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In response to Hurricane Irma, a Disaster Recovery Center has been established at the UF/IFAS Agricultural Center, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa. It will operate daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., including the weekend.

One of just 8 sites across the state, the Center will house representatives from FEMA, the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof program, the State of Florida’s disaster food stamp program (DSNAP), the Small Business Administration, 2-1-1 Brevard, CareerSource Brevard’s disaster unemployment program, and United Way.

FEMA representatives will provide information about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance.

Operation Blue Roof is a program for homeowners who have damage to their roofs. The program sends licensed contractors out to homes to cover the damage with fiber-reinforced plastic sheeting (tarp) until homeowners can arrange repairs. It allows residents to stay in their homes, instead of paying for temporary housing or hotels, and protects property while homeowners recover from the storm. A Right-Of-Entry form must be signed by the property owner to initiate this program.

Disaster food stamps provide short-term food assistance benefits to families who do not already receive food stamps but now qualify due to disaster-related expenses or loss of income.

The Small Business Administration offers federal low-interest disaster loans to businesses, homeowners and renters to repair/replace property damaged in a disaster.

2-1-1 Brevard will provide outreach related to community resources and emotional support through Project HOPE (Helping Our People in Emergencies), the State of Florida program for delivery of crisis counseling services in response to specific disaster events.

CareerSource Brevard will be providing information on how to apply for disaster unemployment benefits, services available at career centers, disaster recovery jobs, and employment assistance.

United Way will assist with registration for Crisis Cleanup to request volunteer assistance with debris cleanup and tarping, and will also pre-screen qualified, vulnerable residents for long-term recovery assistance.

There is no charge for any of the services.

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