FEMA Deadline won't end FL Flood Recovery

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PENSACOLA, Fla. – Those affected by the spring storms and flooding will still be able to reach the Federal Emergency Management Agency for follow-up questions and will have access to other disaster services and resources after today’s registration deadline of July 21.

Florida survivors in designated counties of Escambia, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties who still haven’t registered for disaster assistance, should contact DisasterAssistance.gov or m.fema.gov on a smartphone by 11:59 p.m. EST or by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585 by 10 p.m. EST.

Applicants who have registered before the deadline, but discover that their insurance has not covered all losses, have up to a year to submit additional documentation to FEMA. Assistance may be available for essentials, such as septic systems, if they are not covered by homeowner insurance policies.

Those who would like to contact FEMA after the deadline for additional information can call FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. Helpline hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

The U.S. Small Business Administration also has a customer service line for survivors who have questions about their low-interest disaster loans. For information, call 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, or send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

Since the May 6 disaster declaration, the SBA has approved more than $37.6 million in low-interest disaster loans for qualified homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations. More than $33 million from FEMA’s Individual Assistance program has been approved for homeowners and renters. This includes more than $27.3 million in rental expenses and essential home repairs, and nearly $5.7 million to help cover other expenses, such as lost or damaged personal property.

Other resources and services available after the deadline include:

Disaster Legal Services

For survivors who need help with disaster-related legal issues, but can’t afford a lawyer, free legal services may be provided.

To request free legal assistance, survivors can call 866-550-2929.

Disaster-Related Stress Help

Survivors who are experiencing stress as a result of the spring storms and flooding can call the disaster distress helpline any time at 800-985-5990. Residents can also text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

Dial 2-1-1

Survivors who need additional help can call the 2-1-1 information helpline to connect with more than 2,000 local health and human service programs. Residents may also text their zip code to 898-211. For more information, visit the Heart of Florida United Way website at hfuw.org/United_Way_2-1-1.php or send an email to uw211help@gmail.com.

United Way retains an online directory with information that could help residents with their individual needs. This may include information on how to receive donated clothing, food and other supplies; how to request other in-kind services; how to report fraud; how to contact recovery organizations; and who to talk to about disaster-related stress.

To view the online directory of community resources, go to referweb.net/211CommunityResources/.

Anyone with information about individuals who may have defrauded the government in connection with the spring flooding in Florida should call the FEMA fraud hotline at 800-323-8603 or email DHSOIGHOTLINE@DHS.GOV. This can include information on contractors, inspectors, disaster survivors or anyone posing as any of these.

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