Feb 042018

Survivors of Hurricane Irma who face unmet needs may find help through state and federal resources listed below.

State assistance:

  • Florida 211

Floridians seeking information about disaster-related services and unmet needs may call Florida 211, a statewide referral service. Call 211 to find resources in your community, such as food, childcare and crisis counseling.

  • State Assistance Information Line

Call 800-342-3557 to receive information regarding Hurricane Irma recovery.

For Florida Keys specific recovery information, visit www.keysrecovery.org.

  • Available Housing Information

Florida residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Irma may search for available housing on FloridaHousingSearch.org.

Property owners and managers can add and/or update listings of available units. Login or call toll-free 877-428-8844 for assistance.

  • Legal Services: Florida Bar Association

Free legal assistance on some disaster-related issues is available to low-income disaster survivors. Call 866-550-2929 or visitwww.floridalegal.org/irma.

  • Services for Seniors

Florida has numerous programs and services for seniors. Details can be found on the Department of Elder Affairs website at elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/programs.php.

  • Mental Health Services

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. There are resources available for supporting the mental and emotional health needs of children and families before, during and after a disaster. Visit www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/emergency-preparedness-and-response/prepare-yourself/behavioral-health/index.html.

  • People with Disabilities

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Resources website is a resource for individuals with developmental disabilities living in or moving to the state of Florida. Its primary purpose is to help individuals with developmental disabilities find a provider who best meets their needs. Visit www.flddresources.org.

  • Employment
  • The Employ Florida Hurricane Irma Recovery Jobs Portal, administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides links to recovery and cleanup jobs across the state. Employers may also post job openings on the site. Visit disasterrecovery.employflorida.com/vosnet/Default.aspx.


  • Health and Safety

After a disaster, safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. These two sites have information on potential health hazards and staying well:

www.floridahealth.gov and www.ready.gov/health-safety-guidelines.

Florida business recovery resources:

  • Florida Businesses Impacted by Disaster

Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center provides information and resources for registered businesses impacted by a disaster, including news and what to do after a disaster. Businesses may also share the extent of damage they suffered. Visit www.flvbeoc.org.

  • Florida Division of Emergency Management

The state of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management official portal for businesses provides a toolkit of information to help prepare for and recover from disasters. Visit www.floridadisaster.org/dem.

Federal assistance:

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Section 203(h) Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims helps survivors get a mortgage for a new home or rebuild their damaged one. Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance gives homebuyers and owners two options:

  • Buy or refinance a house and its rehabilitation costs with a single mortgage; or
  • Finance the rehabilitation of your existing home.

Money may be used for rehabilitation work, from minor repairs to total reconstruction.

To qualify for Section 203(h) Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims, applicants must:

  • Own a single-family home damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma between Sept. 4 and Oct. 18, 2017; and
  • Live in one of the Florida counties designated in the declaration.

Section 203(k)-insured loans can finance:

  • Residential section rehabilitation of a property that also has non-residential uses.
  • Conversion of any size property to a one- to four-unit structure.

To qualify for Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance, applicants must:

  • Be able to make monthly mortgage payments; and
  • Be rehabilitating a home at least one year old.

To learn more, go online to hud.gov. To find an approved lender near you, visit www.hud.gov/program_offices/ housing/sfh/lender/lenderlist.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

The website for the Office for Civil Rights division of HHS provides information on effective planning, response and recovery for people who have special needs. Before, during and after a disaster, members of this population may have additional needs to maintain independence, communication, transportation, supervision and medical care. Visit www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr/civilrights/resources/specialtopics emergencypre/eptrainingppt.pdf .

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline, a national hotline, offers year-round disaster crisis counseling. You may call 800-985-5990(TTY 800-846-8517) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you feel distressed because of the effects of Hurricane Irma, you may use this free service. It is toll-free, multilingual, crisis support. Visit the website at www.samhsa.gov for more information.

  • Other resources available to Floridians who need or want to give help:

For more recovery information from FEMA, visit www.FEMA.gov/IrmaFL, or follow @FEMARegion4 on Twitter and on FEMA’s Facebook page. For recovery information from the state, visit Florida Division of Emergency Management.

  • Volunteering and Donations
  • To donate or volunteer, visit www.volunteerflorida.org or call 800-FL-Help-1.
  • Find other volunteer options at www.nvoad.org.
  • Volunteer Florida works with members of the Florida VOAD, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
  • For those who wish to help, cash donations offer volunteer agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and bring money into the local economy to help businesses recover. Donate to Florida disaster relief at FloridaDisasterFund.org.

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 February 4, 2018  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #254, News, Public Notice  Add comments

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