FEMA Center opens to help Irma victims

FEMA Center opens to help Irma victims

A FEMA and State Disaster Recovery Center just opened at the Cone Park Library Branch in Gainesville.

Fema spokesperson Suzy Witten said this Disaster Recovery Center is helping survivors of Hurricane Irma apply for disaster assistance and get answers to their recovery questions.

"What we are here to do is to help people who have suffered some kind of impact either to their house, personal property, work related," Witten said.

When you go into register you must provide your ID and one Social Security number per household. After you give all of this information you will receive a registration number, this number will be the only thing used to identify you throughout the application process.

Witten said FEMA will ask the type of damage you suffered and then have inspectors come in to look at the damage.

"Now that inspector is official he will have an official badge, he will never ask you for your personal information and he will have your registration number," Witten said.

She said there has been several cases of fraud in these situations where people who pose to be inspectors ask for money.

"That's something FEMA doesn't do... the inspections are free and in fact, no one from FEMA will ask you for money for anything."

Other scam attempts can be made on the phone or on the internet as well but recovery specials ask you to remain alert and require identification.

The center is open Monday-Thursday from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Friday and Saturday 10:30 AM to 4 PM.

The center is open to answer any questions regarding fraud, registration or assistance. If you would like to receive benefits from Hurricane Irma, you must be registered by November 9th.

For more information you can visit their website or by call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.

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