Orange County

Orange County Disaster Recovery Center opens Sunday for residents seeking assistance

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange and Osceola county residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can now get some help at two new centers starting Sunday.

On Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency opened two new disaster recovery centers to help people apply for assistance after the hurricane.

The centers are located at the Hart Memorial Library in Kissimmee and Barnett Park in Orlando.


The one-stop shops have all the information residents need to get assistance.

Channel 9 was at Barnett Park on Sunday as dozens of residents began the process of getting face-to-face assistance.

Along with FEMA, officials from the Department of Children and Families and the Small Business Association were on hand to help residents navigate what can be a confusing process.

Read: Osceola County Disaster Recovery Center to open Sunday for hurricane assistance

“We lost everything – food, furniture, clothing, medical supplies - we lost a lot,” said Cypress Landing resident Miriam Alicea.

Alicea’s apartment was flooded during the storm and is now uninhabitable.

“I need help. I need a place to live a place and to be happy again. Start all over,” Alicea said. “I’m here to see what’s going on. See if we can speed it up a little bit.”

Read: DCF announces first disaster SNAP program after Ian, here’s how to register

Alicea told Channel 9 that she spent the last week moving between her family and friends’ homes.

Those in need can get questions answered about their FEMA application and get connected to additional assistance.

“So, this was a big help to be able to sit and talk with someone face to face to be able to understand this paperwork because it’s really confusing,” said Catherine Edwards.

Read: FEMA approves $150 million in disaster relief for Florida households, here’s how to apply

Catherine Edwards and Victoria Tomlinson told Channel 9 that since they applied for FEMA assistance they’ve received two letters asking them to provide more information.

They said it’s been a difficult process to navigate while dealing with complications from the storm.

Read: How can Central Florida residents apply for FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance?

“Maybe we’ll get something done today. Thank you, Lord. Maybe we can get something done,” Edwards said.

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at Barnett Park will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for the next 30 days.

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