Florida Counties Receive Federal Disaster Declaration for Spring Flooding

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott announced today that the State of Florida received a Presidential Declaration to provide federal assistance to counties impacted by the severe storms and flooding April 28 – May 6, 2014. The declaration for Individual Assistance provides federal assistance to individuals and families who were affected in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

“The declaration for federal assistance in these counties will help Floridians as they begin to recover and rebuild,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “As more damage assessments are finalized we will work to expand the declaration request so that all Florida’s communities impacted by this storm are provided assistance.”

Residents in the declared counties can expect Disaster Recovery Centers to open in their community in the coming days. Disaster Recovery Centers are temporary facilities located in or near the impacted area where survivors can go to obtain disaster related information. Centers are staffed with specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a variety of disaster-recovery representatives from local and voluntary agencies.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance starting today by registering online athttp://www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Individuals should register using DR-4177.

Governor Scott’s initial request is based on Preliminary Damage Assessments, and may be amended to include additional counties as assessments are finalized. State officials, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local county emergency management agencies, will continue to conduct damage assessments.

From April 28 through May 2, a severe weather system brought torrential rains to the Northern Florida Gulf Coast. Governor Scott signed Executive Order 14-144, declaring a State of Emergency for 26 Florida Counties on April 30. Two Florida rivers, the Santa Fe and Choctawhatchee, reached major flood stage, while three additional rivers reached moderate flood stage and 14 reached minor flood stage.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. For the latest information on the 2014 Hurricane Season and to Get A Plan!, visitwww.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT, Instagram @FloridaSERT, Vine @FloridaSERT, Pinterest FloridaSERT and Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.