FORT MYERS, Fla — FEMA workers are going door-to-door to reach those affected by Hurricane Ian, according to a news release.
In a 60-day update, the agency said its Disaster Survivor Assistance teams have visited more than 200,000 homes and have interacted with 129,000 individuals.
"Our job primarily is going into the field, going door-to-door, reaching out to the survivors, answering questions, addressing concerns that they might have with damages and the assistance available," said John Ruvelo of FEMA.
Some of the people with needs who the FEMA workers are meeting include individuals with accessibility and transportation issues. A few homebound seniors or homeowners with medical restrictions who require such service in the comfort of their homes
"When they see a friendly face or somebody representing them, they like having that interaction face-to-face with people," Ruvelo said.
Officials state the agency has provided $771 million in grants to more than 500,000 applications for its Individuals and Household program. FEMA also has provided $358 million to the state of Florida for emergency response.
"People do fall through the cracks. They're unaware that they are eligible for assistance when they see other peoples' homes with major damage or a lot of damage," Ruvelo said.
The agency has extended the application deadline to Jan. 12, 2023, for survivors in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties.
For more information about operating Disaster Recovery Centers, click here or floridadisaster.org.