As people return to their homes this week and assess the damage Irma left behind, federal relief is on its way.
- FEMA teams to go door-to-door to help people register for aid
- All of Central Florida qualifies for FEMA aid for Irma damage
- Aid can apply to variety of expenses, including home repair, funeral costs
- Go to FEMA's website to start the application process
- RELATED: Hurricane Irma
On Saturday, disaster survival assistance teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will go door-to-door to help people register. The agency is accepting registrations for aid, working in 37 declared counties in Florida.
"We need people to get the assistance they need to get back on their feet," Peter Sessum, a spokesperson for FEMA, said Friday. "We can't make you whole again, but we can get you back to a place that is safe, sanitary and functional. And we need to know who needs that."
FEMA did not share specific locations where teams will be but said that they’re working with counties to see where they need to be.
The agency said that it has received more than 249,000 registrations so far and has already approved $48.8 million for Hurricane Irma survivors.
The process begins with homeowners assessing their own damage and reaching out to insurance companies. After they work through their insurance, FEMA can fill the gap.
“We come to them, because FEMA doesn’t want anyone, regardless of what their needs are, to not be able to get access to what their entitled to," Sessum said.
Sessum said that there is not set amount for victim assistance, but payouts varies depending on needs. They staffed teams for Harvey in Texas, then held back some crews in anticipation of Irma's arrival.
Every county in Central Florida qualifies for federal assistance related to Hurricane Irma through the Florida disaster declaration.
Eligible residents in Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia who need help with a variety of expenses will be able to apply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Expenses for which you can get aid include temporary housing, home repair or replacement, medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial costs and supplies related to cleanup.
To be considered for disaster housing assistance, you or a household member must provide proof of identity and sign a statement saying that you or they are a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen national or a qualified alien.
Orange County’s Office of Emergency Management initiated the process for FEMA assistance on Sunday evening, Sept. 10. The county was the first in Central Florida to be added to the state disaster declaration.
Other counties included in the declaration include Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, St. Johns and St. Lucie.
All Central Florida counties are also included in a disaster declaration by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This means businesses and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.
To get more information on FEMA disaster assistance, apply for assistance or check the status of an application, go to https://www.disasterassistance.gov or call the FEMA disaster help line at 1-800-621-FEMA. Business applicants looking for disaster loans may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.