Osceola County

Disaster recovery centers open to help Central Florida residents after Ian

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Residents in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties impacted by Hurricane Ian can now get some help at one of three new centers that opened this week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery centers (DRCs), located at the Hart Memorial Library in Kissimmee, Barnett Park in Orlando, and Seminole State College main campus in Sanford will serve as a resource hub for individuals and businesses recovering from Hurricane Ian’s impacts.


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

Services provided include:

  • Guidance for recovery assistance
  • Clarification on FEMA letters
  • Status of FEMA applications
  • Answers to questions, possible solutions, referrals to other agencies
  • Housing assistance and rental resource information
  • Small Business Administration program information

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

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

She said her 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: Here are the Central Florida counties eligible for FEMA assistance after Ian

Kissimmee resident Chris Samec said Hurricane Ian forced her out of her home and she now lives in a motel.

“It flooded out the carpet,” she said. “It flooded out everything.”

She estimated the cost of repairs could be as much as $30,000, which she does not have.

But Samec is optimistic because FEMA is taking applications for those uninsured.

“This is wonderful because a lot of people don’t have the ability to get the help,” she said.

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

FEMA said they are trying to be as flexible as possible for those in need.

The DRC in Osceola County is located at the Hart Memorial Central Library 211 E Dakin Avenue in Kissimmee and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The DRC in Orange County is located at Barnett Park 4801 W Colonial Dr, Orlando and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

The DRC in Seminole County is located at the Seminole State College Sanford/Lake Mary Campus 100 Weldon Boulevard in Sanford and will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Oct. 11.

Residents can register online here, or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.