Hurricane Irma Information
State law prohibits extreme increases in the prices of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency. The amount cannot grossly exceed the average price for those items during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency unless the seller can justify an increase in the costs. If you suspect price gouging, report this to the Attorney General’s price gouging hotline.
The price gouging hotline is 866-9-NO-SCAM (866-966-7226).
For more information, visit the Florida Attorney General’s website at http://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/5D2710E379EAD6BC85256F03006AA2C5?OpenDocument
- Individual Assistance from FEMA is now available for residents in Volusia County who sustained damage from Hurricane Irma to their primary residence or have losses not covered by insurance or are underinsured.
- If you have insurance and sustained damages, call your insurance company to file an insurance claim. FEMA cannot duplicate assistance for losses that are covered by insurance. However, you may still be eligible for assistance from FEMA for losses not covered by insurance.
- Applying is the first step toward getting FEMA disaster assistance. FEMA can help eligible applicants pay for uninsured or underinsured home repairs, temporary housing, personal property and other serious disaster-related needs through its grant programs.
How do I apply for disaster help?
Residents should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling FEMA’s toll free registration number at 800-621-FEMA (3362). 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 a TTY, may call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available.
It will take about 15 minutes to apply, but before applicants call or go online, they should gather the following basic information to speed the process:
- Social Security number
- Telephone number where he or she can be reached
- Address of the damaged property
- Current mailing address
- Brief description of disaster-related damages and losses
- Insurance information
- Bank account address and information
Residents with damage to their home
- Residents with damage to their home should file a claim with their insurance company.
- If you received significant damage from Hurricane Irma and are unable to stay in your home, call Volusia County’s Citizens Information Center at 866-345-0345.
- To report damage to your home, you can submit information through the Volusia County Emergency Management app.
- City staff completed preliminary damage assessment directly following the storm.
- Staff from the Volusia County Property Appraiser’s office will be in the field Tuesday doing preliminary damage assessment.
- For assistance or if you have been impacted by Hurricane Irma, people can call the Citizen Information Center at 866-345-0345.
- Power outages should be reported to the appropriate provider:
SBA Disaster Assistance for businesses and residents expands to additional Florida counties
The U.S. Small Business Administration has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma that began on Sept. 4.
The disaster declaration covers the counties of Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia in Florida which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Levy and Nassau in Florida.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by mobile device at m.fema.gov. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955(800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. Completed applications should be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 9. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.
Florida Housing Finance Corp.
Residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Irma can search for available rental housing at www.FloridaHousingSearch.org, the state’s affordable rental housing locator. Property owners are asked to update their listing of available rental units on the website or by calling 877-428-8844.
Due to massive housing need, properties may be listed one day and gone the next. Staff is working with landlords to update information as quickly as possible.
Additional disaster relief information is posted at http://www.floridahousing.org/programs/special-programs/ship---state-housing-initiatives-partnership-program/disaster-relief.
Florida Department of Financial Service
Floridians should be prompt in notifying their insurance companies and cautious of repair deals that sound too good to be true. Report suspicious activity to 877-693-5246.
Tips for consumers navigating the insurance claims process:
- Notify your insurance company first as many insurance companies have reporting deadlines. Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage, but remain in contact with your insurance company regarding outside vendors that are brought in to make repairs. If you need help locating contact information for your insurance company, visit http://floir.com/siteDocuments/FLLargestPropertyCompaniesContact.pdfor call the Insurance Consumer Helpline at 877-693-5236.
- When making temporary repairs, hire only licensed and reputable vendors, and obtain licensing or training credentials before signing work agreements. Visit the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Contractor License lookup at https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp.
- Fully review and understand all documents before signing them. Ask whether you or your insurance company is responsible for paying the vendor. For information about how an assignment of benefits for repairs works, visit www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/AssignmentofBenefits.htmor www.floir.com/Sections/PandC/AssignmentofBenefits.aspx.
- To verify that public insurance adjusters are licensed, ask for identification. Visit the Hurricane Irma Insurance Resources website at www.myfloridacfo.com/division/Consumers/HurricaneIrma.htm to verify the license of any Florida insurance agent or adjuster.
- Understand how much a public insurance adjuster charges, as well as what services are included, before signing any contract.
- If you suspect fraud or suspicious activity, call 877-693-5236.
- Call the Insurance Consumer Helpline at 877-693-5236 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with insurance-related questions.