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FEMA: Resources to Jumpstart Recovery from Hurricane Ian

A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew from Air Station Miami, Florida, conducts overflights around the Fort Myers area in the wake of Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022. Some of the things crews look out for are people in distress, scope of damage, and potential pollution.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kruz Sanders
FEMA has approved more than $70 million for Florida survivors to jump start recovery efforts.

Florida - Wednesday October 5, 2022: FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell will join President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today to survey heavily damaged areas and meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis and response officials about ongoing efforts to help survivors and hard-hit communities in Florida.

FEMA has approved more than $70 million for Florida survivors to jump start recovery efforts. The agency has already registered hundreds of thousands of households and continues going door to door in 11 counties assisting with applications and answering questions about types of federal assistance available.

Mobile FEMA Registration Intake Centers are opening throughout the state. Survivors can visit these sites for help applying for assistance.  The centers are accessible offices staffed by state, federal and volunteer organizations that let everyone access recovery information. As centers are added, real-time locations will be updated at

Disaster unemployment assistance is available to eligible survivors. To file a claim for loss of income caused by Hurricane Ian, go to Disaster Unemployment Assistance - and select “Apply for Hurricane Ian DUA,” visit a local CareerSource Career Center, or call 800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Resources to Jumpstart Floridians’ Recovery

Florida survivors can apply for federal assistance at, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or by using the FEMA App. Survivors using a relay service, such as a video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give the FEMA operator the number for that service. To reduce your wait time on phone, try calling early in the morning or later at night.

  • FEMA National Flood Insurance Program policyholders can start a claim when evacuated. They should ask their agent about advance payments to receive up to $20,000. If you need help with reaching your flood insurance agent or carrier, call 877-336-2627. Visit to start a flood insurance claim,
  • Small Business Administration disaster loans are available to businesses, homeowners, renters and nonprofit organizations in some Florida counties. The SBA opened a Business Recovery Center in Hillsborough County on Monday. Applicants may also apply at under declaration #17644. For help, call 800-659-2955 or send an email to
  • Floridians who use Veterans Affairs medical centers and clinics and need urgent care services should call 877-741-3400. Find a list of open VA centers or pharmacy refill locations at VA.Gov.
  • Mental health resources are available. Survivors experiencing emotional distress can call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990. The national hotline provides free 24/7, crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Deaf and Hard of Hearing callers can use a videophone or ASL Now.
  • If you need assistance locating a missing friend or relative call the Red Cross at 800-733-2767 and provide as much detail as you can to assist us in potentially locating your missing loved one(s). You can also complete a form at for yourself or with the last known location of your loved one(s).
  • The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has free reunification assistance for children and families impacted by disasters. If you or someone you know is missing a child related to a disaster or any other incident, please immediately call 911 and then 800-THE-LOST for assistance.
  • If you need assistance with damage from Hurricane Ian, call the Crisis Cleanup Hotline at 800-451-1954. You will be connected to volunteers from local relief organizations, community groups and faith communities.
  • When lives are upended by a flood or hurricane, treasured possessions such as family heirlooms, photos and other keepsakes become more cherished. has multilingual resources to help salvage hurricane and flood-damaged items.
  • FEMA published an Ian webpage that includes information on how to donate, volunteer, dispel rumors and find assistance. The page is available in multiple languages.
  • The Internal Revenue Service announced Hurricane Ian survivors now have until Feb. 15, 2023, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

Safety Considerations for Residents

  • Beware of fraud and scams. All FEMA employees carry official identification. Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money. Call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 right away if an inspector comes to your house but you haven’t applied for assistance. This might be a sign of identity theft. Report fraud and scams by emailing or by calling 866-223-0814.
  • Clean mold and flooded items. Make sure you disinfect anything that’s touched floodwater. Any structure that’s been flooded may have mold. Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and dry completely.
  • Be alert for rumors. Do your part to the stop the spread of rumors by finding and sharing information from trusted sources and discouraging others from sharing information from unverified sources. Find facts about common disaster related rumors at
  • Only use a generator outdoors and far from open doors and windows. Generators help during a power outage but can present serious health and safety risks. Visit to learn how to use a generator safely.

State, Federal Response Actions

  • Rescue efforts and power restoration, with a priority on hospitals, healthcare facilities and barrier island communities continue to be top priorities. More than 3,800 people and 200 pets have been rescued by state and federal teams. Visit if you or someone you know needs assistance or a safety check. Safe and found persons can be reported safe at
  • Nearly 2,800 FEMA staff are supporting Ian response efforts. Nearly 1,300 other federal staff are assisting with the Ian response. More than 1,800 emergency management personnel from 26 states were deployed to Florida through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is coordinating Combat Rubber Raiding Craft and civilian tour boats to evacuate survivors, provide food, water and medevac service on Pine Island. The National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard are landing helicopters on barrier islands to perform search-and-rescue missions. A Fish and Wildlife Service Incident Management Team and heavy equipment task force conducting road clearance, debris removal and transportation of personnel and supplies to Sanibel Island to support first responder activities.
  • Field kitchens and canteens in the hardest hit counties are operational. Feeding partners distributed 168,000 meals and 133,000 Meals-Ready-to-Eat yesterday.

How You Can Help

To make the most of your contributions, follow guidelines for donating and volunteering responsibly.

  • To volunteer as part of the Hurricane Ian recovery, visit Florida’s official volunteer portal at A list of agencies with volunteer opportunities can be found on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website at
  • Cash is the best donation.  After a disaster, people always want to help, but it’s important to donate responsibly. When people support voluntary organizations with financial contributions, response organizations can purchase what they need. Find national and local charities at