Impacted residents, businesses can still apply for disaster assistance
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Life for local residents and businesses was returning to normal this week.
Power knocked out by Hurricane Irma has been restored to most and government offices are back open.
Even residents and businesses who have applied for disaster assistance for the storm say they’ve received it.
Glad for the help
LaKeisha Pierce lives in Westwood Height in Holly Hill. She was forced from her home temporarily but has already applied for and received FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) assistance.
“I was without power for nine days and the sewage was backed up. I ended up staying in a hotel for a while. I was approved for hotel assistance, rental assistance and miscellaneous assistance. I’m glad they helped,” Pierce told the Daytona Times.
Local Black businesses also are getting back on track.
The Crab Stop has two locations in Daytona Beach – on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and International Speedway Boulevard.
The International Speedway Boulevard restaurant, called Crab Stop II, suffered roof damage and water leaked inside following the storm.
“We applied for FEMA but they seem not to help businesses. They want us to get a small business loan from the Small Business Association (SBA), but we’re not going to do that.
We were down for a few days but we have loyal customers. We’re thankful for them,” owner Oliver Ross said.
Waiting for help
The business also took a hit financially during the storm.
“We lost power and lost product from that Sunday to Thursday. They are referring businesses to the SBA. … We are waiting for an inspector to come and look at our roof.
They haven’t come yet,” commented Selina Ross, manager.
Volusia County residents with questions in response to Hurricane Irma recovery can call Emergency Management at 386-258-4088 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Assistance, debris and other Hurricane Irma recovery information will continue to be posted to www.volusia.org/pin, on Emergency Management’s Facebook page and Twitter @VCEmergencyInfo.
The debris hotline is 386-507-5166 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Sunday.
Temporary residential debris reduction drop-off is from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily until Oct. 22 at the Tomoka Landfill, 1990 Tomoka Farms Road in Port Orange, and Old Plymouth Landfill at 1991 West Plymouth Ave., DeLand.
Additional sites will open to serve Deltona, DeBary and Orange City.
Free debris disposal
All Volusia County residents and small landscape-type businesses may bring Hurricane Irma vegetative debris only to these sites for free.
Residents must show proof of residency, small landscape-type businesses and a complete a form to drop off debris. Only vegetative (leaves, branches and cut trees) debris which has not been bagged will be accepted.
FEMA assistance Residents who sustained damage to their home due to Hurricane Irma are encouraged to register with FEMA for possible assistance.
Apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362).
Those with 711 or video relay service may call 800-621-3362.
People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and a TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly.
Watch the scams
Residents who are approached by someone offering to sign them up for FEMA
assistance for a fee should be reported to law enforcement.
There are FEMA teams in the area. However, they carry identification and never ask for a fee. If a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opens in Volusia County, it will be announced and posted at www.volusia.org/PIN
Residents needing computer or internet access to register for FEMA can visit any of the county’s library branch. If you don’t have a library card, a guest pass will be issued.
The library’s staff can assist with online FEMA applications but cannot discuss specifics on FEMA eligibility and assistance.