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Insurance villages help with disaster recovery in SWFL


Date: September 21, 2017
Source: NBC 2
Author:  Rachel Polansky


People in Florida have filed 335,000 insurance claims totaling $1.9 billion in property losses.

Lee County has nearly 32,000 insurance claims on file for Hurricane Irma.

Collier County is at more than 26,000 claims.

Insurance villages and disaster recovery centers have been opening throughout the week to help those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

NBC2 went to one of the events at Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres.

Outside residents could talk with insurance agencies to file claims or ask questions.

Lehigh Acres resident, Ted Garlow, came out to file a claim because he's still without power at home.

"We hadn't filed a claim because we still don't have phones, electric, or nothing so we're here to do that," Garlow said.

Inside residents could talk with FEMA representatives.

"It's more convenient for the people who live in Lehigh, and a lot of people couldn't travel to Naples or Immokalee," Joanne Vega of
Lehigh Acres said.

Some are applying for disaster assistance. Others are checking on their application status.

"We want people to be sure and read their letters carefully because a letter may appear to tell them they're ineligible for some kind of assistance, when really what we need is additional information," said FEMA representative Lynn Kimbrough. "We know this is going to be a long recovery for a lot of folks, but there are people here to help, and that's what we want to do is connect them with the right resources, for their individual circumstances."

Today's recovery assistance center ‎organized by Senator Rubio served over 3,200 individuals.

There will be another Irma Recovery Assistance Center Friday in Immokalee at RCMA Immokalee Community School from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.