WASHINGTON — The Biden-Harris Administration announced today it has delivered over $2 billion for Hurricane Ian recovery in Florida in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments. FEMA has provided $710 million to households and $322 million to the state for emergency response, while the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided $631 million in disaster loans and the National Flood Insurance Program has paid $351 million in claims.
“Responding to and recovering from disasters requires a whole of government approach. FEMA and the entire federal family were on the ground before the storm and will remain on the ground in the weeks, months and years ahead to help Florida and Floridians recovery from Hurricane Ian,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “In a little over a month, FEMA and its partners have already delivered more than $2 billion in assistance made possible by President Biden’s Major Disaster Declaration.”
President Biden’s disaster declaration on Sept. 29, 2022, made FEMA Individual Assistance available to nine counties in Florida. Additional counties were added and subsequently made eligible, for a total of 26. The Transitional Sheltering Assistance program is now available to all 26 counties and is currently providing housing for 2,245 households with 5,650 members. Additionally, hundreds of FEMA inspectors have performed over 203,000 home inspections for survivors who applied for federal disaster assistance. Temporary housing is also available for eligible Hurricane Ian survivors in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties.
The response and recovery efforts have continued to be a whole of government effort, with the U.S. Small Business Administration providing $631 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and business owners. Additionally, Business Recovery Centers are located in Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee and Seminole counties.
“With these rapidly-approved funds, we are sending a strong message to disaster-impacted Floridians that the SBA and Biden-Harris Administration will continue to be with you every step of the way in your recovery,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman. “While assessing damage from Hurricane Ian on the ground, I witnessed the strength and resilience of small business owners rolling up their sleeves, going to work, reopening and serving their devastated communities. This critical funding will speed recovery efforts for disaster-impacted families and small businesses.”
The federal government has continued to engage and support Floridians, including the creation of local job opportunities. FEMA is conducting local hiring for more than 300 jobs in Brandon, Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Orlando and Sarasota. The positions are full-time, 120-day appointments that may be extended depending on operational needs. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply online through USAJobs.gov.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has installed nearly 19,000 temporary Blue Roofs and installed generators at critical facilities, performed more than 20,000 assessments on roofs, buildings, sanitation and water treatment systems and continues supporting the state in removal of debris from heavily impacted areas.
“For every temporary roof we install, building we assess, or generator we power on, we’re bringing families and communities one step closer to getting their lives back to normal. We are humbled and proud to take this mission on, side by side with our industry and government partners across the state and federal community, working around the clock to get this important job done,” said USACE Commanding General Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon. “These vital infrastructure improvements for residents represent key steps that enable communities to return to work and school, have power and clean water, and receive healthcare services.”
As of Nov. 6, 2022, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program has received more than 44,000 flood insurance claims and paid more than $351 million to policyholders, including $170 million in advance payments.
Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian can seek additional support by calling 800-621-3362, visiting disasterassistance.gov or by visiting one of the 27 Disaster Recovery Centers operating in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee (5 locations), Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties.