Hurricane Irma: How to register for FEMA disaster assistance

More than 2.48 million Floridians have registered for FEMA assistance after Hurricane Irma.

FEMA has more than 650 Disaster Survivor Assistance team members going door to door in affected neighborhoods statewide and they have visited more than 112,000 homes as of October 17, 2017. 

More than $781 million has been approved statewide for eligible disaster survivors in the 48 counties designated for individual assistance.  

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If you live in one of the following counties, you can register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to state and federal officials:

  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Citrus
  • Clay
  • Collier
  • DeSoto
  • Duval
  • Flager
  • Glades
  • Hardee
  • Hendry
  • Hernando
  • Highlands
  • Hillsborough
  • Indian River
  • Lake
  • Lee
  • Manatee
  • Marion
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Monroe
  • Okeechobee
  • Orange
  • Osceola
  • Pasco
  • Palm Beach
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Putnam
  • Sarasota
  • Seminole
  • St. Johns
  • St. Lucie
  • Sumter
  • Volusia

Click here to enter your address to see if you qualify for aid | Fill out the DisasterAssistance.gov to find out if you qualify for aid

You can also call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585)

To get help in person, find a Disaster Recovery Center near you with the Disaster Recovery Center locator

WATCH: Recovery help centers open in Tampa

 

 

Residents affected can register at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through the FEMA app.

Be prepared to give the following information:

  • Social Security Number;
  • Daytime telephone number;
  • Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property; and
  • Private insurance information, if available.

Once you register, you can:

  • Look up your address to find out if it is in a disaster area declared for Individual Assistance.
  • Check the status of your application and get updates by SMS or email.
  • Upload documents to support your application.

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Another option for individuals, including those who use 711 relay or VRS, is to call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) while those who use TTY can call 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice.

When you register for disaster assistance either online or by phone, you will need the following to complete your application.

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the location where the damage occured (pre-disaster address)
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
  • A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses

When an applicant registers, each receives a unique registration number. The registration number is important and should be written down and kept handy. Anyone who does not have a registration number is not yet registered.

Get more info from FloridaDisaster.org here.

Clean and Removal Assistance – is a one-time $500 grant for survivor’s whose pre-disaster primary residence is located in Collier or Lee counties and the owner’s identity, occupancy and ownership are documented.

  • At least one line-item on the claim must show the cause of damage as flooding.
  • The applicant's home must not have had flood or mobile home insurance at the time of the disaster.
  • Applicants must remove or contract with a service to remove contaminants and disinfect affected areas.

Displaced Workforce Assistance -- is available for workers displaced due to Hurricane Irma through a special program for re-employment and emergency assistance run by a team of state and local community representatives called the Florida Reemployment and Emergency Assistance Coordination Team, or REACT. To file, visit the web page floridajobs.org[floridajobs.org], go to the Hurricane Irma Recovery Assistance image, and select the link: Apply for Disaster Unemployment. For assistance with filing, call 800-385-3920. The application deadline is Oct. 16.

Disabilities and other access and functional needs -- FEMA has created a webpage with resources for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs at: www.fema.gov/resources-people-disabilities-access-functional-needs[fema.gov].

Fraudulent Activity -- If an applicant would like to report fraudulent activity, contact the FEMA Fraud Branch:

  • Email: FEMA-OCSO-Tipline@fema.dhs.gov or StopFEMAFraud@fema.dhs.gov 
  • Call: (866) 223-0814
  • Fax: (202) 212-4926
  • Write to: FEMA Fraud and Internal Investigation Division, C St. SW Mail Stop 3005, Washington, DC 20472-3005.

Languages Other Than English -- Registration for disaster assistance is available in several languages whether online or by phone. 

  • The registration process is available in English and Spanish at DisasterAssistance.gov[disasterassistance.gov] and when registering by calling 800-621-3362 there is a Spanish-language option and an option to request an interpreter fluent in other languages. 
  • Disaster Recovery Centers also have captioned phones and tablet computers to assist in language translation.
  • For Florida survivors, FEMA translates registration and recovery information into five languages: Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Vietnamese. 
  • Visit FEMA.gov/IrmaFL[fema.gov] for the postings. FEMA staff are canvassing neighborhoods with a tool to identify languages and can direct survivors to appropriately translated resources. 

People Who Are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Have a Speech Disability -- People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability, and use a TTY, may call 800-462-7585 for assistance. FEMA also provides the following resources at Disaster Recovery Centers or during any part of your recovery process:

  • Sign-language interpreters
  • Material in Braille and large print
  • Amplified telephones
  • Amplified listening devices
  • Reading magnifiers

For survivors who use sign language, FEMA has a series of videos that describe important registration and recovery processes in American Sign Language. Go to FEMA.gov and use the search term “sign language video” to view them.

FEMA Program Fact Sheets: 
Disaster Survivor Assistance: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/117811[fema.gov] Individual Assistance: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/133744[fema.gov]  
Individuals and Households Program: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/24945[fema.gov]  
Mitigation: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/12291[fema.gov]  
National Flood Insurance Program: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/106144[fema.gov]  
 

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