homepage logo

Victims of Fay can apply for aid; Process opens to certain residents

By Staff | Sep 3, 2008

Victims of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fay in Bonita Springs and south Lee County will be able to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency starting today at 8 a.m.

A FEMA team will be at the Estero Community Center to take applications for federal and state funded aid, helping evacuees fill out the forms to assist with basic needs not necessarily covered by their individual insurance policies.

FEMA has been surveying the damaged area since Saturday, responding to a request from Lee County officials after they made their initial assessment earlier in the week.

Diane Holm, public information officer for Lee County Emergency Operation Center, said the FEMA team will be in Estero for as long as it takes to talk with the 588 people now housed in the shelter.

“Anybody who is interested in federal or state assistance will meet with members of the FEMA team to discuss what it is they need to apply,” Holm said.

After the initial applications have been filed, FEMA inspectors visit the applicants individually to determine the level of assistance they will be eligible for. FEMA will work closely with Florida’s State Emergency Response Team throughout the process.

Holm recommended people seeking aid start the application process as soon as possible. Though the FEMA team will be at the Estero shelter, applications also can be filed online and over the phone.

“As the list grows longer and longer it will take longer for inspectors to get to them,” she said.

According to FEMA regulations, only U.S. citizens and individuals with green cards are eligible to apply.

All applicants will need, at the very least, a Social Security number, current mailing address, address of the damaged property, a brief description of damages and insurance information to get the application process rolling.

A full list of stipulations for financial assistance are available online.

According to a prepared statement released Tuesday, a Disaster Recovery Center will be established eventually to provide long-term assistance for displaced families, though no site has been determined at this time.

For more information, visit: www.FEMA.org, or call (800) 462-7585.