ORLANDO, Fla. -- As 2008 comes to a close, state and federal partners continue to provide assistance and work in partnership toward recovery for the people and communities in Florida counties impacted by Tropical Storm Fay.
In the aftermath of the August storm that caused major damage in 27 presidentially designated Florida counties, 19,251 people registered for individual assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Florida State Emergency Response Team (SERT).
To date, more than $29,838,822 million approved from FEMA's Individuals and Households Program and other federal programs has been moved into the hands of eligible applicants who suffered losses from Tropical Storm Fay.
In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $9.5 million in low-interest disaster home loans and $3.7 million in loans for businesses.
During the registration period, 14,494 people visited Disaster Recovery Centers.
Home inspections continue and to date, 15,834 inspections have been requested and 15,802 have been completed.
To date, the assistance approved from FEMA's Individuals and Households Program is more than $16.5 million.
The Individuals and Households Program provides assistance in two main categories =96 Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance. FEMA has approved funding for 6,218 applicants.
Housing Assistance helps pay for emergency rental assistance, temporary lodging and housing repairs. More than $14.5 million in Housing Assistance has been approved for 4,216 households.
Other Needs Assistance helps cover personal property loss, medical costs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance to individuals and households. Other Needs Assistance funding of more than $2 million was approved for 2,002 individuals.
The federally-funded, state-administered Disaster Unemployment Assistance program approved 99 claims for work loss primarily related to the disaster. More than $36,000 has been paid through this program. Program benefits end February 21, 2009.
To date, FEMA's Public Assistance Program (infrastructure) has obligated nearly $8 million to fund reimbursement costs for: emergency protective measures, debris removal, and can fund the repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of public infrastructure such as roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities and parks, and other recreational facilities damaged during a disaster. FEMA's Public Assistance disaster specialists are continuing the process of reimbursements to state and local governments, agencies and certain eligible non-profit organizations.
Residents who still have open claims and have questions can call FEMA's Helpline toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). The hard of hearing, deaf or speech impaired may call the TTY number at 800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available to speak to applicants. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 7 a.m. to midnight daily until further notice. Applicants may also register online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.