Irma survivors might be able to extend hotel stays through FEMA program

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricane Irma survivors still living in hotels months after the storm pounded their homes got some welcomed news Wednesday.

Those getting Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) might be able to extend that aid while they continue to look for a new place to live.

FEMA’s TSA, which pays for short-term hotel stays, has extended eligibility from Jan. 7 to Feb. 10 with hotel checkout Feb. 11. Participants in TSA will receive a phone call telling them whether they are eligible for the extension and what they need to do to remain at their current hotel or find a new hotel. Applicants must meet certain requirements to remain eligible.

Hurricane Irma survivors who are not currently in TSA but who may be eligible are notified automatically. Participants must be registered with FEMA and be eligible for disaster assistance.

FEMA pays directly for the room and any applicable taxes. Applicants are responsible for all other incidental costs, such as meals, transportation, etc. Hotels may require a credit card for incidental expenses.

A household of four or fewer members is authorized one hotel room and a household of five or more is authorized additional rooms based on a limit of four people per room. One member of each household 18 or older must reside in each room.

TSA-eligible applicants must find and book their own hotel rooms. The list of participating hotels is on DisasterAssistance.gov, under the link Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program or by phoning the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585. For 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

Applicants with disabilities or who have access and functional needs should check with hotels to ensure appropriate accommodations are available. Those with pets must check to see if pets are accepted. Applicants must show photo identification and adhere to any hotel check-in requirements.

For more information on Hurricane Irma and Florida recovery, visit www.FEMA.gov/IrmaFL,
@FEMARegion4 Twitter account, or the Florida Division of Emergency Management website.