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Pinellas County is now eligible for FEMA assistance

Floodwaters from Hurricane Idalia in Gulfport
City of St. Petersburg
Floodwaters from Hurricane Idalia in Gulfport

Pinellas joins other counties impacted by the hurricane, including Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

Homeowners and renters who sustained losses from Hurricane Idalia in Pinellas County can apply for FEMA Individual Assistance.

Pinellas County joins Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Pasco, Suwannee and Taylor counties, which were previously approved for Individual Assistance.

To apply for FEMA disaster assistance, go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA app for smartphones or call 800-621-3362. Help is available in most languages. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time, seven days a week.

Disaster assistance may include financial help for temporary lodging, basic home repairs and other disaster-caused expenses.

For the latest information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Idalia, visit floridadisaster.org/updates/ and fema.gov/disaster/4734.

Here's the latest on the state's response to Hurricane Idalia:

State Response Efforts

  • Florida Department of Emergency Management is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Idalia response.
  • Today, an additional business resource center opened, operated by FloridaCommerce, at 2186 U.S. 19 North, Perry, Florida, to help impacted Floridians receive help with applying for resources.
  • More than 230,000 meals, over 150,000 water bottles and 3,000 tarps have been distributed at Point of Distribution location. Find a list below and at FloridaDisaster.org/Updates.
  • 9 Points of Distributions are open in impacted areas to distribute MRE’s, water and tarps to residents at:
  • Non-profit partners have established sites for impacted residents to eat hot meals. A full list of locations can be found here.
  • The Florida State Guard is distributing meals to residents in partnership with local law enforcement and Operation BBQ.
  • Hamilton County
  • Jefferson County
  • Lafayette County
  • Madison County
  • Suwannee County
  • Taylor County
  • North Hamilton Elementary School 1291 Florida Street Jennings, Florida 32053
  • Ernest Courtoy Civic Center 1129 4Th Street Northwest Jasper, Florida 32052
  • 325 S Water Street Monticello, Florida 32344
  • Lafayette High School 160 NE Hornet Drive Mayo, Florida 32066
  • Madison County High School 2649 US 90 Madison, FL 32340
  • Suwannee County Fair 1302 SW 11th Street Live Oak, Florida 32064
  • Suwannee Riverside Elementary 1625 Walker Avenue SW Live Oak, Florida 32064
  • Branford High School 405 North Reynolds Street Branford, Florida 32008
  • West Fraser - Perry Mill 1509 S Byron Street Parkway Perry, Florida 32348
  • Nonprofit organizations are coordinating with the State Emergency Response Team to assist Idalia survivors with muck and gut assistance and crisis cleanup. For connection with completely free muck and gut assistance through nonprofits, contact CrisisCleanup at 1-800-451-1954 or CrisisCleanup.org.
  • 5 shelters are currently open across Leon, Levy, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor counties housing an overnight population of 186 individuals. For up-to-date shelter information visit FloridaDisaster.org/updates.
  • The Florida National Guard (FLNG) Following Governor DeSantis' authorization, the Florida National Guard (FLNG) is moving forward with a full activation of its service members for Hurricane Idalia response operations.
  • The Florida National Guard continues to conduct humanitarian and route clearance operations and is already engaged in commodity distribution missions (PODs). Our Guardsmen have cleared over 850 miles of roadways.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)

  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) mutual aid team is coordinating Florida’s law enforcement response with more than 136 active missions including deployment of approximately 570 Florida law enforcement officers. More than 50 missions have been completed.
  • FDLE has 44 agents from Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Pensacola deployed into the impacted area, and an FDLE incident management team deployed to Dixie County to coordinate an increase of law enforcement missions.
  • FDLE’s mutual aid team is coordinating law enforcement personnel to operate fueling stations in Madison County.
  • A regional law enforcement coordination team (RLECTs) is activated in Tallahassee assisting local law enforcement agencies with needs as they arise.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is working closely with state and local emergency management agencies to deploy resources to impacted areas.

    Teams are:

  • Performing 24-hour law enforcement, public safety, and security services in Perry, Horseshoe Beach, Dekle Beach and Keaton Beach.
  • Conducting grid searches and welfare checks in communities in Suwannee Town in Dixie County road clearing missions on roads leading to Horseshoe Beach
  • Assisting linemen and fire rescue personnel in Dixie County
  • Escorting radio techs with mobile communications equipment to Cedar Key tower
  • Performing safety and welfare checks in high-water areas in Steinhatchee, Dekle Beach and Keaton Beach, Cedar Key, and Jena
  • Surveying flooded neighborhoods west of Hwy 51 NE in Taylor County to assess any residential evacuation needs.
  • Performing road-clearing missions in and around Perry.
  • Assisting with a medical evacuation in Taylor County.
  • The FWC has set up a hotline (888-404-3922) to report vessels lost, displaced or rendered derelict as a result of the storm. FWC officers are assessing waters in the impacted area for displaced or derelict vessels.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol has activated 300 troopers and implemented 12-hour Alpha, Bravo to provide resources to impacted areas. This activation has resulted in regular days off being cancelled and 24-Hour enhanced coverage.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is actively working to provide any needed assistance to drinking water, wastewater and hazardous waste facilities in the impacted areas. Outreach to these facilities to determine operation status is ongoing.  
  • DEP has confirmed that more than 90% of the drinking water facilities in the impacted areas are operational.
  • DEP and response partners are working 1-on-1 with partially- and non-operational drinking water facilities to get them back to operational status as quickly as possible in order to meet the immediate service needs of the communities they serve. Areas under boil water advisories can be found at here.
  • DEP’s Hazardous Area Response Teams deployed alongside DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement’s Special Agents and EPA Hazard Assessment Teams to aid with assessment and resources for addressing impacts to hazardous waste facilities in impacted areas. The teams assessed 119 facilities over the two-day deployment and will demobilize this afternoon. Any additional reported impacts will be assessed by DEP’s Office of Emergency Response.
  • DEP has confirmed the availability of mobile testing labs from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to expedite testing for drinking and surface water samples to protect public health. The labs are currently on stand-by as DEP assesses potential needs.
  • 62 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been authorized to operate for Hurricane Idalia, including three in Taylor and Madison counties. DEP has pre-authorized an additional 12 sites for these counties and will activate them as needed.
  • DEP is conducting post-storm beach surveys to determine impacts to shorelines and erosion from Hurricane Idalia. Inspectors have completed engineering assessments in Franklin, Wakulla and Levy counties. One team is currently working on assessments in Dixie County. Two additional teams have mobilized to Pinellas and Manatee County. They will work south from there, based on erosion noted in the windshield surveys.  
  • 14 Florida State Parks strike teams have been assembled to assist with assessment and recovery efforts at impacted parks. Seven teams are on the ground today in in Columbia, Suwannee, Lafayette and Levy counties. Other teams will be deployed as conditions allow and needs are identified.
  • Over 115 state parks have re-opened following Hurricane Idalia. DEP has published a storm updates webpage to keep state park visitors updated of closures: www.floridbprdastateparks.org/StormUpdates.
Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.