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Friday, December 2, 2022

FEMA Assistance Tops $1 Billion for Florida Hurricane Irma Survivors

Federal assistance to help individuals and families recover from Hurricane Irma now tops $1 billion, seven months after the Sept. 10, 2017, disaster declaration.

The $1 billion, approved through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, includes $693.4 million in Housing Assistance — $503.8 million to help pay rent for those whose homes were not habitable after the storm and another $180.8 million for home repairs. Nearly $307 million was approved for Other Needs Assistance, which helps with other losses and disaster expenses that can make it hard for people to get back on their feet, such as transportation to and clothes for work, childcare and disaster-related funeral expenses.

In addition to the $1 billion for individuals and families, federal funding continues through the Small Business Administration and the National Flood Insurance Program. The SBA has approved about $1.4 billion in low-interest disaster loans for homes and businesses. The NFIP has paid, to date, about $893 million in 28,375 claims.

Help continues through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which reimburses state and local governments and some private nonprofit organizations for storm-generated debris removal, the cost of preparing for and responding to the disaster, and the repair or replacement of eligible infrastructure including roads, bridges, buildings and utilities. To date, nearly $40 million has been approved through the PA Program.

The disaster declaration made Florida eligible for Hazard Mitigation Assistance throughout the state. HMGP provides grants to states, and tribal and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures that reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters. The grants provide funding for mitigation measures to be implemented according to local and state priorities. This month, about $2 million in HMGP funds was awarded to Pasco County to strengthen the Pasco County Wiregrass Sports Arena — awaiting construction in Wesley Chapel — above and beyond building codes to withstand winds up to 170 mph.

Read more at FEMA

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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