St. Johns and Putnam counties have been added to the list of counties where residents and businesses affected by Tropical Storm Ian can apply for federal assistance.
The storm flooded Downtown St. Augustine, Vilano Beach and elsewhere. Gov. Ron DeSantis and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Deanne Criswell surveyed the damage Friday.
FEMA has approved grants for temporary lodging, basic home repairs, personal property losses and other eligible expenses in these counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia. Go here to apply.
Other help also is available:
SBA loans: The Small Business Administration is offering low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and nonprofit organizations in Putnam and St. Johns counties. You can apply here.
Unemployment aid: State and federal officials have made it easier for storm victims to apply for unemployment aid. Work search reporting, waiting week and registration requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived in the counties declared disasters.
National Flood Insurance Program: People in the program can receive up to $20,000 in advance funds without having to go through the normal claims process.The program provides $5,000 for combined building and contents losses, or up to $20,000 for policyholders who can provide FEMA with photographic evidence of claims and demonstrate proof out-of-pocket expenses related to repair or replacement of property insured under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy. More information is on the flood insurance website.
Clean and Sanitize Assistance: Eligible applicants may qualify for a one-time $300 payment to help with cleanup of their damaged dwelling.
Home cleanup: For those who need help with damage, the Home Cleanup Hotline, 800-451-1954, offers connections to volunteer cleanup workers from relief organizations, community groups and faith communities. The assistance is free but can’t be guaranteed due to heavy demand. Find volunteering opportunities here.