FEMA response 30 days after Hurricane Ian

New FEMA location at Beach Baptist Church on Fort Myers Beach. (CREDIT: WINK News)

WINK News has received several email complaints related to FEMA and people asking whether anyone’s getting help.

While some people are pleased, others remain confused and frustrated with what’s going on. And, 30-days after the storm, many people are even speechless.

Warren Sanders, a Southwest Florida local gave his perspective.

“It’s really hard to put into words…that’s why I don’t talk about it,” Sanders said.

Sanders lives in the Woodlands neighborhood in Island Park. After losing his home and everything inside, he applied for federal funds through FEMA and got what he planned for.

“FEMA has already donated to us. When we applied…they gave us as much as they could divide among thousands of people. So FEMA has helped immensely and I don’t expect anything more out of them than the money that they have given us,” Sanders said.

Mike Harenberg, who lives just down the street, had a similar experience. But, he said he’s especially thankful for the local volunteers who have stepped up.

“We did have some at church come and rip everything out of the house. Nine volunteers, they did it in about 5 hours so we definitely thank them and everybody has been helpful,” Harenberg said.

While some people are making progress, others are still waiting on their initial disaster relief funds. According to a FEMA spokesperson, more than 750,000 households have registered for FEMA relief but less than half, about 355,000 households have received some form of aid. The message from FEMA spokesperson Thomas McCool…

“Go to a disaster recovery center. At the disaster recovery center, we have individual assistance specialists who can call their case up and walk them through the timeline and the process,” McCool said. “They can tell the survivor what they need to do or how they need to appeal.”

Many of the questions WINK News has gotten relate to FEMA, whether it’s money or housing. You can continue to email us at TIPS@WINKNEWS.com and we’ll keep trying to get you answers.

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