FEMA assistance deadline arrives for Hurricane Ian relief

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Thursday is the deadline for homeowners to file FEMA Disaster assistance claims to help with recovering from Hurricane Ian.

Ian did not pack the same harsh punch that Hurricane Irma did in Polk County in 2017, but Polk County says Ian still delivered a more than $20-million-dollar blow to the community.


What You Need To Know

  • Thursday is the deadline to file FEMA assistance claims for home damage
  • Polk County officials say hundreds of people were damaged or destroyed by Ian in the county
  • To file a FEMA claim for Hurricane Ian, call (800) 621-FEMA (3363) or visit disasterassistance.org.

About 50 Polk County homes were destroyed during Ian, and around 250 were substantially damaged.

Polk County Director of Emergency Management Paul Womble says for those making last minute FEMA claims, don’t expect the process to be fast or easy.

“It’s a government program with a lot of paperwork,” Womble said. “It’s a process.”

FEMA requires you to fill out an initial application to qualify for assistance, which has a deadline at the end of today.

Following the application, FEMA will likely discuss the insurance you carry, the level of damage you incurred, as well as conduct an on-sight inspection of the damage to determine it was hurricane related.

It could take several months for claims to be paid out for FEMA help, but if homeowners miss today’s filing deadline, they won’t qualify for assistance at all.

“Some of the programs cover things like temporary lodging and what they call temporary needs assistance, there was even some clean out assistance,” said Womble. And those smaller dollar amounts and things you need quickly happen pretty quickly. But if you are talking actual structural repairs to a home, that’s going to take a while.”

For more information on filing a FEMA Disaster Assistance Claim for Hurricane Ian, call (800) 621-FEMA (3363) or visit disasterassistance.org.

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