Seeking disaster assistance
Many times damage from storms not only are caused by the wind, but also from the rain and flooding. Citizens should monitor local news media for sources of information about where to get emergency housing, food, first aid, clothing and financial assistance. There are many resources available for citizens affected by a disaster.
What is disaster assistance?
Disaster assistance is money or direct assistance to individuals, families and businesses whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance. It is meant to help you with critical expenses that cannot be covered in other ways. This assistance is not intended to restore your damaged property to its condition before the disaster. While some housing assistance funds may be available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individuals and Households Program, most disaster assistance from the federal government is in the form of loans administered by the Small Business Administration.
- American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is the community’s first line of defense for local disasters. Your American Red Cross can assist with immediate emergency needs (food, clothing and shelter) caused by a disaster. The Red Cross also assists with clean-up supplies. Call Florida’s Coast-to-Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross at 386-226-1400.
- 2-1-1/First Call For Help
This is a service provided by the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties, 2-1-1 that lets you access free information about services in the community.
- Florida Department of Health in Volusia County
Did you know the dangers from a storm do not end when the storm passes? There is potential for illness and disease. The health department urges residents to be cautious following a storm and has information about how to stay safe in flooded areas, mold cleanup tips, mosquito precautions, and water-testing kits for homeowners with submerged wells. For more information, please call the Environmental Health Office at 386-822-6250 or visit www.volusiahealth.com.
Federal disaster assistance
In the most severe disasters, the federal government is called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers. Most federal assistance becomes available when the president declares a “Major Disaster” for the affected area at the request of a state governor. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide information through the news media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply. FEMA assistance is available online at:
For FEMA assistance
www.fema.gov or 800-621-FEMA (3362).
Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals can call
Every effort will be made to allow evacuees to return to their home and businesses as quickly as possible. Re-entry to evacuated areas will be authorized based on public safety, security and operational needs of search and rescue teams.
The re-entry policy will be established as soon as possible and with as few restrictions as possible. The decision to establish general re-entry will be evaluated through continuous coordination among county and state agencies, municipal law enforcement agencies and adjacent counties and will be announced through the news media.