Christmas Storm Victims to Now Get FEMA Aid

When Christmas Day storms destroyed several mobile home parks in Volusia county, victims were originally told by FEMA that the situation wasn’t bad enough to warrant their help. This, despite the fact that not only were many storm victims living with family or in ruined homes due to their own homes being inhabitable, but the state of Florida had also declared the areas in need of help.

Last week’s tornado damage seems to have changed the agency’s mind, however. FEMA has reversed it’s decision and said these areas now fall under the requirements needed. The agency’s new disaster declaration means the victims can now qualify for individual grants and other benefits.

Though this is good news for the affected residents who have been suffering so long, many say they’re disturbed it took a second disaster to make them eligible for federal help. Many state leaders echo that sentiment.

“That’s why we filed an appeal very quickly after we got the first negative response, but you never give up,” Florida’s Governor Crist said on the news. “You just keep moving forward, and it got us to a good place today.”

Just like with last week’s storms, victims must first register with FEMA by visiting or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362). Hearing-impaired victims can call 800-462-7585. A FEMA site was also set up today for Christmas Day storm victims only at the Wal-Mart at 1699 North Woodland Boulevard in DeLand.

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