State and federal officials announced that another Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Lee County, Florida has resumed operations, bringing to 23 the number of centers now open to assist victims of hurricanes Charley and Frances. This center suspended services during Hurricane Ivan’s trek along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Community Association Center DRC
2173 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel Island, Fla.
Victims of the hurricanes are urged to register for assistance first by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairments. After applying, those who have questions may visit a center to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Helpline is reportedly experiencing a record number of calls. Because of this high volume, residents with only minor losses, owners of commercial properties, and those who are able to start the recovery process are now urged to wait a few days before calling the Helpline. The Helpline is the option on the FEMA 800 number for people who have already registered to find the status of their application and get answers to various questions.
All centers are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. An applicant may visit any one of the 23 DRCs. Example: if an applicant from Brevard County goes to Charlotte County, he or she can be assisted at the Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda DRC.
Representatives of state, federal, and voluntary agencies, as well as loan officers from the U.S. Small Business Administration, will be on hand to answer questions and provide recovery information. Written materials about various assistance programs are also available to individuals and business owners.
For the latest information on the hurricane relief effort, visit www.floridadisaster.org.