Water-Related News

Disaster recovery center now open in Pinellas County

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of Florida have opened a local disaster recovery center to help Pinellas County residents who have claims for damages due to Tropical Storm Debby. The center is located in the Park Station business complex, 5851 Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park. The office will be opened from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Representatives from FEMA, the state’s Emergency Management team, Access Florida, the U.S. Small Business Administration, American Red Cross, Area Agency on Aging, Workforce Pinellas and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay will be on hand to provide assistance. No appointment is necessary, but claimants are urged to preregister their claims with FEMA by calling the FEMA toll-free number at (800) 621-FEMA (3362)/TTY (800) 462-7585. Telephone lines are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Claimants may also register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smart phone or tablet using the FEMA app or by going to m.fema.gov.

Disaster relief is available through FEMA grants for residential or business damages, large or small, sustained during Tropical Storm Debby not covered by insurance, including money for home repairs, rental assistance, medical expenses, unemployment assistance, transportation or other disaster-related expenses and serious needs.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are also available to help with residential and business losses not covered by insurance. Information on SBA disaster loans may be obtained by calling (800) 659-2955/TTY (800) 877-8339 or by going online to U.S. Small Business Administration website.

Help in applying for low interest SBA disaster loans or a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan can be also be found through Pinellas County Economic Development’s Small Business Development Center, 13805 58th St. N., Suite 1-200, in Clearwater. Please visit www.pced.org/entrepreneurs or contact Dr. Cynthia Johnson at (727) 464-7445.

Complete hurricane preparedness information can be found at the Emergency Management website.