Dennis-Ravaged Residents Seek FEMA Assistance

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Residents who suffered property damage from Hurricane Dennis are now turning to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help.

There are guidelines for getting that federal help. You must first be living in a disaster area to qualify for federal aid.

That decision is made by the president, and in our area both Franklin and Wakulla Counties are already designated as such.

Officials at the state EOC say residents in counties designated as disaster areas should apply with FEMA by calling their 800 number. They say callers should have their Social Security number, personal information, family income and insurance information available when applying.

Alex Amparo, an Emergency Management volunteer, says, "That is an important milestone that they have to cross if they're looking for federal aid as far as federal aid is concerned."

In flood-ravaged St. Marks, aid from the American Red Cross is already helping victims.

Vickie Tindale says she lost everything in the hurricane's storm surge.

Vickie says, "I think it's wonderful, I don't know what I would have done without them. I have my grandchildren, and they're babies, and we absolutely need that help."

Amy Roach with Red Cross disaster relief says, "We're providing what we call a card; it's like a credit card; they can go to any merchant and purchase clothing, bed linens, food. We're also providing hotels in Tallahassee for them to stay up to five nights."

Red Cross disaster centers are busy, but state officials say FEMA will soon be on the scene in the most hard hit areas. Officials at the state EOC say FEMA disaster recovery centers will soon be set up in Wakulla and Franklin Counties so victims can meet one on one with FEMA representatives and apply for aid.