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FEMA opens DRC in Dunbar community months after Ian

Photos: FEMA supplies handed out in Fort Myers
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 05:27:30-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A new disaster recovery center opened in the Dunbar community, a needed resource causing some to travel outside their area to get help.

The new location is at Mt. Olive AME Church, it is located on Orange Street.

"I heard it on the news this morning that they were going to be here," said Janie McCarty a Lehigh Acres resident.

McCarty said after watching a FOX 4 morning report about the new disaster site opening, she took it as a sign to go get help.

"I've been here for about an hour and a half, and I've been getting so much information," McCarty said.

Information like flood insurance, and the correct steps to start the process of filing for her to start her repairs for her home.

“It was wonderful, at first I thought it was going to be like 'omg I hate to go', but it was great," McCarty said.

This new DRC opened months after Ian and after the FEMA January 12th, the online application deadline expired. So why did FEMA decide to open a site in the community now?

“Remember when we open up the DRC we are working for the needs of survivors. As you may know registration online just closed on January 12th," said Jassiel Olivero, a specialist with FEMA.

Olivero added that with online registration closed, survivors can use the site to drop off documents and get answers to any lingering questions.

“If there is anyone that misses the deadline, to submit the application for your physical damages, please don't hesitate to go to the Mt. Olive church, it's not too late," said Tauheedah Mateen, SBA Public Affairs Specialist. "We can pull up your application if you had a denial.”

Olivero said the site will be open as long as the community needs it. The hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.