Disaster recovery center opens for 4 days in Starke

USDA also plans workshops for Lake City, Duval County for Irma recovery

STARKE, Fla. - A Disaster Recovery Center opens Friday, Oct.13, for four days in Starke to help Florida storm survivors. 

The DRC’s hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until close of business Monday, Oct. 16.

Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the State of Florida are available to provide assistance to anyone filling out their applications or updating their status. 

Voluntary organizations are available and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.

The DRC is at:

Bradford County Senior Center
1805 N. Temple Ave.
Starke, FL 32091
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

As more centers open, survivors may locate one near them at https://www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by calling FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, (TTY) 800-462-7585. Helpline numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. DRC information is also available on the FEMA App.

The registration process is the first step in recovery and requires information such as insurance policies and bank information for possible direct transfer of funds. Survivors are encouraged to register before visiting a DRC.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged property.

If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register in one of the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. Information on the registration process is available in ASL at: fema.gov/medialibrary/assets/videos/111546.
  • Help is available in most languages.
  • Download the FEMA App and apply.

You may have other needs while visiting a DRC:

  • If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation, please see a DRC manager when you arrive.
  • Language translations are offered through Telephonic Interpretation Services in 200 languages.

Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) crews are canvassing affected areas and are able to register survivors for FEMA assistance, if needed. Telephonic Interpretation Services are available in many languages to assist survivors with language needs. When residents require further assistance, the teams may refer them to a DRC.

If you have already registered, it is not necessary to visit a DRC, but you may still want to go speak with a Recovery Specialist to update your status or find help from the other organizations.

FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.

Survivors should register even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims have been settled.

For more recovery information, visit www.FEMA.gov/IrmaFL, or follow us @FEMARegion4 on Twitter and on FEMA’s Facebook page.

USDA plans Northeast Florida workshops

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Service Center in Columbia County is hosting a disaster assistance and hurricane recovery workshop Oct. 23, 10 a.m. at 971 West Duval St. Suite 170, Lake City, 32055, and the USDA Service Center in Duval County is hosting a disaster assistance and hurricane recovery workshop Oct. 24, 10 a.m. at 1010 North McDuff Ave., Jacksonville, 32254.

Both events are free and open to the public. 

Representatives from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will present information on the various disaster assistance programs and resources available for farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Workshop topics include emergency assistance for livestock & crop-related expenses and losses; financial assistance programs to help with farm and farmland damage; deadlines for applying for disaster assistance programs and programs to help with restoration and rehabilitation of farm and ranch land.

For more information, contact Hugh Hunter at 386-269-3497. Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in the meetings should contact Hunter or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 by Oct. 21.

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.