FEMA Update: Monday, October 2

FEMA Update: Monday, Oct. 1

  • November 14, 2017Deadline for Individual Assistance registration and SBA disaster loan applications
  • 7 counties eligible for Individual Assistance: Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh.
  • 102 Georgia counties approved for Public Assistance permanent work (Categories C-G). (list at end of document). All 159 counties approved for emergency work (categories A & B).
  • More than $3 million in advance payments issued to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders in Georgia. More than 1,800 NFIP claims have been submitted in Georgia.
  • More than $8.2 million in grants approved for individuals and households to help with critical needs assistance, temporary rental assistance, and uninsured or underinsured damage and personal property losses sustained from Hurricane Irma. This includes:
    • More than $3.9 million in temporary rental assistance
    • More than $1.5 million in housing repair assistance
    • Nearly $2.7 million in other needs assistance
  • Nearly 27,000 individuals or households in counties designated for Individual Assistance have contacted FEMA for assistance or information on disaster recovery programs.
  • 1,549 disaster survivors have visited four Disaster Recovery Centers in Camden, Chatham, Glynn and Liberty counties seeking face-to-face assistance from state, FEMA, SBA and other recovery partners. The DRC in Liberty County is serving survivors in both Liberty and McIntosh counties.
  • 1,413 Individual Assistance inspections are completed of 4,078 issued.
  • 42 Disaster Survivor Assistance workers are canvassing affected neighborhoods in the designated counties, helping survivors register for FEMA assistance and providing referrals to other resources to help with any unmet needs.
    • 4,282 total survivors reached
    • 4,531 homes visited
    • 244 survivors registered
  • The S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing technical assistance on debris removal to local officials in Georgia.
  • TheS. Coast Guard is removing 37 vessels, 10 of which are sunken, in St. Marys.


Key Messages

Chatham County DRC is relocating from Tybee Island to Savannah

  • The Tybee Island Disaster Recovery Center is relocating to Savannah this week.
  • Survivors have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, to visit the Tybee Island location.
  • Survivors can begin visiting the new location in Savannah at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.
  • The new location will be: Southwest Chatham Library  14097 Abercorn St.  Savannah, GA 31419
  • Hours are:                          (Hours Mon-Sat TBD. Will be closed Sundays)

Monday, Oct. 9, the Savannah Disaster Recovery Center will be closed for Columbus Day

  • Three other Disaster Recovery Centers are open serving disaster survivors in Camden, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh counties.
  • Survivors do not need to go to a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to register with FEMA. In fact, we encourage survivors to register before visiting a DRC if possible.


  • DRCs are accessible facilities survivors can visit to speak face-to-face with representatives from the state, FEMA, SBA, and other recovery partners. Services available at the DRCs include:
    • Check on the status of your application,
    • Ask questions about a FEMA determination letter and how to appeal a decision by FEMA,
    • Get help applying for SBA disaster loans,
    • Ask questions about flood insurance and hazard mitigation techniques.
  • Hours of operation at DRCs in Camden, Chatham (Tybee location), Glynn and Liberty are:

Mon-Fri:   8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday:  8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday:     1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


DRC Locations:


Camden County

Camden County Recreation Center

1050 Wildcat Blvd.

Kingsland, GA 31548


Chatham County (until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4)                                                          

Tybee Island YMCA Gym

202 5th Street

Tybee Island, GA 31328


Chatham County (beginning 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7)                                                     

Southwest Chatham Library 

14097 Abercorn St.

Savannah, GA 31419


Glynn County

Ballard Park

323 Old Jesup Road

Brunswick, GA 31520


Liberty and McIntosh counties

Liberty County Community Complex

9397 East Oglethorpe Hwy

Midway, GA 31320


Disaster survivors have until Nov. 14 to register with FEMA

  • Homeowners, renters and business owners in Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh counties registering with FEMA for disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Irma. The deadline to register with FEMA is Nov. 14, 2017.
  • Ways to register:
  • The quickest way to apply for federal assistance is online at gov or through the FEMA mobile app.
  • If individuals have trouble with DisasterAssistance.gov, they can call FEMA’s technical assistance line at 800-745-0243. This number is for technical assistance ONLY.
  • Survivors may also apply by phone at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or
    800-462-7585 (TTY). Because of high demand, lines may be busy. Please be patient, and try calling in the morning or evening when call volume may be lower.
  • The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a wee
  • Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages.
  • FEMA assistance is provided to help eligible hurricane survivors repair their homes to “safe, sanitary and secure” condition for the number of occupants living there. It also may provide for rental of temporary lodging until their home is habitable.
  • Survivors who receive help from the Red Cross or another organization are not automatically registered with FEMA. Until they receive their FEMA registration number, they are not registered and are not eligible for any assistance.
  • FEMA assistance will not affect your Social Security or other government benefits and is not considered taxable income by the IRS.

Beware of scam artists 

  • Identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors as they struggle to recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma.
  • The most common disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid for a fee.
  • When hiring a contractor:
    • Use licensed local contractors backed by reliable references.
    • Demand that contractors carry general liability insurance and workers’ compensation.
    • Don’t pay more than half the costs of repairs up front.
  • Local, state and federal officials never request money for their recovery services and always carry identification badges.
  • There is no fee required to apply for or receive help from FEMA, the SBA or the state and local governments.
  • Scam attempts can be made in person, over the phone, by mail or by email and text messages.
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers to help in return for any form of payment including a charitable donation. You do not need anyone to represent you to apply for FEMA assistance, or help from well-known charitable organizations like American Red Cross, Salvation Army and others.
  • You may, however, find that groups from out of state will offer to clear debris from your property and may even offer to make substantial repairs to your home. Those legitimate charitable groups will provide identification and will not ask for money for their services.
  • The Georgia Department of Law has a website for its Consumer Protection Unit that explains how to file a fraud complaint: http://consumer.georgia.gov/consumer-services/filing-a-complaint.
  • Survivors who suspect fraud should call FEMA’s Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

Clean and Removal Assistance (CRA)

  • Clean and Removal Assistance is a one-time $500 payment per eligible household for primary residences that were damaged by Hurricane Irma but not rendered uninhabitable. This fixed amount represents the average cost of cleaning, sanitizing and removing carpet in the geographic area.
  • This assistance is intended to ensure contamination from floodwaters is addressed to prevent additional losses and potential health and safety concerns.
  • Individuals and households may be eligible for Clean and Removal Assistance if all of the following conditions are met:
    • The pre-disaster, primary residence is located in a county that is designated for Individual Assistance,
    • The applicant has at least one real property line item recorded with the cause of damage as “flood,”
    • The pre-disaster primary residence was not covered by flood or mobile home insurance at the time of the disaster, and
    • The applicant received a denial for home repair assistance from FEMA stating “Ineligible – Home is safe to occupy (IDD).
  • Individual property owners are responsible for performing or contracting for services to remove contaminants from, and disinfect surface areas of, their homes that have been affected by floodwater.
  • Survivors who have already registered with FEMA and who meet the CRA eligibility requirements will automatically receive Clean and Removal Assistance via direct deposit or a check made payable to the eligible applicant as grants are processed. Funding may take longer than usual to disperse due to the number of ongoing large-scale disasters.

SBA Disaster Loans

  • The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofits.
  • After registering with FEMA, if you are referred to SBA, you should complete the loan application even if you do not plan to accept a loan. It is a step in the federal disaster assistance process.
  • If you do not qualify for a home loan, you may become eligible for grant assistance from FEMA.
  • You do not have to accept a loan if one is offered.
  • Additional information on the disaster loan program may be obtained by:
    • Calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing)
    • Or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.
  • Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
  • Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov.
  • Completed applications should be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
  • Businesses and nonprofits can apply up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  Loans for working capital, known as Economic Injury Disaster Loans, are available to small businesses even if the business did not suffer any physical damage.
  • Homeowners can apply up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate.
  • Homeowners and renters can apply up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property including automobiles
  • The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is 14, 2017.
  • The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 15, 2018.



SBA Business Recovery Centers Open in Brunswick and Savannah

  • The SBA has opened two Business Recovery Centers in Chatham and Glynn counties to help businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma that began on Sept. 7, 2017.
  • SBA representatives at the centers can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application. The Center is located as indicated below and will operate until further notice

Chatham County

Savannah Entrepreneurial Center

801 East Gwinnett Street

Savannah, GA 31404



8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday

Closed Sundays


Glynn County

UGA Marine Extension & Georgia Sea Grant Center

715 Bay St.

Brunswick, GA 31520



9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Closed Sundays


People with disabilities and other access and functional needs

Rumor Control

  • Rumors circulating on social media claim that survivors who were without power may be eligible for $250. This is FALSE.
  • Survivors who register with FEMA may be eligible for Critical Needs Assistance, Clean and Removal Assistance, or grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.
  • These grants are not automatically dispersed upon registering with FEMA as eligibility must be determined for each applicant. Remember, only one person per household may apply with FEMA.
  • Visit fema.gov/hurricane-irma-rumor-control for updated, accurate, information on disaster rumors and fraud.


NFIP Policyholders

  • Survivors who have flood insurance can access information through the National Flood Insurance Program’s “Hub page,” fema.gov/nfip-file-your-claim.
  • If you have NFIP flood insurance and suffered damage during the recent floods related to Hurricane Irma, you may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 for building and contents damages prior to the adjuster’s inspection with a written, verbal, or electronic request.
  • If you have photos and receipts which validate your out-of-pocket expense, you may receive an advance payment up to $20,000. FEMA has increased the maximum amount from $10,000 to $20,000 with the updated bulletin.

Disaster Legal Aid

  • Survivors in Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh counties who cannot pay for an attorney now have access to a disaster legal aid hotline.
    • You can request assistance by calling 866-584-8027 (toll free) or 404-527-8793 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
    • When you reach the hotline voicemail, leave your name and contact information, brief details of the disaster-related legal assistance needed and your county of residence.
    • Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Georgia lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal assistance.

American Red Cross

  • The American Red Cross is providing one-on-one casework and support at Service Centers in Savannah and Brunswick to further assist those with emergency needs.
  • The two Service Centers are open to residents whose homes suffered major damage because of the hurricane. Services may include recovery planning and assistance, health and mental health support, clean-up supplies and more.
  • All participants will be asked to provide proof of residence as part of the casework process.
  • Red Cross volunteers are also in affected communities this week delivering supplies and working with residents to address their emergency needs for lodging, food, health and emotional support.
  • Anyone in need of help should call the American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia at 912-651-5300.

Red Cross Service Center in Savannah
Compassion Christian Church, Adult Ministries Center
55 Al Henderson Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419
Wednesday, September 20 through Friday, September 22, 2017
Open 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily

Red Cross Service Center in Brunswick
207 Rose Drive
Brunswick, Georgia 31520
Wednesday, September 20 through Friday, September 22, 2017
Open 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily


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