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Hurricane Ian: How can you apply for FEMA assistance if you were affected?

After the storm devasted the state last week the federal agency is offering financial support for residents to aid with the clean-up effort.

Update:
How to apply for Hurricane Ian FEMA assistance
KEVIN LAMARQUEREUTERS

On Saturday FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell toured areas of Florida worst-hit by Hurricane Ian to observe the emergency response situation. The storm was one of the most powerful to hit the state and dozens of fatalities have been reported.

“Our focus right now is supporting the people of Florida that have had the most significant impacts from this storm,” Criswell said.

“But we also have teams that have been embedded pre-landfall in North Carolina, South Carolina, to make sure that if they had immediate needs, we were able to respond.”

Last week President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration in a number of badly affected areas to allow federal support to be offered to residents. FEMA confirmed that it is offering disaster assistance to Florida homeowners and renters in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.

In a White House address, Biden said that “the federal government will cover 100 percent of the cost to clear debris,” with individuals able to claim up to “$37,900 for home repairs, another $37,900 for lost property.”

How to claim the FEMA hurricane assistance

The easiest way to access the support is by heading over to the Disaster Assistance website or through the FEMA mobile app.

You can also contact the agency by calling 800-621-3362 from 7am to 11pm ET, although be aware that there may be a wait on the phone line due to the huge number of affected residents.

Whichever way you choose to make your claim, you will need to be able to provide information related to your personal situation and the damaged suffered during the storm. You will need to have the following to make your claim:

- A current phone number where you can be contacted

- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying

- Your Social Security number

- A general list of damage and losses

- Banking information if you choose direct deposit

- If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name

If you have some form of home insurance you should apply there first to claim for the damage to property, but FEMA can offer federal assistance for any damage that is not covered. The assistance can also involve paying for temporary lodging if your home is currently uninhabitable.

Remember to take photos of the damage before the clean-up begins so you can evidence the scale of the damage. You should also retain receipts for any purchases you make related to the repairs.

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