FEMA hiring locals to help area recover from Hurricane Michael

FEMA

NORTHWEST FLORIDA (Press Release) – The latest FEMA Disaster Recover Update:

• FEMA is hiring people who live in areas affected by Hurricane Michael to join our recovery team as temporary employees. Hiring temporary staff locally allows FEMA to diversify the workforce while affording opportunities for survivors to help other survivors. Jobs are available in Tallahassee, Panama City and other areas in Florida recovering from Hurricane Michael. Interested applicants can view open positions on USAjobs.gov, and search using keywords "FEMA" or "local hire" and "Florida" in the location field.

• The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) for survivors who do not have health insurance has been extended to Dec 15. EPAP covers prescription drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies damaged in the hurricane. A list of more than 72,000 participating pharmacies where claims can be filled is available at the HHS website

• The application deadline for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is Friday, Dec. 7. DUA is available to Florida residents and businesses in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties. DUA is available for unemployment beginning October 14, 2018 until April 13, 2019, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Find more information about application criteria at www.floridajobs.org.

Stay in Touch with FEMA
• Contact FEMA if you have any updates or changes to your application for disaster assistance, including access to your primary home, utility service, and current location.
• Visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) to update your application.

Don’t wait to clean up and make repairs to your flood-damaged home
• Take photos or videos of all damage before you start cleaning or repairing your property and save your receipts for any clean up or repairs. An inspector will contact you to arrange an inspection. Inspections are free.

Temporary Housing

• FEMA contractors have begun placing the first travel trailers on private sites. Direct housing is temporary. These units are not permanent dwellings. FEMA staff will meet with survivors regularly to determine their continued eligibility and demonstrated needs and assist them in developing a permanent housing plan.
• The state-led Florida Housing Task Force surveyed available rental resources in the hurricane-impacted counties and found rental housing resources were insufficient to meet the high demand for housing in Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf and Jackson counties.
• On Oct. 28, FEMA authorized the Direct Temporary Housing Assistance Program for these counties.
• Direct Temporary Housing Assistance is available to eligible applicants whose primary residence is uninhabitable if FEMA determines that eligible applicants cannot use financial Rental Assistance due to a lack of available housing resources in the area.
• Direct housing is just one form of temporary housing assistance being provided by the state and federal agencies. Many survivors have received grants for basic repairs and rental assistance, and temporary roofs provided by the Corps of Engineers.
• Obtaining a travel trailer or manufactured housing unit is not an automatic process. Eligibility must be determined after survivors apply for assistance and according to guidelines developed and approved by the state of Florida and FEMA.
• Additional phone interviews are being conducted to determine applicants who are identified and qualified for direct housing assistance.
• As individual eligibility for direct temporary housing is determined, sites to place the units are inspected to assess feasibility for placement.
• Installation of a temporary housing unit includes:
• Site preparation
• Placement of the unit
• Anchoring of the unit
• Utilities hookup
• Compliance with local permitting and completion of final inspection
• Once installation of the unit is complete, an occupancy inspection will take place. When the unit passes inspection, it is ready for occupancy. At that point, the applicant will sign a license-in agreement to occupy the unit while they work on their permanent housing plan.
• Direct housing is temporary. These units are not permanent dwellings. FEMA staff will meet with survivors regularly to determine their continued eligibility and demonstrated needs and assist them in developing a permanent housing plan.
• To remain eligible, survivors must demonstrate continuing progress on a permanent housing plan. FEMA staff will keep survivors up to date on program details and deadlines through face-to-face meetings, phone calls and letters.

FEMA Individuals and Assistance Programs

Eligible Counties
• Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadson, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington

Individuals & Households

• More than 98,0068 families and individuals have contacted FEMA for help and information.
• More than $111 million in FEMA grants approved, including more than $91.2 million in housing assistance, and nearly $19.9 million of Other Needs Assistance.
• 65,007 Housing inspections have been issued. More than 99.11% are complete.

Rental Assistance
• 18,443 homeowners and renters approved for rental assistance.
• FEMA is working closely with the state to provide other forms of temporary housing.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance
• TSA is approved for Bay, Gulf and Jackson counties
• Find a list of TSA-approved hotels on DisasterAssistance.gov or contacting the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). or visit a Disaster Recovery Center. Contact the hotel directly to secure a room.
• 763 survivor households currently checked into hotels
Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA)
• DSA crews continue to reach out to survivors in storm-damaged communities. Crew members answer questions, register survivors and make referrals to whole community partners.
• All FEMA employees and contractors carry an official government or contractor badge to identify themselves. To guard against fraud, survivors should ask to see a badge.
• To date, the crews have visited more than 60,380 homes and made over 21,600 referrals to whole community resources.

National Flood Insurance Program
• More than 4,700 claims received; paid more than $88.6 million. More than 3,000 claims closed.

Federal Partners

Small Business Administration (SBA)

• SBA has approved $286. 2 million in disaster loans, including more than $259.8 million to homeowners and renters, and more than $23.7 million to businesses.
• Survivors should complete the low-interest, long-term disaster loan application from the SBA if offered. If you do not qualify for a loan, you may be referred back to FEMA for grants to meet unmet needs. SBA offers loans to businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private nonprofits, homeowners and renters.
• To apply for an SBA loan call: 800-659-2955, online at: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ or in person at a disaster recovery center.
• Visit fema.gov/DRC for a list of open centers.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

• Registration for the Blue Roof program ended on Nov. 16th
• More than 7,000 Blue Roofs have been installed.

FEMA/STATE Disaster Recovery Centers

• Today 13 fixed-site DRCs, two Mobile DRC and two Mobile Registration Intake Centers are open. All DRC’s are currently open Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
• Starting Sunday Nov. 25, disaster recovery centers in seven counties will now be closed Sundays, while others have adjusted operating hours. – see attached News Release
• Visit: FEMA.gov/DRC or download the FEMA App to locate open disaster recovery centers in your area.

Bay County
Bay County Public Library
898 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401
John B. Gore Park
520 Beulah Avenue, Callaway, FL 32404

Calhoun County
Blountstown Public Library
17731 NE Pear St. Blountstown, FL 32424

Franklin County
Carrabelle Public Library
311 Saint James Avenue Carrabelle, FL 32322

Gulf County
Port Saint Joe Library
110 Library Drive, Port Saint Joe, FL 32456
Wewahitchka Branch Library
314 N. 2nd St. Wewahitchka, FL 32465

Holmes County
Holmes County Agricultural Center
1173 E Hwy 90, Bonifay, FL 32425

Jackson County
University Extension Office
2741 Penn Avenue, Marianna, FL 32448

Liberty County
Veterans Memorial Park
10405 NW Theo Jacobs Way, Bristol, FL 32321

Washington County
Washington County AG Center
1424 W. Jackson Avenue, Chipley, FL 32428

Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers
• Two Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers are open today. MDRC are open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Calhoun County
7226 SE Iola Road
Blountstown, FL 32424
Wed., Nov. 21 to Sun. Nov. 25

Mobile Registration Intake Centers
• There are two Mobile Registration Intake Centers.
• For locations, visit www.floridadisaster.org/info/#mrics.

Bay County
Mexico Beach City Hall
201 Paradise Path, Mexico Beach, FL 32410
Parking Lot
225 S. Tyndall Parkway, Panama City, FL 32404

Disaster Fraud Hotline
• If you have been defrauded or suspect fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of disaster relief operations, call the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 (TTY 1-844-889-4357).
Your call is anonymous and confidential

FEMA Rumor Page
https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-michael-rumor-control

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About The Author

Lee Fry