SLC Disaster Assistance Center closes: Where you can still get help

FEMA disaster assistance sign up. (WPEC)

Monday was the last day of the Disaster Assistance Center in St. Lucie County.

The DRC opened last Friday morning and closed Monday at 8 p.m., serving hundreds of people seeking help from FEMA after Hurricane Irma.

As of Sunday, over two million people registered for FEMA assistance and more than $726 million have been given out to help Floridians recover.

More money is rolling out and more registrations are coming in everyday.

After the DRC closes at the Fenn Center in Fort Pierce, the closest DRC for people on the Treasure Coast will be Palm Beach County.

Nikki Gaskins, the Media Relations Specialist for FEMA, recommends calling or checking online for help.

“We’re going to help you get back to the road to recovery,” she said.

One person who needed help Monday was Walter Duroscher, who lives in Port St. Lucie.

“We filed a claim for a generator to run medical equipment,” he said. “We filed it with the numbers they gave us and we never got a response as to whether they received it.”

That’s why Duroscher went to the DRC, but he wasn’t there long.

"We spent about two hours here already and it looked like it was going to be another three hours before we even got to talk to someone, so we decided we're probably not going to get any results here today.”

Instead, he left and tried online.

Duroscher was just one of hundreds of clients who came in the four day period. Others said they were frustrated they were declined for help.

“That is not the end all be all. That is not the final say,” Gaskins said, adding that if you get turned down, you have 60 days to appeal. “Often times, FEMA still needs additional information. If that's the case, read the letter carefully and find out what additional information is needed."

She said one important piece of information is to file with your insurance company before coming to FEMA for help.

“By law FEMA is not going to duplicate payments," Gaskins said. "When you apply for federal assistance through FEMA, we're going to need to know what your insurance is going to cover."

Those who need help can call 1-800-621-FEMA or go online.

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