- The federal government has dispersed $3.1 billion so far in response to Hurricane Ian
- FEMA inspectors have also performed more than 238,000 home inspections for survivors who applied for federal disaster assistance
More than $3.31 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments has been provided to the state of Florida and to households after Hurricane Ian, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA announced it has provided $792 million to households and nearly $400 million to the state for emergency response. Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided $1.2 billion in disaster loans and the National Flood Insurance Program has paid $919 million in claims.
Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, pummeling Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 mph before cutting across toward the east coast. The storm left a path of destruction across the Sunshine State, producing catastrophic flooding and deadly storm surge.
Notably, FEMA has made individual assistance available to 26 counties in Florida. Aid remains available to residents in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties.
FEMA also extended the deadline for disaster assistance to Jan. 12, 2023.
Kim Fuller, a FEMA spokesperson, says residents can also apply online or call the FEMA hotline for help with their application.
“You can go online to disasterassistance.gov or use the phone, the FEMA mobile app which you download to your phone. Or you can call the 800 number, which is 1-800-621-3362. And those are all operating through the holiday,” she said.
The update comes as Governor Ron DeSantis blasted FEMA on Monday for denying the state’s request for funds aimed at repairing homes damaged in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
On Oct. 28, the state requested permission from FEMA to conduct “a limited, specific shelter-in-place mission, using verified volunteer labor, to include the purchasing of materials and equipment beyond tarps, plastic sheeting, and furring strips.”
FEMA denied the request in a Dec. 2 letter to state Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.
“Due to the limited authorities FEMA has to approve and pay for this type of work, as well as our inability to confirm that authorizing this policy expansion would achieve the intended outcomes for disaster survivors, your request is denied,” the letter said.