Live on a boat? You may qualify for FEMA assistance after Hurricane Ian

Survivors in one of the 26 designated counties can apply

ORLANDO, Fla. – If you live on a boat – and it was your primary residence before and during Hurricane Ian – and sustained hurricane damage, you may qualify for federal assistance, FEMA recently announced.

FEMA said survivors living in one of the 26 designated counties for federal assistance are encouraged to apply. The Central Florida designated counties are Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia.

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The other counties in Florida that qualify are Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota, and St. Johns.

Residents can start their application at, by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362, FEMA said. The line is open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The federal agency asked those who apply to be ready to provide the physical and complete address of the dock or marina and the slip or mooring number, if the boat was not located on private property.

FEMA said residents cannot use a P.O. Box as the primary address, but can use it as a mailing address.

To find the closest Disaster Recovery Centers, visit the DRC locator or, or text DRC along with your ZIP code to 43362.

FEMA also reminded all Florida residents in affected counties they still have DRC’s open for people to meet face-to-face to find out the status of their case, update their case or find out if they are available for Temporary Housing Assistance or other programs that have been added to the declaration.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.