Monroe County is hosting three informational public meetings regarding FEMA’s Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program known as STEP.

STEP is a rapid repair program which enables eligible individuals or families whose homes were damaged due to Hurricane Irma to take shelter in their own homes while they rebuild. This includes a functional kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area and air-conditioning for this livable area of the home.

The meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

Monday, Nov. 6: Monroe County’s Marathon Government Center, BOCC Chambers, 2798 Overseas Highway, Marathon

Tuesday, Nov. 7: Keys Community Church, 30300 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key

Wednesday, Nov. 8: Sugarloaf School, 225 Crane Blvd, Sugarloaf Key

STEP is not a permanent repair program. STEP is meant to provide the most basic, life -sustaining needs for emergency sheltering. Repairs are capped at $20,000.

STEP is available for disaster-damaged single family, owner-occupied residential properties, which include duplexes, townhomes, modular homes and permanently placed mobile homes. Other types of owner occupied residences may be eligible, subject to approval by the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) on a case-by-case basis.

A home is not eligible if it cannot be made safe for sheltering purposes, including due to the presence of excessive toxic or hazardous materials, for less than the $20,000 cap.

STEP Is NOT available for travel trailers, RVs, commercial properties and commonly owned areas, structures or equipment.

Anyone who wants to participate in FEMA’s Step Program must first apply for FEMA’s Individual Assistance. The deadline to do so is now Nov. 24, 2017.

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