Federal Emergency Management Agency teams have arrived in the bay area to help residents register for federal assistance after Hurricane Irma. Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties have all been designated as eligible for individual assistance.
• Those who sustained damage or losses from Irma can apply for help online at disasterassistance.gov or by downloading FEMA's mobile app.
• From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. they can also call toll-free 1-800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and video relay service. Those with hearing issues or who have difficulty speaking and use a TTY can call toll-free 1-800-462-7585.
FEMA officials also offered these tips for residents dealing with federal personnel:
• All FEMA representatives will wear FEMA clothing and have federal ID badges with photos. Residents can ask to see those badges and should call law enforcement if they have any concerns with anyone who says they are with the agency.
• The agency does not charge for assistance. Disaster survivor assistance teams and other federal personnel will never ask for or take payment for services offered.
• Residents should also never sign any documents they do not understand or any blank documents.
• Beware of those going door-to-door or calling after a disaster, offering services such as building contracting, especially if they want personal information or even money for their services.
• FEMA does not "approve" contractors to perform work after disasters. Beware of anyone claiming to be "approved" by the federal government.