Following the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state of Florida opened disaster recovery centers. Recently, a new Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Collier County was announced. The centers’ goal is to provide a one-stop shop for businesses and individuals that need help in recovering from Hurricane Ian. These centers can aid real estate agents and brokers in their recovery from the storm.
Purpose of Disaster Recovery Center
The Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) provide guidance regarding disaster recovery. DRC helps in the clarification of any written correspondence received. Moreover, it assists by giving information and answering queries in Housing Assistance and Rental Resource Information. In addition, DRC provide referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance.
Roles and Responsibilities of DRC
Federal and state have specific roles in a Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). These include the following:
- The Division of Emergency Managements Bureau of Recovery will be responsible for managing all ESC operations.
- The Department of Children and Families will provide personnel to provide information related to food stamp replacement and crisis counseling.
- The Agency for Workforce Innovation will provide job placement and training referrals.
- The Department of Elder Affairs will provide case managers to connect elderly to appropriate assistance.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide case managers to provide information on benefits, pensions, insurance settlements and VA mortgages.
- The Division of Emergency Management, Bureau of Mitigation will provide information on the National Flood Insurance Program to mitigate against future losses. The Divisions Bureau of Recovery will conduct a State Housing Survey to identify present housing needs in the affected area.
- The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will establish mobile facilities to provide replacement drivers licenses, identification cards, motor vehicle tag services, voter registration, organ donation designation, and emergency contact registration.
- The Department of Agriculture will provide information about loan programs to assist eligible farmers, ranchers, and aquaculture operators in returning their operation to a financially sound basis in the aftermath of a disaster.
- The Department of Financial Services will provide information about federal and state assistance programs, including insurance awareness.
- FEMA DRC manager works jointly with the state staff. FEMA supports the security and safety needs of the DRC.
- FEMA Individual Assistance, Safety, Security, and Logistics work jointly with the DRC Coordinator in confirming and inspecting pre-identified DRC locations. This will also include executing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Use Agreement (UA), or other appropriate document with property owner or designee.
- FEMA Applicant Services will provide assistance in one-on-one registration. In addition it will address any questions or concern the survivor may have.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide information on Low-interest home, personal property and business loans for restoring or replacing uninsured or underinsured disaster-damaged real and personal property for individuals or businesses.
- FEMA Mitigation will provide information on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and how to mitigate against future losses.
- Tax Assistance will assist with expedited federal or state tax deduction for casualty losses to homes, personal property or household goods.
- Young Lawyers Association will provide free legal services for low-income disaster survivors.
- Social Security Administration will assist in expediting delivery of checks delayed by the disaster. Moreover, it will assist in the application for Social Security disability and survivor benefits.
Veterans Community Park
1895 Veterans Drive
Naples, FL 34109
Shannon Staub Library
4675 Career Lane
North Port, FL 34289
Joseph P.D Alessandro Office Complex
2295 Victoria Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Lakes Regional Library
15290 Bass Road
Fort Myers, FL 33919
Affected people may also skip the center and just apply for disaster assistance at disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362, or by using the FEMA mobile app.
Resources: floridarealtors.org and floridadisaster.org