The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the Seminole Tribe of Florida to supplement tribal recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma beginning on September 4, 2017, and continuing.
The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals of the tribe and its associated lands. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is available to the tribe and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Irma. For a period of 30 days from the start of the incident period, assistance for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, is authorized at 100 percent of the total eligible costs.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the tribe and its associated lands.
Willie G. Nunn has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Nunn said additional designations may be made at a later date if warranted by the results of damage assessments.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
FEDERAL AID PROGRAMS FOR THE SEMINOLE TRIBE OF FLORIDA
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Donald J. Trump’s disaster declaration issued for the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:
• Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
• Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
• Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, tribe and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the tribe.)
• Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for tribal benefits, such as self-employed individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; tribe administered.)
• Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
• Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
• Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
• Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans’ benefits and social security matters.
How to Apply for Assistance:
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Assistance for the Tribe Can Include as Required:
• Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance, including direct federal assistance is available to the tribe and associated lands on a cost-sharing basis (Source: FEMA funded, tribe.)
• Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, tribe.)
• For a period of up to 30 days from the start of incident period, FEMA is authorized to provide federal funding for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance at 100 percent of the total eligible costs. (Source: FEMA funded)
• Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken the tribe to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, tribe.)
How to Apply for Assistance:
Application procedures for the tribe will be explained at a series of applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the tribe from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.