OPERATION BLUE ROOF OFFERS NO-COST TEMPORARY ROOF REPAIRS
Operation Blue Roof provides no-cost temporary repairs for roofs damaged by Hurricane Irma.
Applicants can call 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258)
To get assistance, you must sign a “Right of Entry” (ROE) form to allow Army Corps of Engineers staff and contractors to access your private property and assess roof damage.
Blue Roof Right of Entry (ROE) Collection Site in Big Pine Key:
NAPA Auto Parts parking lot
30360 Overseas Hwy,
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
Open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Applicants may apply in-person at this location.
10.4.17: RED CROSS PROVIDING LIMITED EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The American Red Cross is providing limited financial assistance to Keys residents who suffered major damage to or destruction of their homes in Hurricane Irma.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 4 and 5, the Red Cross will be offering this emergency aid at the Flea Market on Big Pine Key at 30250 Overseas Highway. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Oct. 7-9) the Red Cross will be in Marathon at Skate Park at 200 36th Street.
Next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Oct. 11-13) the Red Cross will be in Key West at Catholic Charities, located at 2706 Flagler Avenue.
The hours in Marathon and Key West will be the same as on Big Pine Key — 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Since the Red Cross is trying to help all those in need, and the demand may vary, the days the Red Cross will provide assistance at each location may change. Any changes will be communicated through this website and the news media.
Financial assistance will be available in the form of a debit card to those with major damage to their home or those whose home has been destroyed. For those who qualify, a debit card will be provided at the location where they apply. Residents will be required to bring a photo ID and proof of residence. A valid Florida driver’s license with their current address will suffice. No other documents are required. Also, one member of a household with this identification may apply for assistance for the entire household.
The Red Cross will provide $125 per person to residents who qualify. As an example, a family of four would receive $500.
The assistance is designed to help families in their recovery by providing money that can be used for an apartment deposit, to buy clothes or food, or similar immediate needs.
The Red Cross also encourages residents to apply to FEMA for assistance (www.disasterassistance.gov), as what the Red Cross provides is a relatively small amount compared to what the federal government makes available.
The Red Cross believes financial assistance is the fastest, most efficient way to get a limited amount of money into the hands of people who need it. This allows people to make decisions about their own needs. Spending this money locally will also help the Florida Keys recover from the economic loss caused by Hurricane Irma.
10.3.17: NATIONAL GUARD OFFERING “DEMUCKING” PROGRAM
The Florida Army National Guard, in partnership with Monroe County Emergency Management, has implemented a free, short-term “demucking” program in which guard members will remove interior storm damage from residents’ homes as part of the first steps to make the homes livable again.
With the homeowner’s consent, members of the National Guard’s 753rd Brigade Engineering Battalion will remove damaged and moldy flooring, carpeting, doors, fixtures, destroyed appliances and other unsalvageable contents and take them curbside.
Since the program began Sept. 28 the National Guard has demucked more than 90 homes and has over 80 more pending. It is not too late to sign up, but don’t delay. The program is limited to the length of the Guard’s deployment.
For the National Guard to help with the removal of interior storm damage, follow these steps:
• Sign a release for “Right of Entry” release. Here is the download link to the Revised Right of Entry permit Monroe County 9.29.2017.
• The release also is available at the following locations: the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers at the Big Pine Community Park, 31009 Atlantis Road and at Fire Station #20 , 81850 Overseas Highway in Islamorda, the Winn Dixie at Big Pine Key, the Comfort Station in front of the former Habitat Restore on Overseas Highway on Big Pine Key and at the Big Pine Key, Cudjoe Key and Sugarloaf fire stations.
The forms can be returned to where they were picked up or emailed to Nationalguardhelp@
Once you fill out a “Right of Entry” release, you will be contacted by a Monroe County or National Guard representative. If your home meets the guidelines, an appointment will be made for the work to be done. This program is limited, so do not delay signing up.
If you rent, contact your landlord to see if they want to be included in this program. The owner of your rental home would have to sign the release for “Right of Entry.”
“Demucking” a home is the first step that needs to be done for a FEMA program called STEP (Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power). This FEMA program funds necessary measures to help restore power, heat and hot water to primary residences that could regain power through necessary and essential repairs. STEP can help residents safely shelter in place in their homes pending more permanent repairs.
10.2.17: SBA OFFERS INTEREST-FREE BRIDGE LOANS TO SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Are you a small business owner in the Florida Keys who was impacted by Hurricane Irma?
You may be eligible for a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.
It is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance.
Small business owners with two to 100 employees (note: the business owner counts as an employee) can apply for a bridge loan of up to $50,000. These interest-free loans are granted for terms of 90 or 180 days.
To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2017, contingent on the availability of funds.
This program is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, and it is supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC).
For more information about the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, please visit www.FloridaDisasterLoan.org
9.26.17: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plays a major role in helping disaster survivors recovery
Next to insurance, SBA is the survivor’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property.
If you are a survivor of Hurricane Irma, live in one of the 48 Individual Assistance-designated counties in Florida, and have applied for help with FEMA, you may be referred to SBA for additional assistance.
It is important to complete and submit a low-interest disaster loan application as soon as possible, if you receive one. This will ensure that the disaster recovery process continues and options are kept open. Even if you do not believe you need a loan, you should complete and submit the application.
If SBA determines you are eligible for a loan, you are under no obligation to accept it.
Homeowners and renters who submit an SBA application and are not approved for a loan may be referred to FEMA and considered for other FEMA grants and programs that could include assistance for disaster-related car repairs, household items and other expenses.
SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
• SBA can help businesses and private nonprofit organizations with up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and other business assets. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits may apply for economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs such as business losses caused by the disaster.
• A homeowner may be eligible for a disaster loan up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners or renters may be eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.
• SBA may be able to help homeowners and renters replace important personal items such as personal property – including automobiles – damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
• To apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan, you can visit a FEMA disaster recovery applications. To locate the nearest center, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, use the FEMA app for smart phones or go online to www.fema.gov/DRC.
• You can also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 9, 2017.
• The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.
• For additional details on the locations of recovery centers and the loan application process you can call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (or 800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• You may be eligible for additional funds to cover the cost of improvements that will protect your property against future damage. Examples of improvements include retaining walls, seawalls, sump pumps, etc. SBA mitigation loan money would be in addition to the amount of the approved disaster loan, but may not exceed 20 percent of the total amount of physical damage to real property and personal property as verified by SBA. SBA approval of the mitigating measures will be required before any loan increase.
• Don’t wait for an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. You can begin your recovery immediately with a low-interest SBA disaster loan. The loan balance will be reduced by any insurance settlement. SBA loans may be available for losses not covered by insurance or other sources.
9.23.17: Veterans Assistance
Any displaced veterans can contact any VA medical facility for assistance. For immediate assistance, call 1-800-507-4571.
The Veterans Administration also has a virtual care system. Call 1-305-575-7666. Or go to your My Health E Vet account for privacy for your medical requests.
9.22.17: U.S. Department of Agriculture Food-Assistance Programs
Details on Florida’s D-SNAP program, also known as Food for Florida, will be available at the Food for Florida website at https://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/fff/. D-SNAP sites will be posted on the website as they become available.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/women-infants-and-children-wic), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap), which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit www.fns.usda.gov/disaster.
9.20.17: Citizens Insurance representatives will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Thursday, Sept. 21, at the following address:
Morgan Insurance Group
31109 Ave. A
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
Citizens will provide in-person service to policyholders who may be cut off from their usual means of communication. Staff can answer questions and help policyholders report a catastrophe claim. They also can issue checks for additional living expenses, if that coverage is available under the policy.
Additional assistance for Keys residents is available at Catastrophe Response Centers at the following locations:
Murray Nelson Government Center 102050 Overseas Hwy
Key Largo, FL 33037
Daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Marathon City Marina
800 35th Street Ocean
Marathon, FL 33050
Daily 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., curfew permitting
AMERICAN RED CROSS
American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org/get-help.
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers assistance and information about dealing with a disaster on their website at www.fema.gov.
Visit their website to find information specific to Hurricane Irma at www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by mobile device at m.fema.gov.
If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
MONROE COUNTY INFORMATION RESOURCES
Monroe County Emergency Management has a new website dedicated solely to the Hurricane Irma Recovery Effort. It is www.keysrecovery.org.
Information also is available on Facebook (Monroe County BOCC) and Twitter (@monroecounty) with #keysrecovery
Monroe County’s Information Hotline is back on line at 1-800-955-5504.
MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION
The telephone number and mailing address of your mortgage servicer should be listed on your monthly mortgage statement. You also can look it up on the Mortgage Bankers Association website at www.mba.org/news-research-and-
If you are having difficulty contacting your mortgage servicer, contact the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for assistance and free confidential support from a HUD-approved housing counselor.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website at www.hud.gov