EUSTIS — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, will open a disaster recovery center (DRC) to assist Lake County residents and businesses affected by Tropical Storm Fay on Friday, Sept. 19, from 12 to 6 p.m. at the Lake County Fairgrounds, located at 2101 County Road 452 in Eustis. Beginning Saturday, Sept. 20, the DRC will operate daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., until further notice.
The DRC will be located in the Fairgrounds’ Ashford Building. Signs will be placed on the Fairgrounds to guide individuals to the building and designated parking areas. The DRC will be staffed with disaster recovery specialists, as well as representatives from voluntary agencies. Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery, Lake County’s not-for-profit disaster recovery organization, will also be on site to help individuals through the process of applying for disaster assistance.
Lake County residents who suffered damage or loss as a result of Tropical Storm Fay can apply for individual assistance through FEMA by calling (800) 621-3362 or by logging on to www.fema.gov (The deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired may call TTY 800-462-7585 to apply). The toll-free telephone numbers operate 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily, until further notice.
Residents are required to have the following information for the application process: a telephone number, Social Security number, current mailing address, address of damaged property, brief description of damages and insurance information (if the applicant has insurance).
At a DRC, individuals who have already registered can have disaster recovery specialists check on their case, answer questions about their claim or request information FEMA needs to process their claim. Staff can also supply contacts for other programs that may be helpful.
The Lake County Department of Community Services, Public Transportation Division, is available to arrange transportation to the DRC for residents that need assistance. To schedule a trip, call (352) 326-2278. The office hours for transportation services are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Trips will take place during normal business hours.
For more information about disaster preparedness, call the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, at (352) 343-9420.