Seminole County Emergency Management helps with home repairs, other unmet needs

County partners with community and faith-based groups to help residents hit by Hurricane Ian

If you need assistance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has not been able to help your family yet, there are other options.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – If you need assistance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has not been able to help your family yet, there are other options.

Seminole County Emergency Management said its partners are getting boots on the ground in surrounding communities.

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Steven Lerner, planning manager for Seminole County Emergency Management, said they can step in when other agencies won’t.

“There’s help out there that can help them beyond their normal means of insurance or FEMA assistance” Lerner said.

The county reached out to News 6 reporter Treasure Roberts after seeing a previous report last week involving a senior couple who needed help putting a tarp on their roof.

Eva Gibson of Casselberry said a hole formed in her roof after strong winds and rain ripped through her neighborhood.

She went to a FEMA assistance center asking for help but said she was told FEMA could not get boots on the ground in that area at that time.

“I wish we knew someone that can help us, but we came here for that reason,” Gibson said.

Seminole County wanted to step in.

“There are a ton of groups out there that are prepared to help clients and residents that have been impacted,” Lerner said.

The county is partnering with multiple community and faith-based organizations to help impacted residents with debris removal, home repairs, putting tarps on roofs and replacing dry wall.

“It makes sense to make a partnership between the two of us with their resources and our ability to meet the needs of people,” Norm Dubois, lead pastor at East Coast Believers Church, said.

Dubois is the pastor at the church’s Oviedo location. He said hundreds of church members have shown up for the community and plan to continue doing so.

“When you’ve lost everything you’ve owned, it seems like you’re all alone, and we just wanted to be present. We wanted to be available,” Dubois said.

Nearly 250 requests for assistance have been made through the county and because of volunteer efforts 225 of those have been completed to date.

If you live in Seminole County and still need help, call the emergency management office at 407-665-000.

Representatives will try to pair you with volunteers. The county is also looking for more partners who can help residents return to normalcy.

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About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.