FEMA News: Disaster Recovery Center Transitioning to Community Recovery Center

TALLAHASSEE, FL (STL.News) – The State/FEMA disaster recovery center in Panama City will close at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16. At 9 a.m. Monday, March 18, a Community Recovery Center will open in the same location, the Bay County Public Library.

The purpose of the Community Recovery Center is to encourage and support a localized, community-based approach to disaster recovery.  The center will promote the ability of the Bay County community to tailor recovery programs, resources and services to its population’s unmet needs.

Representatives from local and volunteer agencies will be available at the center to provide assistance with housing repairs, commodities and clothing, rental resources, FEMA case review,
emotional and spiritual wellness services and legal services.

Representatives from federal programs can answer questions about FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program and U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans.

At the community recovery center, visitors can get help in three simple steps:

  1. Meet a case worker or counselor from a local organization who will listen to needs and answer questions.
  2. Connect with the agencies and volunteer organizations.
  3. Take ownership of your recovery process.

With the transition to the Community Recovery Center, Bay County has commitment to date for participation from the following agencies and will work on additional requests as community needs
are identified: Rebuild Bay County Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO); Doorways of NW Florida; Catholic Charities; Project Hope; Habitat for Humanity; North Florida Legal; Goodwill; and United Methodist Committee on Relief.

The library is located at 898 West 11th St., Panama City, FL 32401. The Community Recovery Center’s hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.  The site, which has served as a Disaster Recovery Center since Oct. 27, has assisted 17,315 visitors through March 13.

Survivors with questions about FEMA assistance also can visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY) anytime from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.