FEMA, Ron DeSantis Showcase $5.8 Billion in Federal Funds to Help Florida Recover From Hurricane Irma

On Thursday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Gov. Ron DeSantis noted that Florida has received more $5.8 billion in federal funds over the past three years to help the Sunshine State recover from Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, caused more than 130 deaths in the Caribbean and the U.S. and more than $77 billion in damages.

“Our federal partners have been critical to Florida’s recovery for hurricanes,” said DeSantis. “Rebuilding after Hurricane Irma would not have been nearly as successful without support from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Flood Insurance Program. I look forward to our continued partnership as we remain committed to rebuilding resilient communities for all Floridians.”

Over the past three years, FEMA has sent more than $1 billion in grants to individuals and households while the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has sent $1.4 billion in low-interest loans to businesses and Floridians. The National Flood Insurance Program has paid almost  $980 million in claims to policyholders across the state. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program has issued $2.06 billion in grants to the state government to help local governments with debris removal and other repair efforts. FEMA also sent “$10.3 million for Disaster Unemployment Assistance; $21.7 million for Disaster Case Management; $421,569 for the Crisis Counseling Immediate Services Program and $1 million for the Crisis Counseling Regular Services Program” to the state government.

“When I came to the division, cities and counties were struggling without the critical reimbursements they needed to recover from Hurricane Irma,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz. “Since January 2019, we have paid out the most hurricane recovery funding in 20 months in the division’s history, including nearly $1.5 billion for Hurricane Irma recovery and $257 million for citrus growers impacted by this storm. On the three-year anniversary of this devastating storm, we remain committed to working with FEMA to make sure Florida recovers stronger than ever before.”

FEMA has also sent $91.8 million to help with projects to prepare for future disasters. FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has awarded $208 million to the state government to reduce damage from future storms.

“We are committed to supporting the state of Florida as it recovers from Hurricane Irma,” said James Coleman, the manager of the FEMA recovery operation for Florida, on Thursday.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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