Polk County added to FEMA list, here's step-by-step instructions

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While President Trump's September 10 Major Disaster Declaration included all 67 Florida counties on the list for Public Assistance, only nine counties were eligible for federal assistance to individuals and households.

Both those seeking individual assistance and those seeking business loans should document and photograph all storm-related damage to include in their applications.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma that began on September 4, 2017. There are two ways to start that application: either on their website or download the FEMA app. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m.to 11 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice. Note that, by law, FEMA assistance can not cover expenses already paid for by your insurance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBAs secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Pasco, Polk, and Volusia in Florida.

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The filing deadline to applications covering property damage is November 9.

Disaster recovery centers assist victims and other businesses, who are included in the Texas federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey.

Pinellas County citizens are encouraged to get updates on Irma recovery efforts by visiting www.pinellascounty.org and following county social media accounts; search hashtag #PinellasIrma.