Following is information related to the recent disaster Hurricane Irma to be used by anyone who rents or owns their property or who receives food stamps.

Duke Energy suspends late payment charges, estimated bills and disconnections during Florida storm restoration.

If you lost power for more than 2 days and lost food, you may be reimbursed for that loss.  Call Duke Energy at 1-855-398-2370

Citizens who experienced any damage to their property as a result of Hurricane Irma can apply for federal assistance through FEMA by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov

To apply by phone, call the number 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585 for speech- or hearing-impaired). Those considering hiring contractors to repair damages are advised to always verify that the contractor is licensed.  Previous phone #800-621-3364 is INVALID.

Operation Blue Roof.   The recent hurricanes have left many homeowners with damaged roofs. Repairs to these roofs can take time. In order to mitigate additional damage that could result from rain, homeowners can have plastic sheeting installed over the damaged area by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors, in a program provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).     The toll-free BLUE ROOF hotline number is 1-888-ROOF-BLU or 1-888-766-3258. For this information in Spanish, call 1-800-403-0573.

Crisis Cleanup empowers relief organizations to instantly coordinate response efforts in real time, redirecting thousands of volunteers from to waiting lines to survivors’ basements.

Crisis Cleanup was developed by and for field volunteers, team leaders, canvassers, and the people who work one-on-one with survivors whose homes have been affected by flood, tornadoes, earthquakes, wind, fire, or other disaster. Crisis Cleanup can respond to a new disaster the same day, permitting relief organizations to instantly coordinate efforts

Crisis Cleanup = crisiscleanup.org 800-451-1954

 

If you’re a current SNAP (EBT/foodstamp) client, you can request a supplement if you meet at least one of the following conditions:

▪ You currently get benefits that are less than the monthly maximum

▪ You have losses from the disaster that are not reimbursed.

Low-income households not normally eligible under regular program rules may qualify for D-SNAP if they meet the disaster income limits, which are slightly higher, and have qualifying disaster-related expenses such as loss of income, damage to property and relocation expenses.

Eligible households receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size. Benefits are issued via an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at most grocery stores.

Those who are scheduled to receive their food stamp benefits later in the month should have received them early, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

“To help families prepare for Hurricane Irma, SNAP benefits for the month of September have been released to customers who would normally receive benefits later in the month,” DCF said in a statement.

The early disbursement applies to recipients in all 67 Florida counties.

Officials also said that there have been reports of mobile apps trying to get personal information and access to EBT balances. They are urging customers to never give out banking information, ID, password, card number, or PIN to an unauthorized website or mobile app.

Authorities said that fraudsters often prey on victims of a disaster.

“There have been reports of web sites hosting fake online application assistance. The sites are using ads on the internet, sometimes on the side of legitimate articles, offering help filling out applications for public assistance benefits,” DCF said.

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USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently approved a temporary waiver and supported other actions that will help households participating in the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Florida, Georgia and the Virgin Islands and the Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico access food in the wake of Hurricane Irma, including: Allowing SNAP participants in Florida to buy hot foods and hot ready-to-eat foods with their benefits through September 30, 2017. Customers should inquire first if the retailer is equipped to process hot food purchases.