Nine counties along Florida's east coast have been designated for varying levels of disaster assistance from FEMA due to Hurricane Matthew. So far, only four of the nine counties have been designated eligible for individual disaster assistance.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is continuing to lobby the federal government to make all of the affected counties eligible for more disaster assistance.
“Since Hurricane Matthew impacted our state, I have traveled Florida’s east coast and met with affected families and businesses who are working hard to rebuild," said Governor Scott. "I have seen homes destroyed from severe storm surge and flooding and many businesses are just now able to reopen because they regained power and cleaned up damage."
Homeowners, renters and business owners in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties may apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damages and losses resulting from Hurricane Matthew.
"While it took more than a week for this federal funding to be designated in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties, I am glad to know that impacted families and businesses will now have access to these resources to help with their recovery process," Governor Scott said. "I continue to urge President Obama to make these designations today in the remaining counties on our east coast. Florida is strong and resilient, and while we are making every resource available from the state, we need the federal government to be a good partner and help all of our families get back on their feet.”
To be eligible for federal aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Matthew, beginning on October 3.
Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
According to FEMA, survivors should contact their insurance company to file their insurance claim. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who may be underinsured may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
Joint damage assessment teams comprised of local, state and federal agencies are ongoing. These teams continue to document damages to homes, businesses and public facilities in Northeast Florida to inform determinations for any additional federal disaster assistance that may be warranted.
How To Apply For Disaster Aid Due To Hurricane Matthew
Survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA as soon as possible. If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register:
Online at DisasterAssistance.gov or the FEMA Mobile App, or by 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 10 p.m., seven days a week.
For those who do not have access to telephone or internet service, don’t be discouraged. Disaster survivor assistance specialists will soon be helping people register for assistance in their communities. Additionally, disaster recovery centers are planned to open in the near future in designated counties.