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corner of content windowHurricane Ivan News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2004
CONTACT: FEMA/Florida News Desk: 407-858-6207
                  Frank A. Adinolfe 404-909-0460

One Week After Ivan:  Basic Life-Sustaining Needs of Hurricane Victims are Met as Recovery Continues

ORLANDO—In the week after Hurricane Ivan made landfall, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved nearly $7.7 million in disaster aid to 10,676 households.

FEMA has received more than 34,100 applications from Floridians affected by Hurricane Ivan through its teleregistration line (1-800-621-3362), which is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The TTY number for speech-and hearing-impaired is 1-800-462-7585.

The Department of Transportation has delivered more than 2.5 million gallons of water, 6.8 million pounds of ice and 7.2 million Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) to Saufley Air Field Logistical Staging Area for distribution throughout the disaster area. FEMA and the Department of Agriculture continue to secure the transportation of food assistance despite road, bridge and airfield damage to the Panhandle.

Temporary roof repairs are being made by professional contractors under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and by volunteers. For more information call 1-888-ROOF-BLU (for information in Spanish call 1-800-403-0573). This service is provided to people who fill out a Right of Entry form for the Corps inspectors and contractors to enter their property and assess roof damages.

For those who want to do their own roof repair, the Corps also continues to deliver tarps and plastic sheeting to county emergency operations centers. Through FEMA funds, 30,700 tarps and 39,680 rolls of plastic sheeting have been delivered to the Panhandle area for distribution. For more information can be found at county emergency operations centers.

Vigorous efforts are underway to serve the needs of the displaced residents of the devastated Panhandle area. Six shelters remain open, serving 1,391 people. The Salvation Army has opened 33 canteens at 30 district sites. They are also providing food and other resources to the Pensacola Retirement Center.

A total of 63 Health and Human Services personnel are engaged in medical missions in Escambia County. The FEMA National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) has deployed approximately 350 medical personnel to create nine Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATS). These teams are working in the hardest-hit areas of Florida’s Panhandle. To date, they have assisted in treating more than 1,457 people in medical facilities.

FEMA has deployed more than 4,500 personnel to assist in response and recovery efforts for the state of Florida. An Area Field Office is being established in Pensacola. This office serves as a state and federal administrative command and control center for Hurricane Ivan recovery operations.

Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) activities covered approximately 600 square miles in the heavily damaged areas of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, along the Barrier Island. US&R operations were completed within 82 hours Hurricane Ivan’s landfall. The state of Florida has confirmed 21 fatalities resulting from Hurricane Ivan.

More than 230 FEMA community relations personnel are in the field conducting door-to-door outreach in most storm-damaged neighborhoods in Florida’s Panhandle.

Four Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are open and assisting disaster victims in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties. FEMA Applicant Services and state of Florida representatives, along with Small Business Administration personnel, will be on hand at each center.

To date, 77 percent of power lost as a result of Hurricane Ivan has been restored. However, 63,422 customers remain without power. Boil water advisories remain for Escambia, Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.

As of today, the U.S. Small Business Administration had issued 21,357 applications for long-term, low-interest disaster loans—17,442 home applications and 3,915 business applications.

Providing aid to individuals and households is only one part of the disaster aid authorized by President Bush on Sept. 16. The other part, Public Assistance, provides help to state and local governments and certain qualified non-profit entities to remove debris and provide aid to repair or replace public facilities damaged by the storm. Five joint federal/state Preliminary Damage Assessments teams for Public Assistance have been sent to the Panhandle region.

To donate or volunteer services, disaster officials encourage people to visit www.volunteerflorida.org. This website provides opportunities to register as a volunteer and offers goods and services that can be matched to victims’ needs. The site also includes a list of items urgently needed and a list of agencies accepting cash donations. Those without e-mail capability may call 1-800-FLHELP1 (1-800-354-3571).

The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) is a collaboration of Florida’s emergency management agencies led by the state coordinating officer. SERT’s mission is to ensure that Florida is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from them, and mitigate their impact. Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org for the latest information on the hurricane relief efforts.

On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

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Last updated: July 08, 2005

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