Remember: The deadline to file for FEMA individual assistance is Nov. 9. This can be done online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
There also are four FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in the Keys to help people register for individual assistance or get updates on their accounts. Two of the centers, in Marathon and Key West, have relocated. Here are the current locations.
MARATHON: 6805 Overseas Highway
ISLAMORADA: Fire Station #20, 81850 Overseas Hwy
BIG PINE KEY: Big Pine Key Community Park, 31009 Atlantis Dr.
KEY WEST: 3126 Flagler Ave
These centers offer in-person support to individuals and small businesses. Recovery specialists from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the state of Florida are available to provide assistance with filling out applications or updating their status.
Disaster Recovery Centers all operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There are also three FEMA disaster mobile teams that are canvassing neighborhoods in the Keys today.
These mobile teams carry iPads and can register survivors for FEMA assistance for the first time at their doorstep. They have limited ability to help people update their accounts. Please Note: Mobile teams will wear FEMA vests, have proper identification and never ask for money.
These locations vary each day. Today, Oct. 19, there are two teams in Key Largo and one on Stock Island. One soon will be going to Summerland Key. These teams operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In the weeks immediately following Hurricane Irma, United Way of the Florida Keys has distributed over $20,000 in direct aid in the form of store gift cards and cleaning supplies and tools. The organization also disbursed $52,700 in emergency “mini-grants” to eight local, established partner nonprofits directly serving individuals and families impacted by the storm. Additionally, $45,000 was dedicated toward hotel rooms to assist residents in the Upper Keys left homeless due to Irma-related damages to their homes.
This week, UWFK will allocate another $80,000 in additional mini-grants to 16 previously vetted partner agencies, including Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Burton Memorial Church, Southernmost Boys & Girls Clubs, KAIR, Star of the Sea Mission Outreach and many others. Further, an application for an additional $100,000 worth of funding is open to any human service nonprofit engaged in hurricane recovery and rebuilding efforts at http://www.keysunitedway.org/uwfk-mini-grants-hurricane-irma-relief. There is also a link to the application on the UWFK homepage.
more “Press Release: United Way of the Florida Keys Provides Nearly $400,000 to Support Hurricane Irma Relief”
The Southernmost Coconut Castaways, the OFFICIAL Home “Friend Club” for Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band, is proud to announce the release of a brand-new compilation CD called “Keys Strong: Music for Hurricane Irma Relief.”
With more than 35 songs about Key West, the Keys and the Keys “lifestyle” we all love, the double CD set includes songs by some of the best “Trop Rock” performers from all over the country and includes local musicians as well.
Some classic hits, some newly recorded versions of past hits and some brand spanking new songs specifically recorded for this CD, 100 percent of all proceeds will go to the United Way of the Florida Keys.
Money will be distributed to the 16 local charities listed on their website www.keysunitedway.org so the money stays here in The Keys.
more “Sales of ‘Keys Strong’ CD to Benefit Local Charities”
The Disaster Recovery Center in Key West at the Key West Fire Station #2 closed Tuesday, Oct. 17 and will reopen at a new Key West location, 3126 Flagler Ave., Thursday, Oct. 19.
Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the state of Florida are available to provide assistance to anyone needing help completing aid applications or updating their status.
Voluntary organizations also are available at the DRC and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.
CLOSED: Tuesday, Oct. 17, Key West Fire Station #2, 616 Simonton St.
REOPENING: Thursday, Oct. 19, at 3126 Flagler Ave. HOURS: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.
Representatives from FEMA will be on hand Tuesday, Oct. 17, at City Hall, 1300 White Street, during the City Commission meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. The FEMA Disaster Assistance Team will provide registration and case status checks in the small conference room beside the commission chambers.
The conference room is small, so access during the commission meeting may be limited. The assistance augments the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center located at 616 Simonton Street at Fire Station #2.
Anyone impacted by Hurricane Irma is reminded that the 30-day registration timeframe is fast approaching for survivors to apply for disaster assistance from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Survivors of Hurricane Irma have 60 days from the Sept. 10 date of disaster declaration to apply for individual assistance.
The Monroe County–ed task force on housing has been working on creative solutions — due to the unique lodging challenges of the Florida Keys — to help FEMA find temporary housing for people who lost their homes or whose homes are uninhabitable due to Hurricane Irma.
On Friday,FEMA informed the task force that it will increase the rental assistance provided to disaster survivors to rates high enough to pay for available Keys’ rentals, which primarily are second homes and vacation rental properties.
FEMA previously had approved an increase to the FY2018 Fair Market Rent figures of a cap up to 110 percent. But that did not meet the community needs of Monroe County, which has a unique housing market with 29,000 of its 53,000 total housing units owned by second home owners. Primarily due to this unique challenge and the destruction of so many affordable rentals, FEMA approved rental assistance of a cap of up to 300 percent.
This is how it break downs:
• Efficiency goes from FY2018 rate of $960 to $2880
• One bedroom goes from $1,139 to $3,417
• Two bedroom goes from $1,514 to $4,542
• Three-bedroom goes from $1,914 to $5,742
• Four-bedroom goes from $2,514 to $7,542.
Individuals receive this assistance through registration with FEMA for individual assistance. FEMA must approve each case individually for rental assistance.
more “Monroe County–Led Task Force Secured FEMA Rental Assistance of 300 Percent Fair Market Rate for Disaster Survivors”
Keys residents Jon and Julie Landau have created the Landau Family Hurricane Relief Fund for the Upper Keys at the Community Foundation of the Keys to aid the recovery efforts of people and businesses in the Upper Keys in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Landau, filmmaker and producer of films including “Avatar” and “Titanic,” and his wife, Julie, have lived in the Keys since 2010.
“What makes the Keys special is not the azure blue waters, but rather the community of people that choose to call the Keys their home,” Landau said in a statement. “The purpose of this fund is to distribute grants to assist those residents and businesses of the Upper Keys who are suffering from the impact of Hurricane Irma. These grants will in turn help to keep the community intact.”
Donations to the Landau Family Hurricane Relief Fund can be made at cffk.org/florida-keys-emergency relief-fund/ or by calling 305-292-1502. The fund will distribute all monies raised to help with recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Applications for Upper Keys nonprofit organizations seeking assistance from the Landau Family Hurricane Relief Fund and other granting funds at CFFK are available now at cffk.org.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is hiring local residents to assist in the disaster recovery effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Residents of Florida who wish to apply should email their resume to FEMA-Workforce- FL@fema.dhs.gov. Applicants should include the word “Florida” and the name of the job they wish to be considered for in the subject line. A preferred contact method is requested; applicants may be contacted via email, phone or mail regarding the interview, hiring and selection process.
Positions needed and expanded job descriptions are listed and updated at careers.fema.gov/hurricane-workforce . Paid temporary positions include: Customer Service Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Logistics Specialist, Translator and Interpreter in either Haitian Creole or Spanish, Historic Preservation Specialist and Environmental/Floodplain Specialist.
more “FEMA Is Hiring Local Residents for Temporary Positions”
Disaster Distress Helpline: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Talking Points
What is the Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH)?
The DDH is a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The DDH provides 24/7/365 crisis counseling and emotional support for anyone in the United States and its territories struggling with distress or other mental health concerns during any phase of a natural or human-caused disaster.
What services does the DDH provide?
• Toll-free, multilingual, 24/7/365 crisis hotline 1-800-985-5990 available across U.S./territories.
– For 24/7 “live” counseling in Spanish, hotline callers can simply press “2.”
– Support in 100+ additional languages is available via third-party interpretation services.
• 24/7 support via SMS (English: text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746 and Spanish; text ‘Hablanos’).
• The deaf, hard of hearing, or people with speech disabilities can utilize the texting option, connect with a DDH counselor via TTY (1-800-846-8517), dial 7-1-1 or use another preferred telephone relay services to connect with the hotline.
more “Disaster Distress Hotline Offers Crisis Counseling, Emotional Support”
FEMA’s Mobile Disaster Assistance Teams are canvassing neighborhoods in Marathon (Yellow Tail Road heading east), Stock Island (addressing Haitian communities) and Tavernier (various neighborhoods heading south).
The teams operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
These mobile teams carry iPads and can register survivors for FEMA assistance for the first time at their doorstep. They have limited ability to help people update their accounts.
Please Note: Mobile teams will wear FEMA vests, have proper identification and never ask for money.