The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides financial and direct assistance for disaster-caused housing and personal property needs not covered by insurance or provided by any other source. Low-interest disaster loans are also available to help small businesses recover from declared disasters.
Affected individuals and businesses can apply for assistance through:
- FEMA’s mobile application (available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices),
- online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or
- FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621- 3362, multilingual operators are available; TTY 1-800-462-7585; or Visual Relay Service 711.
In-person assistance is available at the Disaster Recovery Center, Hillsborough Community College at The Regent, 6437 Watson Road in Riverview. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Have this information ready when you apply:
- Social Security number (one per household)
- Address of the damaged home or apartment
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- Telephone number
- Mailing address
- Bank account & routing numbers for direct deposit of funds
Special FEMA programs:
- Individuals and Households Program - this program provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disasters who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs. Register at one of the FEMA links above or visit the Disaster Recovery Center.
- Operation Blue Roof -Eligible homeowners who sustained roof damage from Hurricane Irma can apply to have temporary covering installed. The service is free. Hillsborough County residents may sign up for the program through Oct. 11 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the local Disaster Recovery Center, located at The Regent, 6437 Watson Road in Riverview.
- Reimbursements for generators and chainsaws
- National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) - before you begin to rebuild your home, there may be an NFIP term you need to be aware of: "substantial damage." It's a specific term that applies to a damaged structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area - or floodplain - for which the total cost of repairs is 50 percent or more of the structure's market value before the disaster occurred. It's important to know the percentage of structural damage to help you decide whether to repair or replace a damaged dwelling, and whether additional work will be needed to comply with local codes and ordinances.
Other Assistance Programs and Resources:
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) - Reemployment Assistance (RA) benefits and reemployment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular state Reemployment Assistance benefits
- Food for Florida – Emergency food benefits for residents impacted by Hurricane Irma who are not currently receiving food benefits through regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Feeding Tampa Bay – Food pantries and distribution sites
- Pet Resources Safety Net Food Pantry - Pet food and pet care items for Hillsborough County residents who need help feeding their dogs and cats
- Residential Storm Debris Removal - Collection trucks will be working systematically throughout unincorporated Hillsborough County neighborhoods to collect vegetative yard debris related to Hurricane Irma
- Disaster Contractor Fraud Hotline - Citizen hotline that can help Hillsborough County residents detect and report fraudulent contractors
How to Make a Request for Non-Vegetative Storm Debris Removal
To request the removal of non-vegetative storm debris from your residential property, simply complete the Storm Debris Removal form and email it to DebrisRemoval@HCFLgov.net by October 13, 2017. The form can also be hand delivered or mailed to Casaundra Marion at 332 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa, FL 33619. All debris must be placed on the right of way in front of the impacted residential property by October 16, 2017 in order to receive curbside debris removal. For more information contact Casaundra Marion at (813)272-8787.
Hillsborough County will be removing storm debris from residential properties impacted by floodwaters or who experienced structural damage to their homes or accessory structures directly caused by Hurricane Irma. The storm debris must be stacked in segregated piles on the right-of-way in front of the impacted residential property in order to be collected.
Guidelines for separating your debris
- Residents should avoid placing debris near mailboxes, water meters, street signs, light poles, fire hydrants, or similar objects that would block debris collection
- Debris should not be placed in the roadway, where it can fall into the roadway, or on top of storm drains
- Do not mix household waste or yard debris with the storm debris placed within the right-of-way in front of the impacted residential property
- Qualifying storm debris may include
- construction and demolition debris
- furniture or carpet impacted by floodwaters
- damaged appliances
- other debris directly caused by Hurricane Irma
- Debris must be segregated into separate piles for collection by material type (i.e. appliances, electronics, household hazardous waste, etc.)