Irma victims speak directly with FEMA oficials

Posted at 11:20 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 08:22:24-04

LEE COUNTY, FLA — If you are still on the lookout for Irma Relief, a Disaster Recover Center in Fort Myers is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Emergent Technologies Institute over on Innovation Lane.

Friday night people in Bonita Springs were given an opportunity to speak with FEMA officials directly. The First Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs saw hundreds of people take advantage of speaking with FEMA representatives directly.

Many people who showed up still have their homes under water.

“Insurance came out today,” said Lorie Malone, “It’s a total loss, I have no home, I have no clothes, and I have nothing,” she said as she waited to get her questions answered.

Malone was just one of may people who waited to speak with FEMA representatives. She applied for help from FEMA the day after Irma hit, but spent five hours on hold when she called for questions about her status.

“I just don’t have a lot of faith in anything right now,” said Malone. “Right now, we are out on the street,” she said.

Her husband and elderly mother lost everything like many others after the flood waters came through.

“I want housing and so do a lot of other people,” said Malone. “I want to be taken care of,” she said after she brought up concerns about her hotel vouchers.

FEMA officials tried their best to make sure people like Malone did not leave without they help they need.

“We want to hear from people,” said Tim Hall, a FEMA spokesperson. “We are begging people to register because we can answer your questions. We can help you and get you where you need to be,” she added.

FEMA brought in speakers from different departments to narrow down the different kinds of help they offer for disaster survivors. The purpose is to help applicants figure out which program would best help their specific needs.

“They still have so many questions, I mean a computer isn’t going to talk to you and give you intricate details,” said Hall. “It’s so much better to come to these public meetings and to someone from FEMA,” he added.

The FEMA team wanted to show compassion because they understand the lives of the people they helped will never be the same.

“We are going to stay here until the last person is helped,” said Hall.

FEMA officials told 4 In Your Corner the sooner you register, the better. You can apply online at or you can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).