Congresswoman Val Demings visited Southwest Florida to oversee FEMA’s progress


Congresswoman Val Demings is on a mission to see what FEMA is doing to help people in Fort Myers.

Demings chairs the congressional subcommittee that has direct oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Congressman Demings says she’s spending a full day in Southwest Florida, visiting disaster recovery centers, as well as some of the hard-hit areas with the US Coast Guard.

WINK News was not invited to attend, but Demings’ team provided pictures of the site visits. In short, she’s getting a taste of what Southwest Florida has been living through for two weeks.

“There’s nothing like being on the ground with the people who have been impacted and the people who are providing the service. To hear with my own ears and to see with my own eyes,” said Demings.

The congresswoman is in Southwest Florida as part of an oversight mission.

“Our job on the committee is to provide the oversight, talk to FEMA about where they are, but also talk to the community about what the needs are, and bridge the gap between the two, so FEMA will have the resources, whether that’s funding, or other support to meet the needs of the people,” Demings said.

WINK News Investigative Reporter Celine McAurther asked Demings how long it would take for things to get done after she got back to Washington.

“We want to get it done as soon as possible,” said Demings.

While she’s not offering specifics, she says she’s confident FEMA will figure out the housing issue.

“I was glad to hear them talk about the lack of housing and the unbelievable need for housing in this community. And I do believe, as they work out the logistics, that they’ll be able to get it done,” Demings said.

WINK News viewers reached out asking about FEMA trailers as an option for those of you with nowhere to go. So WINK News posed that question to the agency.

“That’s a last resort. That is a last resort because we try to get people closer to their property, finding a place to get closer to their property, and many things are on the table. We’re looking at all options,” said a representative for FEMA.

FEMA says you can’t get any housing if you don’t register for help online or at a disaster recovery center.

WINK News asked if they could tell us, on average, how long this process could take. They said they didn’t have an answer.

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