How FEMA is assisting Hurricane Idalia survivors in Madison

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Sep 06, 2023
  • FEMA crews arrived in Madison Tuesday to set up a Disaster Relief Center to assist people in getting federal aid.
  • People impacted by the storm waited in line to apply for the help.
  • Centers are set up in Hamilton, Lafayette and Dixie Counties as well.


People are showing up in numbers to get help from FEMA after Hurricane Idalia.

People like Stephanie Sampson showed up today to see if they can get help for their families.

Stephanie Sampson is not a stranger to hurricanes, but she said Idalia was different.

"This is the most horrific storm I've seen and the most damage being that I grew up here," she said.

She stayed in Madison as Hurricane Idalia made landfall and saw damage to her home and her mother's home.

"I've never seen anything like it but I just thank god that we have people that are willing to help us," Sampson said.

Some of those people: FEMA workers helping neighbors in Madison apply for federal help.

Crews with the agency arrived in Madison Tuesday to spread the word about assistance available to survivors of the storm and how to receive it.

Help FEMA is giving includes money for shelter expenses, basic home repairs and other essential disaster-related needs for renters and homeowners.

Troy York with FEMA said getting the word out about the help is the key.

"That's why we have those folks walking around to get to folks that couldn't get in as quickly as possible because you have to be registered for the assistance to come forward," York said.

Others getting that help: Willie Morgan.

He is a homeless veteran living in a shed on a friend's property.

He had a tree crash through the shed and wants some help getting back on his feet.

"I'm just completely without anything. That's the truth," York said. "I'm kinda nervous, kind of scared."

Sampson said helpers like York are what is keeping her hope alive.

"I am going to count all my blessings because I am alive and put one foot in front of the other and keep on going," Sampson said.

FEMA is not the only group providing help in Madison off of Base Street. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is also replacing drivers licenses if they lost those during Hurricane Idalia.