ORLANDO — A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opens Thursday, Oct. 5, and is scheduled to close Oct. 9, in LaBelle to help Florida storm survivors. The DRC is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Monday, Oct. 9.
Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the state, are available to provide assistance to anyone with filling out applications or updating their status. Voluntary organizations are available and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.
The DRC is at the following address:
LaBelle (Hendry County)
Office of Emergency Management (EOC)
4425 W. State Road 80
LaBelle, FL 33935
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m
This location closes Oct. 9 at 8 p.m.
As more centers open, survivors may locate one near them at https://www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by calling FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, (TTY) 800-462-7585. Helpline numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. DRC information is also available on the FEMA App.
The registration process is the first step in your recovery and requires information such as insurance policies, and bank information for possible direct transfer of funds. Survivors are encouraged to register before visiting a DRC.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged property.
If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register in one of the following ways:
• Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585. Information on the registration process is available in ASL at: fema.gov/medialibrary/assets/videos/111546.
• Help is available in most languages.
• Download the FEMA App and apply.
You may have other needs while visiting a DRC:
• If you require a reasonable accommodation such as American Sign Language interpreting, Braille, large print, etc., you may call the Helpline number for support at 800-621-3362.
• Language translations are offered through Telephonic Interpretation Services in 200 languages.
Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) crews are canvassing affected areas and are able to register survivors for FEMA assistance, if needed. Telephonic Interpretation Services are available in many languages to assist survivors with language needs. When residents require further assistance, the teams may refer them to a DRC.
If you’re already registered, it is not necessary to visit a DRC, but you may still want to go speak with a Recovery Specialist to update your status or find help from the other organizations.
FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
Survivors should register even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims have been settled.
For more recovery information, visit fema.gov/hurricane-irma.