FEMA: Florida Disaster Assistance Reaches Nearly $28 Million in Two Weeks

Just two weeks since the May 6 major disaster declaration for severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in the Florida Panhandle, nearly $28 million in disaster assistance has been approved to help survivors and their communities recover.

The following is a summary of ongoing recovery efforts by the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to date:

• Four designated counties – Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton – are eligible for disaster assistance.

• Nearly $28 million in total federal disaster assistance has been approved by FEMA and SBA.

• More than $20.7 million has been approved for housing assistance, including short-term rental assistance and essential home repair costs.

• Nearly $3.4 million has been approved to help cover other essential disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.

• Nearly $3.9 million has been approved for low-interest disaster loans by SBA for qualified homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofits.

• More than 9,500 people have contacted FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance.

• Five disaster recovery centers are open in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.

• More than 2,000 visits have been made to disaster recovery centers to get information and apply for disaster assistance.

Survivors in the designated counties can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov, via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov, or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362). People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY can call 800-462-7585. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. central time and assistance is available in multiple languages.

To apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan, survivors can find the electronic loan application on SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Questions can be answered by calling the SBA disaster customer service center at 800-659-2955 or (TTY) 800-877-8339.

For more information on Florida disaster recovery, click fema.gov/disaster/4177. Visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management website at FloridaDisaster.org or Facebook page at facebook.com/FloridaSERT.