• Hurricane Disaster Resource Page

    Florida Rural Legal Services is following reports from local and state officials who are tracking Hurricane Idalia, which is moving toward Florida with powerful winds and life-threatening storm surge.


    On Aug. 29, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 23-175, expanding the number of counties under a state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Idalia from 46 counties to 49 counties.


    Counties now included in the executive order are:

    Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, and Wakulla counties.

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    Hurricane Ian Damage AND Hurricane Idalia Damage: What you should know when it comes to FEMA


    If you live in Hurricane Ian impacted areas and are also impacted by Hurricane Idalia, you can apply for FEMA assistance AGAIN, but you will need to prove the damage is new as a result of the new storm Idalia. We recommend that you take pictures of your property BEFORE Idalia hits, in case you suffer additional damage.

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    Know what aid could be afforded to you after a hurricane in Florida.

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    The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) provides food assistance for individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Ian and who are not receiving food assistance benefits through the regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).


    Benefits will be automatically applied to EBT cards starting this week. There is no need to apply for these benefits. There is no need to come to an on-site DSNAP event, benefits will be automatically applied to EBT cards after applications are processed.

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    Did you lose your job, or was your work or self-employment interrupted because of the hurricane?


    If so, you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance; if you:

    • are unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Ian;

    • were scheduled to start a new job but were unable to as a direct result of Hurricane Ian;

    • are unable to reach your job or self-employment location because you have to travel through an affected area and Hurricane Ian prevented this;

    • have become the primary breadwinner because the head of the household died as a direct result Hurricane Ian; or

    • are unable to work because of an injury that was a direct result of Hurricane Ian.

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    If you live in one of the counties listed above, you may be eligible for FEMA benefits.

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    How Do I Appeal the Final FEMA Decision?

    FRLS can help your appeal, please call 


    • Applicants can appeal any FEMA decision. Appeals must be made in writing and sent by mail or fax to FEMA within 60 days of receiving the letter. Appeals, pictures and documents can be faxed to 800-827-8112 or uploaded to your FEMA account.
    • An appeal is a written request to FEMA to review your file again, and an opportunity to provide new or additional information not previously submitted that may affect the decision. 
    • Appeal letters and supporting documentation also can be uploaded to your account online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or faxed to 800-827-8112.

    STEP 1) Take photos to document damage and keep receipts from all clean-up and repair related purchases.

    STEP 2) Call your insurance company right away.


    These steps may help maximize insurance and federal disaster assistance and payments.

    If you’ve evacuated, you can still start a claim now and provide specifics later.

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  • Disaster Recovery Centers

    Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) have opened. DRCs are a coordinated effort between FEMA, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and state agencies and partners to provide wrap-around resources and information about recovery programs and disaster assistance to Hurricane Ian survivors.

    Lee County

    Lakes Regional Library
    15290 Bass Rd.
    Fort Myers, FL 33919
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily


    Fort Myers DMS Building
    2295 Victoria Ave.&nbsp
    Fort Myers, FL 33901
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

    Sarasota County

    Sun Coast Technical College
    4675 Career Lane
    North Port, FL 34289
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily


    Polk County 

    W.H. Stuart Center
    1702 S. Holland Pkwy
    Bartow, FL 33830
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

    Collier County

    Veterans Community Park

    1895 Veterans Drive

    Naples, FL 34109
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily


    Sarasota County 

    Shannon Staub Library

    4675 Career Lane

    North Port, FL 34289

    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

    Seminole County

    Seminole State College Automotive Center

    100 Welden Blvd
    Sanford, Florida 32773
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily


    Hardee County 

    Wachula Civic Center

    515 Civic Center Dr.
    Wauchula, Florida 33873

    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

    Orange County

    Barnett Park

    4801 W. Colonial Drive
    Orlando, Florida 32808
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily


    Osceola County 

    Hart Memorial Central Library

    211 E. Dakin Avenue
    Kissimmee, Florida 34741

    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

    Charlotte County

    Home Depot

    12621 S McCall Rd
    Port Charlotte, Florida 33981
    Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

    Migrant Farmworkers Relief Event

    Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    WHERE: 106 South 2nd Street, Immokalee, FL 34142

    For more information, click here.
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    FEMA's Temporary Sheltering Program

    Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) is a FEMA program that allows for temporary, short-term accommodations for eligible survivors when other housing options are not available after a declared disaster. TSA is used to move survivors out of congregate recovery shelters and into hotels and motels.

  • To receive TSA, a survivor must first register for FEMA Individual Assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 and meet initial conditions of eligibility (see below). No applicant can receive assistance unless and until they apply to FEMA.

    1. Be registered with FEMA for assistance and meet all TSA eligibility requirements

    a. pass identity verification

    2. Be a U.S. citizen, Non-citizen national, or Qualified alien

    I. If an applicant does not meet this criteria, their household may still qualify for TSA if: Another adult household member meets the criteria and signs the Declaration and Release Form (FEMA Form 009-0-3); or

    ii. The parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is a U.S. citizen, non- citizen national, or a qualified alien applies for assistance on behalf of the child, as long as the child lives in the same household. The parent or legal guardian must register as the co-applicant.\

    3. The primary residence is inaccessible or uninhabitable due to disaster-related damage

    4.The primary residence is in the area declared and designated for TSA

    5. Be displaced from their primary residence due to the disaster

    6. Still living in emergency shelter locations

    7. Lack applicable insurance coverage or be unable to utilize available Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage from Homeowners or Renters insurance policy.


    Current Registrants

    8. For those applicants with rejected applications, most are easy fixes. The best option is to go back to www.disasterassistance.gov and follow the correction guidance given there. They can also call 800-621-3362 to speak with someone for help. Expect long delays if using phone calls, as the program is just getting started and many agents will be making the notification calls.

  • Disaster Legal Services

    Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. (FRLS) works to help individuals and families recover from the effects of a major disaster. The aftermath of a disaster can be staggering leaving survivors overwhelmed by the process of recovery. FRLS works closely with disaster survivors to put them on the path to recovery.


    FRLS attorneys may provide FREE legal counseling, advice and when appropriate and necessary, full representation in the following types of disaster cases:

    • FEMA assistance and FEMA appeals
    • Help with insurance claims for property damage, and loss of personal property
    • Landlord disputes
    • Property ownership disputes
    • Help with home repair contracts and contractors
    • Questions about consumer scams and consumer protection matters
    • Assistance replacing legal documents lost in a storm
    • Help completing an application for disaster loans and grants and assistance
    • Applying for Disaster Food Assistance
    • Help with FEMA Notice of Potential Debt recoupment letters
    • and other disaster related legal issues

    Important Deadlines - Hurricane Ian Relief


    • Apply by December 30, 2022 at the link below, in person at a local CareerSource Career Center, or by calling 1-800-385-3920 
    • (Mon – Fri, 8am - 8pm, Sat. 9am - 4pm, and Sunday 9am - 2pm).
    • DUA covers unemployment periods from September 25, 2022 until April 1, 2023­­­­­­­­­­­­, as long as your unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.
    If you were scheduled to receive benefits between October 1st through October 14th, your benefits are now being uploaded to your EBT card. If you are scheduled to receive your benefits between October 15th through October 28th, they will be issued at the regular scheduled time.
    FEMA awards benefits on a household basis, make sure only one person applies per address. You have until November 28 (60 days from the date of the disaster declaration plus any extensions granted) to apply for assistance.


    You can apply in the following ways:

    • Toll-Free Hotline: 1-800-621-3362 (available from 7 AM to 11 PM EST, 7 days a week, multiple language options)
    • If Hearing or Speech Impaired: TT 800-462-7585
    • If 711 or Video Relay Service: 800-621-3362
    • Online: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
    • Mobile App: Can download FEMA application at https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
    • In Person at the Disaster Recovery Centers
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    Beware of Fraud and Scams

    • Be cautious if somebody asks for your nine-digit registration number. A FEMA inspector will never ask for this information. They already have it in their records.
    • Don’t give anyone your banking information. FEMA inspectors never require banking or other personal information such as a Social Security number.
    • Ask the person to show you their identification badge. Federal employees always wear an official government badge to identify themselves.
  • Disaster SNAP (Mon, Oct. 10 update)

    DSNAP Pre-Registration is at Florida Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) (myflfamilies.com). This week is Phase One and only Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hardee, Lee, Sarasota ,and Polk can register this week through Sunday, October 16th. DCF will begin phone interviews on Thursday, October 13th. Here is the schedule this week to complete a phone interview.

    1. Last name begins with A-F: Call on Thursday, October 13
    2. Last name begins with G-N: Call on Friday, October 14
    3. Last name begins with O-Z: Call on Saturday, October 15
    4. Any last name: Call on Sunday, October 16

    The DSNAP registration asks for ID such as Driver's Lic. Or State ID but if an applicant indicates they have neither they will have an "other" option and get a different drop down to select other forms of ID such as a passport, INS document, School or Work ID or "other" again. If you enter Other, you must tell them what the "other" is.


    And the applicant is asked if they are 60 or older, disabled or taking care of someone that prevents them from attending a site location.


    The application asks about the amount of money in cash, checking or savings, expenses related to hurricane such as repairs, loss of home items, loss of food and about income.

    Looking for Missing Loved Ones?

    Visit missing.fl.gov if you or someone you know needs assistance or a safety check. Federal search and rescue teams, including FEMA Urban Search and Rescue, U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, Customs Border and Protection and the state of Florida, are coordinating rescue efforts with local officials.


    More than 100 FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Team staff are working in the hardest hit communities to help survivors apply for assistance and identify immediate and emerging threats.

    Mental Health Resources

    Mental health resources for individuals and communities are available at MyFLFamilies.com/HurricaneIan. Floridians’ health and well-being are a top priority, and the Department of Children and Families is reminding individuals that they are not alone. All Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian can find someone to talk to today through the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 800-985-5990.

    Disaster Distress Helpline

    Call or Text: 1–800–985–5990


    Español: Llama o envía un mensaje de texto 1–800–985–5990 presiona “2”


    For Deaf and Hard of Hearing ASL Callers: To connect directly to an agent in American Sign Language, click the "ASL Now" button below or call 1–800–985–5990 from your videophone. ASL Support is available 24/7.

  • FEMA Registration Process

    American Sign Language (ASL)

    How to Register with Disaster Survivor Assistance

    American Sign Language (ASL)