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Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

With another hurricane season around the corner, there could be some changes to the way school districts and counties receive reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the cost of storm shelters.

Federal disaster officials are ending a program that paid for hotel rooms for more than 27,000 Florida households in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Pasco County Government

Several Pasco County neighborhoods at risk of serious flooding should soon be safer due to funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

U.S. Congressmen From Florida To Visit Puerto Rico

Dec 26, 2017

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto are traveling to Puerto Rico Wednesday to get a firsthand look at on-going recovery from the Sept. 20 hit by deadly and powerful Hurricane Maria.

According to Nelson's office, the senator will return to Florida Wednesday night after meeting separately with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello and the media. Nelson is also slated to meet with members of the Puerto Rican community in the Osceola County Commission Chamber in Kissimmee on Thursday.

It’s crunch-time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency as Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma scramble to meet this Friday’s deadline to register for disaster relief.

It’s now more than two weeks since Lee County’s Board of Commissioners sent a letter to the White House and U.S. Senators regarding the slow help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Irma.  There’s been no response from FEMA or the White House.

Those affected by Hurricane Irma who apply for FEMA disaster assistance, shouldn’t consider an initial denial of aid the final word.


FEMA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are partnering together to offer disaster assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

After 14 people died at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills following Hurricane Irma, the ongoing question of what to do about nursing home regulations at the federal level has been answered. At least, by one lawmaker. 

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Monday that she is planning to file a  bill, and if it is passed she says it will strengthen how rules for nursing homes are enforced around the nation. 

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Relief is coming to Pasco County’s agricultural community with a Disaster Assistance Session, Thursday, Oct. 12.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is pushing the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to extend a housing assistance program.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

Resiliency is defined as the ability to recover from difficulties.

And when it comes to a life-changing event like Hurricane Irma, there are two different kinds of resiliency: an individual’s ability to bounce back and “community resiliency.”

Wikimedia Commons

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is putting blue plastic sheeting on homes damaged by Hurricane Irma.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says the government response to Hurricane Irma has shifted from saving lives to one of beginning the long recovery process.

Long said at a briefing Friday that good progress is being made in getting people back into their homes or into temporary housing such as apartments or hotels. About 10,000 people in Florida remain in emergency shelters.

North Tampa Branch Library, HCPLC.org

Hillsborough County Libraries are providing assistance to residents affected by Hurricane Irma. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Administrator was at the Lee County Emergency Operations Center Wednesday. 


The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Texas may be impacting Irma victims in Florida trying to register for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

disasterassistance.gov

Hurricane Irma victims in the Tampa Bay area may be able to get some extra help from the federal government.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is making preparations in the state for Hurricane Irma.

“FEMA is pre-positioning people and supplies to be able to come in right after the hurricane,” Nelson said Wednesday at a press conference at the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center.

But due to the recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the agency is set to run out of funds soon without an emergency funding authorization.

“If they don’t get it by Friday, they’re out of money,” Nelson said.

Most Florida Flood Zone Property Not Insured

Sep 7, 2017
Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, an Associated Press analysis shows a steep drop in flood insurance across the state, including the areas most endangered by what could be a devastating storm surge.

In just five years, the state's total number of federal flood insurance policies has fallen by 15 percent, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency data.

Florida's property owners still buy far more federal flood insurance than any other state — 1.7 million policies, covering about $42 billion in assets — but most residents in hazard zones are badly exposed.

Northeast Floridians still waiting for federal recovery dollars a year after Hurricane Matthew may need to wait even longer, after Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas last week.


At the end of September, the National Flood Insurance Program will expire unless Congress acts to re-authorize its funding. Many in the real estate and insurance industries say they're cautiously optimistic the federal flood insurance subsidy will be kept in place, but there’s no guarantee amid the chaotic climate in Washington. 

Owning a resturant on the water was a dream come true for Peter Stefani. For 26 years, Stefani had watched the waves rise and fall just outside his businesses.

Still, the Nebraska native hardly had an idea of what the tide could do until Hurricane Hermine hit Cedar Key.

Federal authorities say 1,200 companies were scammed by a Florida man who charged them $500 fees to register them with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for preferred treatment on contract bidding.

Flood Insurance Discount For Some Pinellas Residents

Jun 9, 2016
Flooding in Key West Caused by Hurricane Wilma
Marc Averette / Wikipedia Commons

Anywhere it rains, it can flood.

That was a warning from Pinellas County’s Floodplain Management Program, which is working to keep county residents informed about the dangers of flooding.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

The federal government has denied Gov. Rick Scott's request for “Individual Assistance” (IA) for Pasco County flood victims.

Scott requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds last month after hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses were damaged during nearly three weeks of rain.

Many of the residents affected are on fixed incomes.

Annette Doying, the Director of Emergency Management in Pasco County, explains what federal officials looked at to make their decision.

Federal officials were in Sarasota County this week helping residents get ready for new flood maps. It’s part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA nationwide initiative to update the country’s flood maps.

The U.S. Senate passed the House flood insurance bill that is intended to curb the huge rate increases experienced by homeowners.

According to a release from Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the legislation caps flood insurance rate increases at no more than 18 percent. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency is charged with finding ways to keep flood insurance affordable.

“It’s not everything I wanted for homeowners, but it’s significant protection from unconscionable rate hikes,” said Nelson in the written release.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The Senate has easily passed a bill to delay premium hikes for years for hundreds of thousands of homeowners who buy flood insurance from the federal government.

Thursday's sweeping 67-32 vote reflects widespread concern about changes enacted two years ago to shore up the program's finances. The changes are in many cases producing unexpected, sky-high insurance rates that are unaffordable for many homeowners in flood-prone areas whose insurance has historically been subsidized by the government and other policyholders.

The bill was muscled through the Senate after angry constituents, the real estate and homebuilder lobbies inundated lawmakers with complaints.

Millions of American property owners get flood insurance from the federal government, and a lot of them get a hefty discount. But over the past decade, the government has paid out huge amounts of money after floods, and the flood insurance program is deeply in the red.

Congress tried to fix that in 2012 by passing a law to raise insurance premiums. Now that move has created such uproar among property owners that Congress is trying to make the law it passed disappear.

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