When the storm’s effects linger, there’s help

For Florida residents who felt the effects of the recent hurricanes along the lines of scenes like this, FEMA may be able to help.

For Florida residents who felt the effects of the recent hurricanes along the lines of scenes like this, FEMA may be able to help.

High winds from hurricanes Matthew and Hermine have long since died down. But for homeowners still reeling from storms that caused more than $10 billion in total damage, dark clouds may remain.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering a silver lining in the form of disaster assistance for households that qualify.

“TECO was proud to be able to play a part in the restoration efforts for both Matthew and Hermine, but we understand well that their effects aren’t over for many of our customers,” said Susan Mueller, TECO’s Emergency & Business Continuity Director. “Our commitment to customers and the communities we serve extends to efforts like helping FEMA reach those who need its help.”

You can apply for FEMA’s disaster assistance program at DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-FEMA (3362). Help is available in most languages; the TTY number is 800-462-7585. Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.

For those who apply for assistance, FEMA will request the following information:

  • The address of your damaged home or apartment.
  • Names of people living in your household.
  • A description of your disaster damages.
  • Insurance information.
  • Your Social Security Number.
  • A telephone number where we can reach you or leave a message.
  • An address where you can get mail.
  • If you want your disaster assistance funds sent directly to your bank, the FEMA agent who handles your application will need your bank account type, account number and routing number.

Note: Please check DisasterAssistance.gov for disaster assistance application deadlines that apply to your area.

Additional information from FEMA:

When you apply, you will be given a FEMA application number. Write down your application number and save it for future reference. You will need the application number whenever you contact FEMA.

Insurance is essential in any recovery process. If you’ve been affected by the disaster, make sure you call your insurance company and file a claim. Only damages that are not covered by insurance can qualify for FEMA disaster assistance. By law FEMA cannot duplicate benefits.

Here’s a rundown of relevant recent news releases from FEMA.

Be sure to be ready for the next storm

TECO prepares year-round for hurricane season. But since a crisis can happen at any time of the year, you should make sure you’re prepared too. Visit our Storm Safety information online for a detailed checklist of things you can do to stay ready for severe weather – whenever it arrives.


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