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Osceola County designated for FEMA relief to help Hurricane Irma victims

Posted on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 11:31 am

By Charlie Reed
For the News-Gazette
Osceola County residents and business owners are now eligible to apply for federal storm relief assistance.
Osceola is one of 37 Florida counties designated for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Homeowners, renters and business owners can now apply for what’s called “individual assistance” from FEMA for uninsured and under-insured damages and losses.
Though South Florida’s west coast took the brunt of the hit, the wind and rain caused major damage and flooding in Central Florida.
With an estimated $66 million in damages as of Wednesday, Osceola is among the hardest hit areas in the region. A lion’s share of the damage is from residential homes.
The speed and amount of federal aid that comes to Central Florida depends on several post-storm assessments that are still underway.
Osceola County residents of those in the 36 other counties designated for federal “individual assistance” have access to unemployment benefits, legal aid and temporary housing.
By Wednesday night, workers at the Osceola County Emergency Operations Center were helping residents contact FEMA to start the application process. Residents with damage are encouraged to register with FEMA as soon as possible.
How to register with FEMA:
Online at DisasterAssistance.gov or FEMA mobile app.
Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585.
The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT, seven days a week.
Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and 3 for other languages.
Have this information ready when you apply to FEMA:
Social Security Number (one per household).
Description of damage and address.
Information about existing hurricane insurance coverage (if applicable).
Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.