Federal Disaster Assistance Approaches $1 Billion For Hurricane Michael

TALLAHASEE, Florida, March 12 — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency issued the following news release:

Five months after the disaster declaration for Hurricane Michael, Floridians have received more than $957 million in federal disaster assistance in the form of grants, loans and insurance payments.

As of Mar. 10, federal disaster assistance includes:

* $137 million in grants awarded to more than 31,000 homeowners and renters in the 12 counties designated for Individual Assistance. The grants help pay for uninsured or under-insured losses or damage from Hurricane Michael not covered by insurance or other sources. That amount includes:

o $112 million in FEMA housing grants to help pay for home repair, home replacement, or rental assistance to be used to rent a temporary place to live.

o $24 million in Other Needs Assistance grants to help pay for personal property replacement and other serious disaster-related needs–such as moving and storage fees or medical and dental expenses.

* $624 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration for more than 12,000 homeowners, renters and business owners. That total includes more than $112 million for businesses to repair, rebuild or replace disaster-damaged physical property and to cover economic injury from Hurricane Michael.

* $195 million in flood insurance claims paid to more than 4,000 policyholders from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

A snapshot of the disaster recovery operation shows definite signs of progress:

* Nearly 2,100 households displaced from their homes due to Hurricane Michael have stayed in hotel rooms paid by FEMA under its Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. About 400 households remain checked in as they continue to look for a longer-term housing solution or wait to move into direct housing provided by FEMA and the State of Florida.

* Nearly 760 families displaced by Michael have received the keys to temporary housing units from FEMA, which includes mobile homes, travel trailers and direct-lease properties. FEMA and the state have placed the mobile units on private sites, pads in commercial parks and FEMA group sites. The units serve as temporary accommodations until the survivor can achieve permanent housing.

* By the first week of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors had installed 7,800 temporary blue roofs in the Florida Panhandle, which have allowed survivors to shelter in their own homes while making repairs.

* The state and FEMA have staffed and operated 30 disaster recovery centers, which provide one-on-one assistance to survivors. The centers have served more than 52,000 visitors.

Two centers remain open in Panama City and Port St. Joe. Survivors also may go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY), to check the status of their application or get answers to their questions. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST seven days a week.

More Help for Communities

Apart from Individual Assistance, another $5.6 million in grants from FEMA’s Public Assistance program have gone to hard-hit communities recovering from Hurricane Michael.

The federal disaster declaration designates 18 counties for Public Assistance. The funds reimburse state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations at least 75 percent of eligible disaster-related expenses. Grants may cover the costs for emergency measures to protect lives or property, debris cleanup and removal, and the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged infrastructure.

On Oct. 14, 2018, President Trump authorized a 100-percent federal cost share for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for a period of five days of the State of Florida’s choosing. On March 9, 2019, President Trump expanded that federal cost share to 100 percent for 45 days from Hurricane Michael’s landfall.

FEMA and the State of Florida continue to work closely with partners from local entities to submit the forms and documentation needed to defray the cost of response and recovery.

To date, state and local agencies have cleared more than 29 million cubic yards of disaster debris left by Michael, a vital step in recovery operations.

The Public Assistance program also encourages protection of damaged facilities from future events by providing funds for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The Hazard Mitigation program works with the state on grant funding for projects that will make the Panhandle more resilient to damage from future storms.

For more Hurricane Michael recovery information, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4399 and www.FloridaDisaster.org.

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