Disaster Housing Recovery Update – Monday, October 15, 2018

Hurricane Michael

Florida

FEMA

  • FEMA Administrator Brock Long on October 12 criticized residents that did not evacuate prior to Hurricane Michael. He stated that those living on the coast have “not learned the lesson” to heed evacuation warnings and stressed the need for additional resiliency in these communities. NLIHC conducted analysis that suggested as many as 80,000 families lacked reliable transportation and thousands more lacked financial resources to evacuate.
  • After several amendments to the Disaster Declaration, 11 counties in Florida are eligible for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance (Categories A and B). An additional 5 counties are eligible only for Public Assistance (Categories A and B).

USDA

  • USDA approved a waiver on October 14 that allows SNAP recipients to buy hot foods with their benefits through October 31.

HUD

  • HUD issued a press release with information about the various forms of relief available to households impacted by Hurricane Michael in Florida. This assistance includes immediate foreclosure relief on Federal Housing Administrations (FHFA)-insured mortgages and increasing insurance options and availability.

State Action

  • The Florida Division of Emergency Management is maintaining a list of open shelters. The department currently reports over 1,600 people staying in 18 shelters.
  • Survivors can pick up emergency supplies at a number of points of distribution. The Florida Division of Emergency Management maintains a list of these locations as well as a map.
  •  The state has created a webpage for individuals to report individuals missing, well-being checks, and other concerns about loved ones.
  • Utility companies and the State of Florida have created a dashboard to track power outages. Seven counties are still experiencing significant outages (over 50% of accounts in the county have no power). For example, less than 2% of residents in Calhoun have power.
  • Florida Department of Children and Families will replace food at 40% for SNAP recipients in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington. These replacements will occur by close of business Wednesday, October 17.
  • A press release from Governor Scott reports that FEMA has approved Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) for residents in Bay County. TSA allows survivors to stay in FEMA-funded hotels while they look for longer-term housing solutions.

Local Perspective and Resources

  • Residents in some of the hardest hit communities were still waiting for basic assistance like food and fresh water, according to a Daily Beast article from October 13. Search and rescue teams are still working in these areas.
  • As relief efforts slowly reach rural areas, residents are working together to begin the recovery process.
  • The Housing Assistance Council created a Hurricane Florence supplement to their Disaster Guide.

Georgia

  • President Donald Trump approved a Major Disaster Declaration (DR-4400) for Georgia today, October 15. Six counties are eligible for Individual Assistance, and a total of 31 counties can receive Public Assistance (Categories A and B).

Alabama

  • President Donald Trump approved on October 13 an Emergency Declaration (EM-3407) for Alabama. This declaration provides Public Assistance (Category B) in 17 counties and the Poarch Creek Reservation and Trust Lands.

Hurricane Florence

North Carolina

FEMA

  • An additional thirteen counties are now eligible for Public Assistance (PA) Categories A and B (emergency protective measures and debris removal). Additionally, twenty-seven counties previously eligible for PA Categories A and B are now also eligible for all permanent work assistance (Categories C – G). PA provides grants to state, tribal, and local governments that cover not less than 75% of eligible costs.
  • New State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers have opened in Hoke, Sampson, Wayne, and Scotland counties.
  • In an FAQ for survivors who were impacted by both Hurricanes Florence and Matthew, FEMA provides guidance and clarification regarding the application process. Another FAQ addresses concerns regarding proving homeownership.

State Government

  • The North Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that 444 households (1,293 people) are participating in FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, and FEMA has provided housing assistance for nearly 28,000 homeowners and renters and rental assistance for over 16,000 homeowners and renters.

Local Perspectives and Resources

  • Wells Fargo has established a number of Mobile Response Units to provide customers with resources and guidance for recovery.

South Carolina

State Government

  • South Carolina has closed all of the emergency shelters opened in response to Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Read previous Disaster Housing Recovery updates at http://nlihc.org/issues/disaster

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