Duval County now eligible for individual FEMA assistance

County added to those already listed as eligible for federal aid

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Homeowners, renters and business owners in Duval County may now apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damages and losses resulting from Hurricane Matthew.

Brevard, Flagler, Indian River, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties had already been designated for Individual Assistance.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said damage to public facilities in Duval County is estimated at $70 million.

“It costs money if you lose power. You lose your food and things like that, so, we’ve got to figure out how to always work together and part of it is working with the federal government and making sure our federal government is a good partner,” Gov. Rick Scott said.

To be eligible for federal aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Matthew, beginning on Oct. 3.

Survivors are encouraged to register with FEMA as soon as possible. If you preregistered with FEMA, you do not have to apply again. If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or
  • On the FEMA Mobile App, or by
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585.
  • The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Multilingual operators are available.

Don’t be discouraged if you do not have access to telephone or internet service. Disaster survivor assistance specialists are helping people register for assistance in designated counties. Additionally, disaster recovery centers are planned to open in the near future.

Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Survivors should contact their insurance company to file their insurance claim. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who may be underinsured may still receive help.

Duval County updates governor on clean-up

Curry and other city leaders updated Scott on Monday on recovery efforts after Hurricane Matthew damaged homes, knocked out power and downed trees as it skirted up the coastline two weeks ago.

The leaders said the meeting is a way to show their dedication to improving storm response in the city.

Scott met with Curry, the Florida National Guard, emergency management and mayors from surrounding areas of Duval County to discuss road closures, school closings and how long it took to get customers' power back on.

“I think it’s important to think through the process of, if we’re going to have to close the school, how quickly are we going to be able to reopen it?” Scott said. “And are the employees going to be able to come? So, I think that’s something we can put a little more focus into.”

Curry said JEA officials admitted that they should not have set a deadline that they could not meet and have taken that as a lesson learned.

"Look, it's not about where people are or where they were, it's about results,” Curry said. “And, as you heard the governor say and as another outlet reported on this, during the storm and as the storm was closing in, I was on phone calls with Paul McElroy, the CEO of JEA, in conversations, offering my help and the governor's help to make sure we had additional resources here to restore power as quickly as possible."

City leaders said storm debris pickup is about halfway done, and there will be a second round of debris pickup, which should be completed in another month-long timeframe.