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WELFARE

Hurricane Idalia disaster relief: Available aid programs and how to get help

Hurricane Idalia battered Florida and affected many households. Find out about aid programs that are available to victims and how to apply for assistance.

Conoce cómo solicitar los diferentes tipos de asistencia por desastre si fuiste afectado por el paso del huracán Idalia en Florida.
CHENEY ORRREUTERS

Hurricane Idalia brought significant damage and flooding as it passed through the southeastern United States. Following its passage, federal disaster assistance was made available to the state of Florida to supplement recovery efforts in the affected areas.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, federal funds are available to affected people in Citrus, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee and Taylor counties.

Hurricane Idalia disaster relief: Available aid programs and how to get help

President Joe Biden declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Florida after the onslaught of Idalia, and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected the hurricane.

If you live in one of these areas, you may qualify for assistance that may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help people and business owners to boost their recovery.

How to apply for disaster assistance in Florida

Florida homeowners and renters in Citrus, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Sawannee and Taylor counties who suffered uninsured damage or losses caused by Hurricane Idalia can apply for disaster assistance from FEMA.

FEMA can help with temporary shelter, basic home repair costs, or other needs that arise after going through a natural disaster.

There are several ways to apply. You can visit DisasterAssistance.gov online, call 800-621-3362 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, or use the FEMA mobile app.

You can also check out what kinds of financial assistance you qualify for.

When requesting aid, have the following information ready:

  • A current telephone number where you can be contacted.
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are currently located
  • Your social security number
  • A general list of damages and losses.
  • Bank information if you choose direct deposit
  • If you have insurance, the policy number or agent and/or company name.

Residents with homeowner, renter, or flood insurance should file a claim as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If the policy does not cover all disaster expenses, policyholders may be eligible for federal assistance.

FEMA recommends taking photographs to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. The agency also encourages retaining receipts for all purchases related to cleaning and repair.