FEMA extends deadline for Hurricane Ian assistance

People whose homes, businesses and lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Ian now have until mid-January to seek help from FEMA.

The federal agency is responding to a request from the state of Florida to extend the deadline for providing money for emergency response and recovery in 26 counties. So far, FEMA says it has provided $752 million for nearly 353,000 households in the state.

Both homeowners and renters are eligible for assistance in the following counties: Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia.

People can submit applications through Jan. 12 at disaster recovery centers throughout the state. To find a center, visit the DRC Locator at floridadisaster.org, or text DRC along with your Zip Code to 43362.

All Disaster Recovery Centers in Florida for Hurricane Ian will close over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend from Thursday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Centers will reopen at their regular hours Monday, Nov. 28.

Residents can also apply online at disasterassistance.gov, via the FEMA App or by calling 800-621-3362. The telephone line is available from 7 am to 11 pm

Federal help for Hurricane Ian survivors already totals more than $2.69 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments, FEMA said in a news release.

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