|Date:||September 20, 2017|
|Source:||The Laker / Lutz News|
Hurricane Irma is causing some people to turn to others for help, and offering others an opportunity to be of service.
Here are some places to turn for help, or to get involved.
Donations needed for disaster relief
Pasco County and Metropolitan Ministries are accepting donations to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma.
Here are the items most needed: Canned proteins (tuna, canned meats), cereal, peanut butter, bread, crackers, canned fruits, other nonperishables, bottled water, personal hygiene items, baby supplies, wipes, paper products and ice.
Items can be dropped off at the Pasco County Staging Area at Suncoast Crossing Plaza, 16400 State Road 54. The staging area will be open form 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Those having questions can call Pasco County Customer Service, Monday through Friday,
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (727) 847-2411.
Temporary roof replacement
If your roof was damaged by Hurricane Irma, you may be eligible for free temporary roof repairs by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Operation Blue Roof can install a temporary roof covering. For more information, call 1-888-Roof-Blu (That’s 1-888-766-3258.)
Need to file an insurance claim?
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the state’s Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier offer these tips to help consumers:
A free smartphone app developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners called “MyHome Scr.APP.book” can help you take and store a room-by-room log of photos.
Your insurance company may reimburse the expense of these temporary repairs, so keep all receipts. Remove water-logged and otherwise damaged items from your house to prevent the spread of mold, but document them and do not dispose of any damaged property until your insurance company adjuster has had an opportunity to survey it.
The Office of Insurance Regulation also has additional storm-related materials at www.floir.com/Office/HurricaneSeason/hurricaneresourcepage.aspx.
Emergency bridge loans available
Small business owners with two to 100 employees, in any of Florida’s 67 counties affected by Hurricane Irma, can apply for short-term loans up to $25,000. These interest-free loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, and must demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. For information, visit FloridaDisaster.org.
For more information, call the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at (850) 898-3489.
Individual and household assistance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has determined that Pasco County is eligible for the Individuals and Household Assistance Program, which provides financial help or direct services for eligible residents.
Available help includes:
Pasco County Utilities, Solid Waste and Resource Recovery Department, was scheduled to begin removing debris this week.
Do not bag debris. Refrigerators should be empty, with the doors secured or removed.
Requests for debris pickup must be submitted to Pasco County Customer Service Center by emailing ten.l fytnu ococs ap@ec ivres remot suc , providing the address where the debris is located. Residents can also call customer service at (727) 847-2411.
Debris must be separated into the following categories:
Furniture: Mattresses; couches, sofas, chairs; dressers; lumber, if not pressure treated; particle board; laminated flooring; dry insulation (if wet, pile with construction); carpet and padding
Construction: Drywall, plasterboard, ceramic tile, concrete, lumber (pressure treated), wet insulation
Vegetation: Tree cuttings (must be no more than 5 feet in length, and all branches must be bundled)
White Goods: Appliances, metal furniture, metal shelving, bicycles, items that are more than 75 percent metal
Hazardous Waste – Delayed Pick-Up: Any household chemicals; oil, gas, flammables; lawn and garden chemicals; televisions; computer monitors computer towers (CPUs)
Pasco needs volunteers for disaster assessment
Pasco County needs volunteers who are able to help with disaster assessment in the field.
If faith-based, charitable, or other organizations or civic minded individuals are available and have successfully passed recent background checks, please email your contact information to ten.l fytnu ococs ap@re etnul ov , or call the Volunteer Hotline at (727) 847-8940.
Other volunteer opportunities may become available. Additional information will be posted at PascoCountyFl.net.
Help record Hurricane Irma’s damage
Pasco County encourages residents and business owners who have been affected by the recent storm to report damages to their homes, properties and businesses by opening the MyPasco App and clicking the Report Irma Damage icon, or by completing a Damage Assessment Survey located online at PascoCountyFl.net.
Securing accurate information will help the State of Florida and the Federal Office of Emergency Management to determine if the county has enough damages to seek a federal declaration for our residents to receive financial assistance to make necessary repairs to their properties.