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The Deadlines For FEMA Disaster Assistance Are Quickly Approaching

A roofer working in Oklahoma.
FEMA photo library

The opportunity to sign up for federal aid from FEMA for Hurricane Michael damages will soon be over. The deadline to register for the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program is today.

Operation Blue Roof’s deadline is Friday. It’s a program that gives tarps to people with damaged roofs. Officials pushed back the last day to sign up for disaster unemployment assistance. It is now December seventh. And the final day to sign up with FEMA for assistance or a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration will be December 10th.

Nikki Gaskins is a FEMA spokeswoman. She says more than 95,000 Hurricane Michael survivors have contacted FEMA, and more than 104 million dollars have been earmarked to help them. She says survivors shouldn’t wait until the last minute to register for federal aid, because if they miss the deadline, FEMA may not be able to help.  

“We want to let people know there are several ways they can register. One of the easiest ways they can do that is by calling the FEMA hotline number, that is 1-800-621-3362. We do have a lot of people who want that ‘fact-to-face’, ‘one-on-one’ interaction, so we do have more than a dozen Disaster Recovery Centers located throughout the impacted areas,” she says.

In Leon County,  support is also available through the Disaster Food Assistance Program. Residents can register online and find more information at the Florida Department of Children and Families website. 

In addition, the federal agency warns survivors to be wary of possible insurance fraud and other scams.

“If a FEMA inspector is coming to your door, we will never ask for money. And unfortunately, it’s not enough just to have FEMA gear on. Just like a police uniform, you can go out and buy that too. So really ask for the badge, and if your, I say ‘Spidey senses’ kick in, by all means, call the police,” says Gaskins.

Gaskins says she’s heard stories from Mexico Beach of persistent scammers who claim to be from FEMA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Eleanor Clark is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in International Affairs and Creative Writing. Before interning at WFSU, she spent time in New York City as the Civic Engagement Coordinator for Columbia University’s high school program. Some of Eleanor’s favorite things are watching the Great British Bake Off, eating soup dumplings, and spending time with her dog, Cooper. Follow her on Twitter: @Nell_Clark_