FEMA/FDEM Teams Conduct Hurricane Matthew Damage Assessments In Brevard County
By Space Coast Daily // October 18, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Ten teams of officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida Division of Emergency Management fanned out across Brevard County on Tuesday to assess damages from Hurricane Matthew.
The teams surveyed the worst of the damage from the storm that slammed into Florida’s east coast 10 days ago. In Brevard County, 72 miles long and 22 miles wide, damage was widespread and ranged from as severe as demolished homes to roof damages and storm debris piled up curbside throughout the county.
FEMA’s assessments will be used in conjunction with the Florida governor’s request for federal assistance. A FEMA disaster declaration could make aid available to individuals, state and local governments after natural disasters, like this hurricane.
“This is a critical step,” said Kimberly Prosser, director of Brevard County Emergency Management. “The teams are assessing residential damage today and additional teams will assess the damage to public infrastructure on Wednesday and Thursday.”
Hurricane Matthew was a Category 3 hurricane as it passed Brevard County Oct. 6 and 7. Debris removal and damage assessments are ongoing. At least 11 parks remain closed. Damage assessments of storm-related beach erosion in the county top $24 million.
In all, more than 1,500 homes and businesses were damaged by Hurricane Matthew’s winds, and at least 12 structures were destroyed.
FEMA provides disaster survivor assistance and has a number of tools, teams, and public assistance programs to help during response and recovery operations. FEMA assessments will determine if Brevard County, along with its businesses and residents, qualify for disaster assistance, including:
Individual Assistance provides financial help or direct services to those who have necessary expenses and serious needs. That may include housing assistance (including temporary housing, repair, replacement) and other needs.
Public Assistance Grants, which assists state and local governments with funding for emergency repairs or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
FEMA works alongside the Small Business Administration. An SBA declaration would provide low-interest loans to businesses impacted by the storm in Brevard County.