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 Recovery & Disaster Assistance
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Status of Disaster Recovery Centers in Lake County:
No Disaster Recovery Centers are currently open in Lake County.
Individuals with questions regarding FEMA claims should call: 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA).
Disaster Recovery Center Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) personnel assist survivors in Lake County as a result of the February 2, 2007 tornadoes. DRCs can be housed within portable tents, as shown here.

After a disaster occurs, the recovery phase allows for the provision of assistance to survivors to assist them in quickly returning normalcy to their day-to-day lives. Assistance can be provided by a variety of local, state and federal partners. The Lake County Emergency Management Division’s role is to inform affected individuals and businesses through press releases, direct communication with community partners and community response teams of the programs and services that are available to assist them.  

A disaster event can result in Lake County receiving a Presidential disaster declaration, which is required for Federal assistance to reach an impacted area. Key federal partners in the provision of disaster assistance are the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration, among others.

There are two major categories of disaster assistance from a Presidential disaster declaration, Public Assistance and Individual Assistance. Factors in determining these declarations include the county’s population; the magnitude of the overall event within the county, state, or region; the number of individuals impacted; and / or other variables considered by our federal partners.

Public Assistance

A Public Assistance declaration is provided when the impact to public infrastructure, such as government buildings, roads, response agencies, etc. is significant enough to warrant Federal assistance. Entities serving the general public, such as government agencies, hospitals, etc. would apply for assistance under this program.

Individual Assistance

An Individual Assistance declaration is provided when damage to private property is significant enough to warrant Federal assistance. Typically, once an Individual Assistance declaration is made, individuals can register for assistance via telephone via 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA), in person at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), or online at http://www.fema.gov/. Private residences and other entities not falling under the realm of the public assistance program would apply for assistance under this program.

Disaster Recovery Center (DRC)

A DRC is a one-stop shop of local, state, and federal programs to assistance residents with any needs they may have as a result of a disaster. The location and number of Disaster Recovery Centers setup within the county depends on the location and severity of the event. Typically, they are located as close to the disaster survivors as possible.

Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery (LASER)

Recovery activities after an event can continue for a significant amount of time, often for years. Assistance for county residents that cannot be adequately fulfilled by public agencies is often sought from LASER, Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery, a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization located in Eustis. LASER is an extremely important partner in the recovery process. Serving both Lake and Sumter Counties, its case management team provides individualized attention to our residents recovering from disasters.

Recent Disasters

In recent years, Lake County has received several Federal disaster declarations. Notable declarations included:

  • DR-1785, Tropical Storm Fay, August 2008
  • DR-2765, Brevard Fire Complex, May 2008
  • DR-1679, Severe Storms and Tornadoes, February 2007
  • DR-1561, Hurricane Jeanne, September 2004
  • DR-1545, Hurricane Frances, September 2004
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