Seminole County Office of Emergency Management is continuing to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
This site is a resource for citizens to find storm-related recovery information.
If there are further questions, please call our county citizens information line at 407-665-0000.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION LOW-INTEREST LOANS:
The U.S. Small Business Administration will accept home and business loan applications through January 24, 2018. Next to insurance, the U.S. Small Business Administration is the primary source of money for long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. The filing deadline for physical property damage applications through the SBA is January 24. The filing deadline for economic injury applications through the SBA is June 11. Apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
Contact the SBA for specific loan questions. For general disaster recovery questions, please call Seminole County Office of Emergency Management at 407-665-5102.
INELIGIBILITY DUE TO INSURANCE COVERAGE MAY NOT BE THE LAST WORD ON ASSISTANCE
Survivors who suffered wind and water damage from Hurricane Irma and find themselves insured for some, but not all damages, may initially be designated ineligible for FEMA disaster assistance due to insurance coverage.
Even if you received an initial denial from FEMA, you may be eligible later for help after your insurance claims have been settled if you can demonstrate that your insurance didn’t cover essential needs.
Contact your insurance company and request a settlement letter that details exactly what is covered under the claim.
FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments but may be able to help where homeowners and/or flood insurance did not.
You have up to 12 months from the date you apply with FEMA to submit your insurance settlement records for review. If your settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed your claim, you may write FEMA to explain the reason for the delay. Any funds you get from FEMA would then be considered an advance and must be repaid when you get your settlement.
If you’ve received a letter saying you’re ineligible, whether because of insurance coverage or another reason, additional documentation may be all that is needed to change it. It’s important to read your letter carefully to understand FEMA’s decision so you will know exactly what you need to do.
Examples of documentation are proof of residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property, and proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.
INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE REIMBURSEMENT GRANT:
Homeowners in Seminole County that are income eligible may qualify for an insurance deductible reimbursement grant of up to $15,000 for damages resulting from the 2017 Hurricane Irma storm event.
The program will open and Prescreen forms will be accepted beginning Monday, November 20, 2017 at our offices located at 534 West Lake Mary Blvd., Sanford, FL 32773, between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily excluding weekends and holidays. For questions please contact us at (407) 665-2300. The pre-applications will be used to establish the priority needs for the program. Click here for the pre-application.
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES NEEDING ASSISTANCE SHOULD CONTACT THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT ADA COORDINATOR AT (407) 665-7940. FOR HEARING IMPAIRED INDIVIDUALS, THE FLORIDA RELAY NUMBER IS 1-800-955-8771.
IMMEDIATE NEEDS PROGRAM:
The program is funded with State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. It is designed to provide funding in the form of a grant to qualified applicants with necessary immediate repairs and/or alterations to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the household or affect the immediate livability of the home. The five (5) trades in which assistance can be provided are roofing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC (heating and cooling systems), and accessibility (accommodations for those with disabilities).
If you are interested, an application is available at www.seminolecountyfl.gov/comsrvs/commdev/ or the Seminole County Community Development Office at 534 West Lake Mary Blvd., Sanford, FL 32773.
----TRANSITIONAL SHELTERING ASSISTANCE:
This FEMA sheltering program may assist you if you are unable to return to your pre-disaster primary residence because your home is either uninhabitable or inaccessible. TSA provides disaster survivors with a paid short-term stay in a hotel or motel. The deadline for this assistance is February 11th. If you have received this assistance, you need to keep track of your own checkout date using these options:
- Go online if you have established an account at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
- Call the FEMA Helpline (800-621-3362)
- Check your email and text messages for notification —if you signed up for these when you registered
- Visit a Disaster Recovery Center and ask staff to check your date
Florida homeowners rebuilding after Hurricane Irma may need to elevate their home to meet community floodplain management regulations, and/or to reduce risk of future flood loss.
As a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Seminole County regulates development in the floodplain and requires all homes being substantially improved, or homes that have sustained substantial damage, to be built or elevated to the requirements of the current floodplain ordinance. For questions on substantial improvement or substantial damage determinations in Seminole County, please call 407-665-7335.
Rules for elevation
- You must follow floodplain ordinance requirements and get the proper permits when rebuilding. This will not only make your home safer but will save money on your federal flood insurance premiums.
- Before rebuilding in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), be sure to check with local building officials. They are responsible for enforcing local elevation requirements, even in areas where the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) has not been established.
- Rebuilding higher than the minimum requirement is always a wise decision and saves on flood insurance premiums.
Programs available to assist with construction costs
- If you live in an SFHA and are a homeowner with an NFIP policy whose home was substantially damaged you may be eligible for Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage of up to $30,000. This can pay all or part of the cost to elevate your home to the current effective BFE.
- You may be eligible for ICC coverage if your local floodplain building official determines either:
o Your structure is substantially damaged, meaning the cost to repair the flood damaged structure is 50 percent or more of its pre-disaster market value; or
o Your property sustained repetitive damage, meaning that flood damage has occurred twice in the past 10 years, and the cost of repairing the flood damage, on average, equaled or exceeded 25 percent of the property market value at the time of each flood. Those two flood damage events must have resulted in flood insurance claim payments, and the community’s floodplain management ordinance must have a repetitive loss provision.
- An in-depth FEMA booklet about the process of elevating your home is available online.
- FEMA’s Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting provides further information about elevating your house.
- FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Flood Mitigation Assistance Program and Pre- Disaster Mitigation Grant Program all include property elevations as an eligible project type. Your local community, not individual survivors, must apply for mitigation grants. To qualify, you must meet all eligibility criteria and then apply through your local community, which applies to the State. The State subsequently submits applications to FEMA for review and approval. Project approval is necessary before construction can begin.
If you have questions about mitigation opportunities for your residence in Seminole County, please contact the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management’s Mitigation Coordinator at 407-665-1012.
If you have substantial damage from Hurricane Irma and are rebuilding or making repairs, you should contact your community’s floodplain management/building officials. Additionally, it is important to get the proper permits for things like plumbing, electrical system, foundation and structural repairs.
Typically, substantial damage is damage of any origin sustained by a structure where the cost of restoring the structure to its pre-event condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. Definitions of substantial damage may differ by community.
Why It’s Important
Whether or not your home has substantial damage may impact the way you need to rebuild. County officials can help determine the level of damage, the work needed to repair or replace the damaged structure and if additional work will be needed to comply with local codes and ordinances. For example:
- A structure located in a floodplain must be brought into compliance with current floodplain regulations if officials determines it is substantially damaged.
- Owners who decide to rebuild may need to elevate their structure, or change them in some other way to comply with current regulations and avoid future flood losses. Those who own non-residential structures may need to flood-proof their building.
Property owners who have flood insurance and a substantially damaged building in a floodplain may be able to get additional funds for costs related to complying with local regulations. Contact your insurance agent for more information.
Notice to All Seminole County Residential and Commercial Property Owners
If you experienced structure flooding due to rising waters (not due to roof leakage or wind driven rain intrusion to your home or business), or other significant damage, please contact the Seminole County Building Division at 407-665-7335. Please leave a brief message with your name, address, contact information, and reason for calling. A building official will return your call to help you determine if a substantial damage inspection will be necessary.
What is yard waste?
Yard waste is vegetative debris such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs, palm fronds, etc., that are a result of yard maintenance
You may burn yard waste as long as:
You meet the required setbacks and no local, city or county ordinances prohibit burning
The yard waste was generated on your property and it will fit in an 8-foot diameter pile or non-combustible container
Fire is ignited after 9:00 a.m. eastern time and is extinguished one hour before sunset
Outdoor Burning Tips:
Check with your local Florida Forest Service office to make sure it is legal to burn in your area
Make sure you meet the required setbacks
Clear an area down to bare soil around your pile to prevent the fire from spreading
Burn only yard waste, no household garbage (including paper products), treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticides, paint, and aerosol containers
Don’t burn on windy days
Never leave a fire unattended
Keep a water hose or shovel handy in case your fire escapes
Make sure smoke does not obstruct visibility on nearby roads
Be sure fire is completely out before you leave
If your fire escapes, you may be liable for costs of suppression and damage to the property of others
Piles greater than 8 feet in diameter will require contacting the Florida Forest Service
Any questions please contact The Orlando Forestry District at 407-888-8760, or visit www.FloridaForestService.com.
Seminole County's Citizens Information Line can be reached Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at 407-665-0000.
Seminole County Storm Response By the Numbers: Find out more how County staff and volunteers are working to restore services and structures by clicking here.
SEMINOLE COUNTY LEISURE SERVICES
The following Leisure Services-maintained facilities will remain CLOSED due to debris, damage, lack of power and/or flooding:
- Lake Jesup Wilderness Area - Flooding
- Mullet Lake Campsites (Park and Boat Ramp is open)
- Trail bridges on the Flagler Trail crossing at the Econ River
Residents are encouraged to report damage that occured during Hurricane Irma. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, when emailing please include your name, address, contact information, and pictures of the damage.
REGULAR YARD WASTE REGULATIONS
Seminole County Solid Waste Management advises that Hurricane Irma storm debris collection has concluded and normal yard waste collection requirements return for Unincorporated residents subscribing to weekly yard waste collection. Overall, the County collected 870,000 cubic yards of debris over a 13-week period following the storm, while dedicating 46,100 man hours to the recovery effort.
Regular yard waste must be bagged, containerized, or tied in bundles, weighing less than 50 pounds each, not exceeding 4 feet in length for each bundle, and not containing branches larger than 4 inches in diameter. Up to 15 bags, containers, and/or bundles may be placed curbside for collection each week on Wednesdays, the regular yard waste collection day for Unincorporated Seminole County residents.
Bulky yard waste and construction & demolition debris are not part of the Mandatory Solid Waste Program. Tree stumps and fence panels are common examples of items not included in regular collection. These types of waste can be disposed of at the Seminole County Landfill, 1930 East Osceola Road, Geneva (regular rates apply after Unincorporated households dispose of more than 5,000 pounds of debris at the Landfill or Transfer Station). In some cases, haulers may collect debris, however, residents should contact the hauler directly to determine collection. Many contractors performing work at a residence include work-related debris removal as part of their services. For homeowners, having contractors remove debris is the most expeditious option for materials to be hauled away.
Complete regulations for the Solid Waste Management Program can be found at http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/departments-services/environmental-services/solid-waste-management/.
For additional questions, contact Solid Waste Management Customer Service by calling (407) 665-2260 or emailing SWCustomerService@seminolecountyfl.gov.
•Altamonte Springs: 407-571-8340, http://www.altamonte.org/index.aspx?nid=450
•Casselberry: 407-262-7725 ext. 5, http://www.casselberry.org/documentcenter/view/11109
•Lake Mary: 407-585-1452, http://www.lakemaryfl.com/home/urgent-alerts/post-hurricane-irma-what-you-need-to-know
•Longwood: 407-263-2382, http://www.longwoodfl.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=260
•Oviedo: 407-971-5668, http://cityofoviedo.net/
•Sanford: 407-688-5089, http://www.sanfordfl.gov/index.aspx?page=32&recordid=442&returnURL=%2Findex.aspx%3Fcity%3Dfriend.html%26type%3Dhd.html
•Winter Springs: 407-327-2669, http://www.winterspringsfl.org/EN/web/dept/pw/wasterecycle.htm
To report price gouging: 866-966-7226
For post-hurricane insurance questions, contact Division of Consumer Services: 800-227-8676
To report fly-by-night repair businesses and confirm legitimate adjusters and appraisers: 850-487-1395
***Be cautious about employing strangers to work on your property post-storm. Make sure the contractor holds a proper license by contacting the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 1-850-487-1395 or visit the FDBPR website. Access online at www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/
Residents are responsible for proper disposal of sandbags.
Sandbags can be reused. If you feel your home will be threatened by flood waters, and do not have filled sandbags to use, Seminole County offers two self-service sandbag sites. Residents collecting sand will need to provide their own labor to fill and load their sandbags, as well as a shovel. These locations are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and are unmanned:
- Fort Lane Park, 3301 Fort Lane Park, Geneva, located near the intersection of Whitcomb Road & Fort Lane Road (Sandbags and fill dirt supplied)
- Seminole County Sports Complex, 3450 E. Lake Mary Blvd., Sanford, enter through Cameron Avenue (Fill dirt available, no bags at this location; if residents need bags to fill, free bags are available at the Public Safety Building, 150 Bush Boulevard, Sanford or the resident may purchase sandbags to fill at a hardware store)