Veronica Nash woke up to see a hole in her ceiling.
As Hurricane Irma struck Lamplighter Mobile Homes, a massive tree branch crashed into the 68-year-old resident’s bedroom while she was sleeping.
“A friend of mine said you better come out of there, you know, and by the time I got to the door the thing (branch) fell in,” Nash said.
Fortunately for Nash and her neighbors, as of Thursday, Alachua County is now on the list for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) individual assistance.
Residents of Lamplighter who sustained damage from Hurricane Irma can now apply for financial help to repair their homes.
Lamplighter property manager, Kristine Brown, applied for FEMA assistance prior to Thursday, but she received an email the following day from FEMA saying Alachua County did not qualify as a disaster area.
“There’s damage to their homes, and they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to pay for it,” Brown said. “You know you’ve got roof damage, you’ll have siding damage, you’ve got trees down.”
Nash’s bed is soaked and the hole continues to cave in, so she is currently staying with a relative due to her asthma problems. She too applied to FEMA before the county was eligible for individual assistance.
“I’m going to reapply, as soon as y’all leave, I’m going to find a computer where I can reapply over again I’m telling you,” Nash said. “Believe that.”
Lamplighter residents did not lose power during the hurricane, but many residents did not have internet access or gas. Approximately 300 to 500 residents live in the mobile home park on the northeast side of Gainesville, across from the Gainesville Regional Airport.
How to apply for FEMA assistance:
- People can apply at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or visit their local Disaster Recovery Center. To find their local DRC, individuals can download the FEMA mobile app.
- Individuals should have a copy of all their important financial documents in a water-proof bag.
- Have cash on hand in case credit-card machines or ATMs are down.
- Set up annual meetings with their insurance company or individual adjuster to ensure that insurance can cover damages
- Keep a history of conversations with your insurance company
- Take pictures of house before and after repairs are made for insurance claims
Individuals applicants should have:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged home or apartment
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where you can receive mail
- Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds