• FEMA, Small Business Administration answer your questions after Hurricane Irma

    By: WFTV Web Staff


    Channel 9’s Christopher Heath sat down with officials from FEMA and the Small Business Administration to answer your questions.


    What exactly is FEMA doing in Florida to get things back to normal?

    “We’re registering people to see what disaster assistance they’re eligible for. We’re encouraging them to go to disasterassistant.gov to register and they can call 1-800-621-FEMA. You can also download the FEMA app. You can register from there and find shuttle locations. We’re also sending teams out door-to-door to register people, especially those without power."


    More: $180M allocated to state for Irma relief, but many unable to contact FEMA


    How long does it take to process a claim?

    "We don’t really have a direct timeline. It depends on the extent of the damage. We encourage people to file, take pictures when it’s safe to do so, then start the recovery process."


    Can you do repairs before FEMA sees your house if you take pictures?

    "Yes. Tale as many pictures as soon as possible. I recommend taking a video, walkthrough as well. Save itemized receipt."


    Do we qualify for food assistance after losing everything without power?

    "We can a Critical Needs Assistant Program and you need to identify yourself for that program if you register. It’s really for critical needs, like food, baby formula, medicine and transportation."


    What if I’m told my place is inaccessible?

    "Call the 1-800 number and they will try to reach your home and then tell you who to get in contact with."


    How to apply aside from calling.

    "Got to the website or use the FEMA app. There is a high volume with those calls right now. We have a lot of people across the country that work with FEMA and other agencies who have been getting trained on how to help people with those calls. We’re setting up Disaster Recovery Centers. We’re coordinating with the state and the county on where to place them so people can go and get questions answered."


    What about insurance?

    "By law, FEMA can’t duplicate benefits. So, if you have insurance, you need to get that settled first. We need to see what is insurance going to cover and if there are any shortfalls there. It’s still recommended to get your FEMA application in as soon as possible."


    How do you claim lost wages?

    "That’s all on the form."


    Should a FEMA application be for the household or per adult?



    WATCH: FEMA, SBA answers your questions 

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