Only one month left to apply for FEMA assistance for Hurricane Idalia damages

These are the names for storms that develop during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla — If you sustained loss from Hurricane Idalia, (and live in Charlotte, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Suwannee or Taylor counties), FEMA may be able to help.

You may be eligible for FEMA financial assistance for temporary lodging, basic home repairs, personal property losses and other uninsured disaster-related expenses. The deadline to apply is November 29, 2023.


Call toll-free 800-621-3362, go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA App for mobile devices or visit a Disaster Recovery Center. The telephone line is open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Help is available in most languages. If you use a relay service such as VRS, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. To view an accessible video on how to apply visit Three Ways to Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance - YouTube.

FEMA Is Hiring in Florida

Come to work for FEMA and help your community recover from recent disasters. FEMA is conducting local hiring for positions in Gainesville and Lake Mary. These positions are full-time, up to 120-day appointments, that may be extended depending on operational needs. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, 18 years of age or older, and possess a high school diploma or GED.

How to apply: Apply online through USAJobs.gov. New positions will be posted as needed. Candidates can be notified when FEMA Local Hire positions post. You can save a search to help you look for jobs in your area of interest. For instructions, please visit: USAJOBS Help Center | How to save a search.

Questions About FEMA Assistance? Visit Q&A: FEMA Individual Assistance | FEMA.gov.

By the Numbers

$72.7 million in FEMA grants to 34,690 households

$63.9 million in U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans approved

$195 million in National Flood Insurance Program payments; 5,100 claims filed

Disaster Recovery Centers

Disaster Recovery Centers provide one-on-one help to people affected by Hurricane Idalia. In addition to these fixed sites, mobile centers are operating in communities. A video is available: Disaster Recovery Center (DRC): Your Resource After a Hurricane - YouTube.

  • Columbia County: 180 E Duval St. Lake City, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Sat, closed Sunday (closes permanently 6 p.m. Nov. 8)
  • Dixie County: Dixie County Public Library, 16328 SE US-19, Cross City, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Sat, closed Sunday
  • Hamilton County: 1153 NW US Hwy 41, Jasper, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon-Sat, (closes permanently 6 p.m. Nov. 3)
  • Hernando County: Hernando Public Library Branch, 9220 Spring Hill Dr., Spring Hill, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Sat (closes permanently 6 p.m. Nov. 4)
  • Jefferson County: Jefferson County Library, 375 S Water St., Monticello, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Sat, closed Sunday (closes permanently 6 p.m. Nov. 3)
  • Lafayette County: Mayo Community Center, 150 NW Community Cir., Mayo, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (effective Nov. 4, closed Saturday and Sunday)
  • Madison County: Career Source North Florida, 705 E Base St., Madison, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Sat (closes permanently 6 p.m. Nov. 4)
  • Suwannee County: Memorial Field, 617 Ontario Ave SW, Live Oak, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Sat, closed Sunday
  • Taylor County: Steinhatchee Community Center, 1013 S. Riverside Dr., Steinhatchee, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Sat, closed Sunday

Free Rebuilding Advice

FEMA Hazard Mitigation specialists will be at Tractor Supply, 2500 S. Byron Butler Pkwy in Perry to offer free advice for rebuilding stronger after the hurricane. Schedule: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, through Nov. 11.

Low-Interest Disaster Loans an Important Resource

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and other sources. Apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at SBA.gov/disaster. Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Application deadline for physical damage is Oct. 30, 2023, and for economic injury May 31, 2024. SBA is operating Business Recovery Centers at Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce in Live Oak, Entrepreneur Collaborative Center in Tampa and St. Petersburg College-Epicenter in Clearwater.

If FEMA refers you to the SBA, it is important to submit the disaster loan application. If approved, you do not have to accept a loan but failure to submit the application may disqualify you from other possible financial assistance from FEMA and State of Florida.

Agriculture Assistance

For Hurricane Idalia assistance, please call the Farm Service Agency Producer Hotline at 877-508-8364, Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or send an email to the FSA disaster group inbox at SM.FPAC.FSA.FLFSA.Disaster@USDA.GOV. For more information about USDA disaster resources please visit farmers.gov/protection-recovery. USDA Service Centers are designed to be a single location where customers can access the services provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development. For questions about food safety, call the Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854, Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET (English or Spanish) or email MPHotline@usda.gov. Owners of meat and poultry producing businesses may call 877-FSIS-HELP (877-374-7435), email infosource@fsis.usda.gov, or visit fsis.usda.gov/inspection/compliance-guidance/small-very-small-plant-guidance/small-plant-help-desk.

For temporary shelter in travel trailers or hotel rooms, visit floridarecovers.org

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