Disaster aid for Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in Florida has surpassed $4.4 billion, according to officials of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State Emergency Response Team (SERT). More than 1.24 million victims have applied for federal and state assistance.
FEMA/SERT Disaster Recovery Centers are open and continue to operate throughout Florida, answering application status and program questions. Combined, they have serviced more than 571,000 visitors.
Applicants with questions about their application or general disaster inquiries may call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing- and speech-impaired. The lines operate Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
A breakdown of the amounts and types of assistance for all four disasters to date is as follows:
* $1.155 billion in federal and state individual assistance funds has been approved for Floridians. Of that amount, $545 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 can include repair or replacement of personal property, funeral expenses, and medical and dental costs related to the hurricanes;
* $1.170 billion in emergency response and protective measures has been approved;
* The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $1.50 billion in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses;
* Public Assistance (infrastructure) funds continue to flow to local governments and certain private, non-profit entities. To date, $604 million has been obligated, and more than 2,690 requests for aid are under review;
* More than 53 million cubic yards of debris has been cleared from Florida streets and roads;
* Housing inspectors have visited more than 877,000 properties to verify damage losses;
* More than 15,600 manufactured housing units – mobile homes and travel trailers – have been provided to hurricane victims;
* Nearly 33,000 National Flood Insurance Program claims have been received.
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