Jackson County has been approved to receive federal assistance for damages from heavy rains and flooding in the Florida Panhandle earlier this month. Jackson follows in the footsteps of Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties, which have already been designated for federal disaster relief.
Residents of Jackson County are now eligible for disaster recovery grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Florida Division of Emergency Management spokesman Aaron Gallaher encourages people with damaged property to register with FEMA even if they already have insurance.
“Please, everybody needs to go out and get registered because you never can tell what the future will hold,” Gallaher says. “Sometimes the insurance that persons thought they had that would adequately cover their homes might not do it fully.”
The federal agencies haven’t set a registration deadline yet. FEMA evaluates eligibility for federal assistance on a case-by-case basis. Those seeking aid will be able to speak to representatives from both organizations at a Jackson County disaster recovery center that’s expected to open within a week.