ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla, – Five days after Hurricane Ian pummeled its way through Florida — more than 222,000 insurance claims have been filed from Hurricane Ian with estimated losses of 1.6 billion as of Tuesday. Those numbers are expected to dramatically increase with estimates as high as 40 billion.
Three local counties are eligible for FEMA assistance after Hurricane Ian — St. Johns, Flagler, and Putnam counties. People in hard-hit areas can file for FEMA Individual Assistance, which may include temporary housing assistance, basic home repairs and certain other uninsured disaster-related needs.
These counties join Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole and Sarasota counties, which were previously approved for Individual Assistance.
Related: Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia now eligible for FEMA aid after Ian | County by county: How to get rid of storm debris in Northeast Florida
High flood waters and reports of 53-mile per hour winds swamped Downtown St. Augustine beginning last Thursday morning. Water also completely flooded the A1A near the Bridge of Lions and pushed inland toward North Ponce De Leon Boulevard.
Residents should notify their insurance agents of any damages to their property from Ian. Take photos to document damage and keep receipts from all cleanup- and repair-related purchases.
Related: News4JAX & the American Red Cross host phone bank to help hurricane victims
Survivors can apply for disaster assistance at disasterassistance.gov, by using the FEMA mobile app, or by calling 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
Make sure to hold on to any documents — or pictures you’ve taken — to document damage to improve your chances of getting assistance -or an insurance payout.