Floridians Receive More than $4.1 Billion in Disaster Aid

February 17, 2005

With 13 days to go until the deadline, Florida applicants can still apply for disaster assistance with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA and State Emergency Response Team (SERT) officials encourage homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage and have not registered, to do so by the Feb. 28, 2005, deadline.

Applicants can register by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing- and speech-impaired. The registration lines operate Monday- Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. Applicants also may register online at FEMA’s Web site, http://www.fema.gov. Look for and click on the words “Register for Disaster Assistance Online” located in the right-hand side of the page.

Those who need help registering also can visit one of the FEMA/SERT Disaster Recovery Centers located throughout Florida. Combined they have serviced more than 548,000 visitors.

To date, 1.23 million victims have applied for federal and state assistance. Approved disaster aid for Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne has surpassed $4.15 billion.

A breakdown of the amounts and types of assistance to date:

* $1.138 billion in federal and state individual assistance has been approved for Florida residents in all 67 counties. Of that amount, $537 million has been in grants to pay for lodging expenses, rental assistance and minimal home repairs. Another $600 million is to cover assistance for other needs, which may include such items as repair or replacement of personal property, funeral expenses, and medical and dental costs related to the hurricanes.
* Approximately $1.17 billion in emergency response and protective measures has been approved.
* The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $1.396 billion in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. Businesses also may be eligible for economic injury loans to help them get back on their feet.
* Public Assistance (infrastructure) funds are flowing to local governments and certain private, non-profit entities. Currently, $450 million has been approved, and more than 2,650 requests for aid are under review.
* Nearly 53 million cubic yards of debris has been cleared.
* FEMA housing inspectors have visited more than 864,000 properties to verify damage losses.
* More than 15,300 manufactured housing units – mobile homes and travel trailers – have been provided to hurricane victims.
* More than 32,000 National Flood Insurance Program claims have been received.

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