FEMA crews in the Tampa Bay area meeting with Hurricane Hermine victims

Anyone affected encouraged to apply for aid
Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 05:39:44-04
Crews with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are on the ground in Tampa Bay getting a first hand look at damage left behind from Hurricane Hermine last month.
More than a month after the storm, there's still debris and damage at several homes in Mariner's Cove near Largo. And now those living in the community are cautiously optimistic about getting federal help.
Jonathan Roberson now gets a little nervous every time it rains hard.
"Looking outside, you're like, 'Oh.  It's probably going to flood again,'" Roberson said.
He lives in Mariner's Cove mobile home park in Pinellas County.  The area was under deep water during flash flooding in June and again during Hurricane Hermine in September.  The skirting around his trailer is now busting at the seems from the intense pressure of flood waters.
"We've had to leave for a week and come back and I still had to pay rent every week.  They're not changing that due to the weather," said Roberson.
Sunday, FEMA reps visited the neighborhood encouraging everyone in the eight counties designated a federal disaster area to apply for assistance.
"Every family is handled on a case by case basis.  You won't know what kind of disaster assistance you're eligible to receive until you register with FEMA, then you find out," said John Mills, FEMA spokesperson.
Dawn Bojinoff is desperate for help.  She was in the process of putting in new floors when the hurricane hit.
Moisture pushed in from underneath her house, soaking the sub-floors and creating holes in the wet wood.
"I'm disabled already so I fall anyway and I don't need to be falling through a floor that I can't get fixed," said Bojinoff.
But she and many other residents are now disappointed.  Because the majority of people who live at Mariner's Cove are renters, the amount of federal help is limited.
"I found out I may not be able to get any help at all," said Bojinoff.
FEMA insists no matter what, if you had any damage, or were displaced during the storm, it's still worth applying for aid.  Even if you don't qualify for FEMA grants, the Small Business Administration offers low-interest loans to homeowners, businesses and renters to fix storm damage.  
Dawn Bojinoff is just hoping some kind of help comes through soon.
"Don't forget about us," Bojinoff said.
FEMA teams will be out in the area several more days checking things out.  You're encouraged to call (800) 621-FEMA or go to to register, to begin the process.

Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by Hurricane Hermine from August 31 to September 11, 2016, in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco, and Pinellas counties are eligible to register for federal assistance.



Types of FEMA Assistance

-Money to rent a temporary place to live as needed.

-Money for essential home repairs not covered by insurance.

         -Money for serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance — such as medical, dental, transportation, funeral expenses, moving and storage fees, personal property loss, and child care.


Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance.

·         Residents don’t have to wait for a FEMA housing inspection before repairing their        properties.

·         Document losses thoroughly and take pictures of all damage to their property.

·         Keep receipts of all disaster-related purchases and expenses.