 129,000 survivors.
In all 26 counties, FEMA is providing transitional sheltering assistance to survivors eligible for temporary hotel stays. Through Monday, 4,430 residents representing 1,807 households have received temporary housing aid.
Hurricane Ian made landfall Sept. 28 close to Fort Myers at near-Category 5 strength, bringing torrential rain, tornadoes and massive storm surges that flooded a large swath of the Gulf Shore. A recent NBC News analysis found at least 148 people died due to the storm, one of the most powerful to ever hit the Sunshine State.
For displaced survivors in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties, FEMA approved Direct Temporary Housing Assistance for up to 18 months. The period of eligibility began Sept. 29, when President Joe Biden declared Ian a “major disaster,” and runs through March 28, 2024.
“FEMA determined that rental assistance is insufficient to meet the housing need in those counties because of a lack of available housing resources,” an agency press note said. “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.”
FEMA inspectors have also performed more than 231,000 home inspections for survivors who applied for federal disaster relief.
The 33 Disaster Recovery Centers FEMA is operating in impacted areas have recorded 75,000 visitors to date.
Operation Blue Roof, a FEMA initiative to overlay temporary plastic sheet coverings on roofs significantly damaged due to Ian, reached completion a month and a half after the first installation took place in Fort Myers.
As of Monday, the Army Corps of Engineers have made 20,119 “Blue Roof” installations in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties through the program.
“Mission completed,” FEMA said.
Through this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided $1 billion in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, FEMA personnel said. There are now SBA Business Recovery Centers where businesses can receive one-on-one assistance in Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee and Seminole counties.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program received more than 44,700 Ian-related insurance claims. As of this week, the program has dispensed more than $793 million.
The agency noted that NFIP policyholders are eligible to receive up to $1,000 in reimbursements for supplies like sandbags, plastic sheeting and lumber, plus another $1,000 for 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 said.
NFIP policyholders who suffered flood damage from Ian have a 90-day window to renew their policies. The extension applies to policies with renewal dates between Aug. 25 and Oct. 23, 2022.
FEMA also extended the proof of loss requirement for flood insurance policyholders in Florida from 60 to 365 days. Claimants can learn more about beginning the process here.
Floridians can file a claim for loss of income due to Hurricane Ian by visiting the Disaster Unemployment Assistance section of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website and selecting “Apply for Hurricane Ian DUA.” They can alternatively visit a local CareerSource center or call (800) 385-3920.
Low-income Floridians may be eligible for assistance through the Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). They can find out more by visiting the Department of Children and Families’ Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery website.
FEMA is also hiring locally for more than 300 jobs in Brandon, Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Orlando and Sarasota. The positions are full-time and for 120 days “that may be extended depending on operational needs.”
Interested candidates can find more information here.