Seminole County's heart goes out to individuals in Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands who have suffered damage and loss due to Hurricane Maria. The community has already started to receive friends and family members into our community. In an effort to help these individuals, and those who remain on the islands, we have developed this page with links to various services being provided throughout our community. The Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the progress on the island and services throughout our community and will update as soon as information is received.
Individuals needing assistance should contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or register at www.disasterassistance.gov. Any individual who has evacuated the island due to Hurricane Irma or Maria can register for assistance.
A regional Disaster Recovery Center has been established at 2250 N. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando. Hours are 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Monday - Saturday.
FEMA Application Assistance:
The Office of Emergency Management will also support individuals who have suffered loss in Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands. Local emergency management representatives will support individuals filling out applications by calling 407-665-5102 and/or schedule an appointment with staff for a face-to-face visit.
Seminole State College:
To assist college students relocating to Central Florida from areas hardest hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Seminole State College of Florida will waive out-of-state tuition. Under this plan, students from Houston, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have been displaced by these storms but wish to continue their education at Seminole State can apply for this waiver, which will be in effect for 12 months from the date they apply not to extend beyond Spring Term 2019.
In addition to the waiver, which will allow eligible students to pay in-state tuition, the College can assist with book scholarships, financial aid and academic resources to help them succeed.
To apply for the waiver, students must complete the Florida Out-of-State Fee Exemption Application and submit documentation/proof of relocation from Houston, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria. Acceptable documentation includes proof of residency in one of those locales via a driver’s license, ID card or other documentation that proves relocation to Florida.
For assistance, students can visit Student Services from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Friday on any Seminole State campus to speak to a specialist.
Seminole County Public Schools:
For families needing to enroll a student arriving from Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands, all Seminole County Public Schools are prepared to assist with the registration. In the event papers and or important documents cannot be provided, SCPS staff are prepared to help. For more information, please contact the Seminole County Public School’s Puerto Rico Strong Family Hotline at 407-320-9413.
DONATIONS TO PUERTO RICO
United for Puerto Rico:
United for Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María. 100% of the proceeds will go to helping the victims afteced by these natural disasters in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico needs your support. Join us and help Puerto Rico recover!
Heart of Florida United Way for Puerto Rico and United Way for Virgin Island has established Hurricane Relief funds to assist with emergency assistance and basic needs of those affected. 100% of every dollar raised will go toward alleviating immediate storm-related needs in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, long-term community recovery and displacement assistance for families in Central Florida.
USVI Recovery is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has been operating in the USVI for more than 25 years. It has supported past relief efforts in the region and is working closely with government and community providers to identify priorities and direct resources for immediate needs as well ass long term recovery efforts.