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Gov. DeSantis announces measures to expedite debris removal, housing

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Posted at 11:22 AM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 18:33:25-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged on Wednesday to "cut through the red tape" associated with Hurricane Ian-related debris removal, as well as temporary and permanent rehousing issues.

The governor announced an agreement between the state and the Federal Emergency Management Administration to expedite debris removal on private and commercial properties. FEMA will be utilizing satellite imagery and other new technologies for quicker damage assessment on structures.

This eliminates the need for a door-to-door assessment, the governor said, and allows for quicker determinations for FEMA program eligibility.

DeSantis also addressed the issue of strewn vessel recovery. He said a state-level debris-clearing program has been created. People can report displaced, titled property (vehicles, vessels, etc.) at and request its removal.

FEMA Direct Temporary Housing has also been approved for those whose main residences have been deemed uninhabitable. This will provide RVs and related temporary housing for up to 18 months. Those who have already registered for FEMA assistance will not need to reapply; they will be contacted if deemed eligible.

Florida Department of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said approximately 700,000 persons have applied for individual FEMA assistance.