provided to The Santiva Chronicle
LAKE MARY, Fla. – More than $6.97 billion in federal support to Floridians is helping households, communities, and the state of Florida recover from Hurricane Ian.
The support includes $1.06 billion in FEMA Individual Assistance for 384,477 households to help with rent and repairs, $1.77 billion in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, $3.4 billion in payments from the National Flood Insurance Program, and $738 million to reimburse the state and local governments for the costs of debris removal and emergency response.
Temporary housing is a priority and 709 families have been given the keys to travel trailers, manufactured housing units or apartment homes provided by FEMA for hurricane survivors. More homes are being prepared for occupancy. Over 4,500 households have stayed in hotel rooms provided by FEMA. Most have found longer term housing, with 613 remaining in FEMA funded lodging.
FEMA is providing funds for the state’s non-congregate sheltering in travel trailers.
“This has been an enormous effort on the part of many federal agencies, assisting the state with response and recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom McCool. “As part of emergency response, we funded state operations to restore power, transportation, and access to island communities. Federal medical teams helped medical facilities in Lee County continue to treat patients. The U.S. Coast Guard helped get supplies to islands. When the state asked if we could pay for the trailers they are using for survivors, we said yes. We are doing everything we can to get help to people who need it and we will be on the job for as long as it takes.”
Debris removal in the hardest-hit areas was expedited when FEMA allowed for waivers in the application process by some local jurisdictions, saving as much as six months in the debris removal process. More than 32.3 million cubic yards of debris has been removed, including almost 12.4 million cubic yards in Lee County.
Of the $1.06 billion provided to households through Individual Assistance, $449 million has gone to 97,878 Lee County households.