Today, the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced it has taken significant steps to expedite recovery from Hurricane Ian. By leveraging the advanced preparedness and deployment of state recovery teams and securing 100% Category A assistance for 30 days, Florida has paved the way for local governments to expedite debris removal.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, the department is empowered to improve our processes and ensure that communities have the resources they need to begin long-term recovery efforts. FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie said:“Hurricane Ian has devastated southwestern Florida, but we will continue to help affected communities every step of the way as they begin to recover and rebuild stronger.”
Before Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida, FDEM and FEMA partners began a rapid damage assessment in areas affected by Hurricane Ian, along the expected storm path. deployed one team. These teams toured the county prior to landfall to help determine the level of impact after Hurricane Ian.
Counties typically conduct their own preliminary damage assessments after storms, which can take days or weeks. FEMA will then work with counties to conduct evaluations and determine funding for public assistance.
Thanks to advanced coordination with federal, state, and local partners, FDEM is conducting the damage assessment process in a more comprehensive and expedited manner, giving counties the FEMA public assistance they need to begin their long-term recovery process. We have made it possible for you to receive financial support quickly. To date, these teams have conducted assessments in 29 counties, including Collier, Charlotte, and Lee counties.
On September 28, Governor DeSantis requested a major disaster declaration for all 67 counties, the Miccosukee Florida Indians and the Seminole Florida Tribes, to help FDEM move quickly into response and recovery after Hurricane Ian landfall. The declaration makes federal funds available to state, local, and tribal governments, and eligible nonprofits in affected areas, on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protection measures. increase. This request is typically not made until after a disaster assessment has been made after a storm. The letter of this request can be found here.
Currently, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardy, Hillsboro, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. John’s, and Volusia counties are also eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance. Temporary housing assistance, basic home repairs, and other uninsured disaster-related needs. Florida survivors living in these counties can apply for assistance online visit www.disasterassistance.gov Or call 1-800-621-3362.
On Sept. 24, the Small Business Administration announced a housing disaster loan, business physical disaster loan for businesses, homeowners, renters, and nonprofits in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardy, Hillsboro, Lee, Manatee, Orange, and Osceola. Approved Loans, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. , Pinellas County, Polk County, Sarasota County, and Seminole Counties. Economic Injury Loans are available in Brevard, Broward, Grays, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Pasco, Sumter and Volusia Counties. Residents can apply for loans here.
Mental health resources are also available for survivors experiencing emotional distress. FDEM maintains a running list of resources available to disaster survivors and first responders here. Individuals can call or text her to the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 for free crisis counseling.