The residents hit hardest by Hurricane Ian can now apply for disaster relief funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On Thursday, President Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
“If you don’t have enough insurance, it means the federal government will provide individual assistance of (up to) $37,900 for home repairs, another $37,900 for lost property — everything from an automobile to a lost wedding ring,” Biden said at a press conference.
The program may also cover temporary housing, funerals, medical bills, moving and storage, and other expenses caused directly by the disaster.
To fill out an application, visit www.disasterassistance.gov, download the FEMA mobile app or call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. If you use a relay service such as video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
You’ll be asked to provide the following information:
- A current phone number
- Your address at the time of the disaster and where you are staying now
- Household income
- Social Security number
- A list of damages and losses
- Banking information if you choose direct deposit
- The policy number and name of your agent if you have insurance
- An email address if you want to review your registration status online
After filling out the initial application, you may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify proof of homeownership/occupancy and proof of identity.
If you have insurance — be it homeowners, flood, renters or vehicle coverage — file a claim with your provider as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate any losses covered by insurance, but if you have additional disaster expenses it may be able to fill the gaps.
Survivors should also document any expenses accrued in the wake of the hurricane by taking photos of property damage and keeping receipts related to cleanup and repair.
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Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Ian coverage
TAMPA BAY CLOSURES: What to know about bridges, roads in Ian’s aftermath
WHEN THE STORM HAS PASSED: Now what? Safety tips for returning home.
POST-STORM QUESTIONS: After Hurricane Ian, how to get help with fallen trees, food, damaged shelter.
WEATHER EFFECTS: Hurricane Ian was supposed to slam Tampa Bay head on. What happened?
WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
MORE STORM COVERAGE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.