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corner of content windowHurricane News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2004
CONTACT: FEMA/Florida News Desk: 407-858-6207
                  Frank A. Adinolfe 404-909-0460

FEMA/State Hurricane Response Daily Summary

Loan Packets Open the Door to Assistance

ORLANDO—Most Floridians who have applied for disaster assistance can expect to receive a loan packet from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This packet is key to determining eligibility for further assistance to help recover from disaster losses.

Completing and returning the loan application is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of disaster assistance. If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, applicants are automatically referred to other available assistance, including grants.

SBA low-interest disaster loans are available to qualified renters, homeowners, landlords, business owners and non-profit organizations that suffered losses due to the hurricane disasters. All storm victims can receive emergency aid that includes temporary housing assistance, but long-term help is based on the SBA application.

Help with the application and answers to questions about loans are available at any of the FEMA/state recovery centers located throughout the disaster area. Applicants can also call the SBA Helpline at 1-800-359-2227 or visit the website at www.SBA.gov/disaster.

SBA has loaned $80 million to victims of Charley, Frances and Ivan for home and business repairs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has now approved $313 million in assistance to eligible recipients among 550,278 Floridians who registered using the toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

The total includes $169 million for housing, including $61.4 million in rental assistance for 48,644 applicants, and $143.4 million for other needs, such as replacement of essential property not covered by insurance or SBA.

FEMA has inspected 255,907 damaged homes. Plastic sheeting has been installed on 24,906 homes and 139,481 waterproof tarps have been provided for distribution to homeowners.

FEMA has placed 746 families made homeless by Hurricane Charley in travel homes. There are 426 additional travel homes on site ready to be leased.

FEMA, the state and SBA are now staffing 29 disaster recovery centers throughout the disaster area, offering applicants help with information on assistance programs and checking the status of their requests. More than 78,000 applicants have used this service.

For victims of Hurricane Charley, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued $4.1 million worth of disaster food stamps to 9,252 households in Hardee, Highlands, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Lee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties at distribution sites set by the state. The state has pending requests for disaster food stamps for Hurricanes Frances and Ivan in 14 additional counties.

To date, 77 percent of power lost due to Hurricane Ivan in the Panhandle has been restored. However, 101,000 customers still remain without power.

Preliminary damage assessments have been completed in the 26 counties hit by Ivan.

Seven shelters remain open, housing 799 individuals and families. Disaster assistance information is being delivered directly to affected individuals by 887 community relations personnel.

FEMA’s disaster medical assistance teams (DMAT) have treated 7,346 ill and injured victims of the three hurricanes. Four teams remain activated in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

FEMA has 4,122 personnel deployed to the Florida disasters augmented by 481 local hires.

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 effort.

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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