Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

FEMA Approves Polk County Request for Individual Assistance

Sep 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency amended its Major Disaster Declaration for Florida to include Polk County’s Individual Assistance-designation request. The IA designation will enable Polk County residents and business owners to apply for grants that help cover the costs of temporary housing and home repairs, as well as other programs that can aid in recovery from the effects of Hurricane Irma.

“Since Irma hit my district, I have been in constant contact with officials at every level of government to get my constituents the aid that they need,” Rooney said. “The storm had a dramatic impact on all nine counties in my district and I am going to keep working with FEMA and county officials to make sure that every county I represent is approved for Individual Assistance. Local and state officials have been working non-stop alongside first responders and volunteers to rebuild their communities. As county emergency management officials prepare to submit their initial damage assessments, I am committed to helping them see the process through, particularly as they experience additional challenges due to sustained power and fuel outages.”  

In order for counties to receive an Individual Assistance designation from FEMA, the Governor must first submit an Individual Assistance declaration on behalf of each affected county to FEMA. County officials must then submit a preliminary damage assessment to the Florida Division of Emergency Management Recovery, which then submits the request on behalf of the county to FEMA for the agency’s final approval. Governor Rick Scott has issued IA declarations for all 67 counties in Florida and, as the state receives completed damage assessments from each county, FEMA will continue to process and approve applications on a rolling basis.

To learn more about the factors FEMA will consider when making recommendations to the President for an Individual Assistance designation, please visit the hurricane information center on my website.