WASHINGTON — Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) specialists are working in communities hard-hit by Hurricane Ian to help disaster survivors apply for assistance and to provide critical information about resources.
In addition to the Disaster Recovery Centers in Lee and Sarasota counties, Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams went door-to-door, on Oct. 16, in Collier, Hardee, Hillsborough, Polk and Seminole counties.
Overall, nearly 300 DSA specialists are active in Florida helping survivors apply for assistance and have been covering ground in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. These teams have helped nearly 250,000 survivors apply for assistance.
President Biden has declared that survivors in 19 Florida counties are eligible for Individual Assistance to help their recovery.
DSA teams travel door-to-door and to public locations in communities where survivors are located, such as shelters, food and water distribution sites and open grocery stores, providing additional information on how to access and apply for disaster assistance. They can also help survivors who may face barriers accessing assistance programs and resources to support their recovery.
Survivors should know that DSA staff typically wear FEMA attire, will always have FEMA photo identification and will never charge for assistance.
DSA specialists can help with:
• Submitting applications for federal assistance.
• Checking the status of an application already in the system or making minor changes to their applications.
• Providing civil rights and disability integration information to survivors who have difficulty accessing the application process in order to ensure equal access to FEMA programs.
Also, there are several Mobile Registration Intake Centers (MRICs) in the area. These locations will have DSA teams onsite assisting with applications, inquiries, updates and referrals.
Residents in the designated counties can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center or apply online at disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 or using the FEMA mobile app.
For an accessible video on how to apply for assistance, go to FEMA Accessible: How to Register with Disaster Survivor Assistance - YouTube.