Polk Co. Hurricane Irma survivors now eligible for FEMA assistance

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County has been added to the counties where Hurricane Irma survivors can register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Polk County was one of the worst hit by Hurricane Irma.

Many Polk County residents had contacted WFLA News Channel 8 to express their concern that Polk County residents could not register for disaster assistance.

U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15) also heard from residents and said he fought for them to get the FEMA assistance.

“I am incredibly thrilled to announce that FEMA has officially declared Polk County is now included in the Individual Assistance declaration for Hurricane Irma. This declaration will allow individuals in Polk County impacted by the hurricane to receive recovery support and disaster assistance. The people of Polk County desperately need this relief. Folks have lost everything and have suffered so much. I thank FEMA for quickly acting on this declaration,” said Ross in a news release announcing the change.

“Since before Hurricane Irma made landfall, I have been fighting tirelessly to ensure those in my district and throughout the entire state of Florida are safe and have the resources and information needed to protect themselves. I have spoken to FEMA every day, multiple times a day, for nearly a week now to assess the status of and fight for relief for my district and the counties I represent,” Ross added.

The congressman said that many of his constituents sent him photos of hurricane damage to their homes, properties and communities to provide proof of the immediate need for this relief.

Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Miami-Dade, Charlotte, Collier, Monroe and Lee County residents can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through the FEMA app.

Applicants will need the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property
  • Private insurance information, if available

By registering for federal assistance, you can look up your address to find out if it is in a disaster area declared for assistance, check the status of your application and get updates by text or email and upload documents to support your application.

Another option is for individuals to call 1-800-621-FEMA. The toll-free number will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

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