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Hurricane Matthew disaster recovery center opens in St. Johns County

Recovery efforts continue in Northeast Florida 2 weeks after hurricane

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A disaster recovery center has opened in St. Johns County to help survivors affected by Hurricane Matthew’s severe storms and flooding.

The center, which will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, is at:

St. Johns County Wind Mitigation Bldg
3111 Agricultural Center Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32092

The center will be closed on Sundays.

Disaster recovery centers serve as one-stop shops for eligible storm survivors seeking one-on-one help, FEMA officials said.

Representatives from the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and various state agencies will be at the center to answer questions.

On Monday, FEMA's top flood insurance official, Roy Wright, was in St. Augustine to help residents find help.

The National Flood Insurance Program is pre-authorizing thousands of dollars to go out almost immediately for residents who had flood insurance.

“People, in terms of checks, often begin to see their next check happen two to three weeks later,” Wright said. “And then, the next increment comes based on the insured. If they want to get actual estimates from contractors and the like, we’ll take the time to wait with them.”

Wright said $22 million was paid out after Hurricane Sandy. But Hurricane Matthew's damage will cost hundreds of millions more. In addition to that price tag, Gov. Rick Scott said Monday that there were lessons learned.

“We’ve learned that it’s important to find places for all the linemen that come from outside the state to stay,” Scott said. “Some of them stayed at Camp Blanding. And we organized for some of them to stay at Embry Riddle.”

FDEM and FEMA officials continue to work closely with local officials in hard-hit areas to identify possible sites for additional centers. Survivors can also locate the center by visiting the DRC locator on fema.gov.  

Downloading the FEMA App (available in English and Spanish) to their mobile device will allow survivors to:

  • Apply for disaster assistance
  • Get directions to the nearest disaster recovery center
  • Get weather alerts
  • Subscribe to disaster safety tips

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. Survivors with questions regarding the application or the appeals process, or who need to register for assistance, may visit online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362. (TTY users should call 800-462-7585.) The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available, (for Spanish press #2). 

Survivors requiring a reasonable accommodation (ASL interpreting, Braille Large Print, etc.) while visiting a disaster recovery center may call the appropriate Helpline number above to receive support.

FEMA encourages survivors to register as soon as possible. Those who may have registered with their county emergency management office, the American Red Cross or other community organizations are reminded to also register with FEMA. If you pre-registered with FEMA before the presidential disaster declaration for Hurricane Matthew, there is no need to register again. However, you should call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or video relay service) TTY users can call 800-462-7585 to update your information.  

Disaster assistance may include grants to help homeowners and renters pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacement, and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance. 

SBA offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters, and certain private non-profit organizations. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. 

For more information about SBA loans, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.  TTY users may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

For more information on Florida’s disaster recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4283, https://twitter.com/femaregion4, facebook.com/FEMA, and fema.gov/blog.