Hundreds of thousands of Floridians apply for FEMA aid after Hurricane Ian. Florida News | orlando
A Federal Emergency Management Agency official said Wednesday that more than 700,000 Florida families have applied for individual federal assistance after Hurricane Ian, and another 130,000 are expected to apply.
In addition, the agency said it would provide temporary housing to people affected by the storm in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto and Lee Counties.
“We want to keep everyone local,” Federal Coordinating Officer Tom McCool said during a news conference in Fort Myers. We want to keep you in our communities, where you go to church, any house of worship, where the kids are. Go to school. And where you’re comfortable.”
Meanwhile, FEMA said it approved a separate request from Florida to help accelerate debris removal on private and commercial properties through the use of satellite imagery and other technology. During the news conference, Governor Ron DeSantis said that after Hurricane Michael hit Northwest Florida in 2018, it took more than 20 months to clear debris from private and commercial properties in some areas.
“In the past, FEMA literally had to go door-to-door to physically inspect structures,” DeSantis said. “But as you know, it can take months to accomplish. So by leveraging technology, we’re avoiding that difficult process and allowing FEMA to make an early determination of program eligibility.”
DeSantis said the state has also created a program to remove displaced and abandoned property such as boats, cars, motorcycles, trailers and all-terrain vehicles on private and commercial properties and waterways. DeSantis said that 869 abandoned vehicles and ships have already been identified on private and commercial properties.
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