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FEMA Official: ‘You're in charge of your own recovery'

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) - FEMA representative Dave Passey stopped by News 13's live online newscast on Saturday to discuss how those affected by Hurricane Michael can apply for aid.

Passey is one of 1,000 FEMA employees in the Panhandle right now.

“We want people to realize that really, they’re in charge of their own recovery. That as you’re looking to rebuild your business, your home, your community, that the local efforts are always going to lead.”

Passey said the first thing he would encourage people to do is to file their flood insurance or their property or homeowner’s insurance claim.

Click here for more information from FEMA about how to file a flood insurance claim

“Document those losses. Take photos. If you have losses that you know aren’t going to be covered by insurance, then as the Congressman said, there are three ways to apply for disaster insurance."

Those three ways include the FEMA app, online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.

Click here for more information regarding FEMA Disaster Relief

With connectivity and cell service issues following the storm, FEMA representatives are located at various shelters in the area and teams are also on the street in heavily populated communities to assess damage. 

But who does qualify for disaster relief?

Passey said if someone suffers damage to their primary home and can’t live in it and it’s not insured, to register for disaster relief.

Also register if you are just not sure.

You could also qualify for state programs or a small business administration disaster loan.

Passey also had some advice for when to register for assistance.

“If you have a safe place now, we would encourage you to maybe wait a few days, that those people who are in shelters or are definitely looking for someplace to go, we want to get them in line first.”

There are a few more months before the registration period for disaster relief aid closes.

More on-site help will be available for those affected at a later date.

Passey said FEMA will eventually have locations set up in all of the 11 counties declared in the federal disaster.


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