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INSIDE LOOK: FEMA offers neighbors one-on-one help at mobile Disaster Recovery Centers

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 02, 2024
  • FEMA is setting up mobile Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) across Leon County throughout July.
  • Specialists offer neighbors one-on-one help with FEMA applications, denials, appeals and mitigation.
  • Keep reading to find out whether a DRC is coming to a location near you.
  • Watch the video to hear why neighbors say this kind of help is clearing up application confusion.


FEMA is on the road, setting up mobile Disaster Recovery Centers across Leon County, helping people apply for financial assistance.

Mandy McNatt, Manager at FEMA Disaster Recovery Center - "I want to make sure that everyone who was affected by the disaster gets the help that they need."

I'm Kenya Cardonne, your Southeast Tallahassee neighborhood reporter.

I'm speaking with the experts at the Woodville center, to understand what kind of help is still available for neighbors recovering from the May 10th tornadoes.

Dave Buczynski, Neighbor - "The paperwork is just a mess.. when you go online, it's just a mess."

A stress neighbors across Leon County have been dealing with as they apply for financial assistance from FEMA.

McNatt - "And that's where our specialists come in."

Over the course of July, access to this kind of help will increase, thanks to mobile Disaster Recovery Centers making their way across the county.

I visited the FEMA specialists stationed at the Woodville Library Branch and Community Center.

McNatt - "We're friendly and we are all here to help."

They'll be here for the week from 8 A.M. to 7 P.M. helping people apply for financial assistance, update their applications and understand denials and appeals.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has also set up shop to help neighbors apply for low-interest disaster relief loans.

McNatt - "And then we also have FEMA mitigation here. They will help you and provide you with information to rebuild your home back better."

Buczynski - "You go to fill the paperwork out, and it's confusing!"

I spoke with a Woodville neighbor of 40 years who was having trouble with his application and receiving communication regarding the next steps.

He tells me coming here helped clear up lots of confusion.

Buczynski - "They're very helpful. He helped me straighten out my application, and I should be hearing something."

FEMA specialists tell me a common situation for neighbors right now is that they're receiving denial letters.

However, it doesn't mean that help from FEMA is completely out of the picture.

McNatt - "If they receive a letter and they're not understanding what that letter means, by all means come and see us. Let us explain that letter because it could simply be that we need more information, such as their insurance documents."

Neighbors I spoke with today tell me they hope others in the community will take advantage of these centers as well.

Buczynski - "It's a lot easier, I mean it's only a couple miles from the house. You can get down here and talk to somebody and they can set you straight on everything."

This Woodville center will be closed for Fourth of July, but otherwise will be open every day until Friday, July 5th.

Take a look at FEMA's full route schedule below:

  • Woodville Library Branch/Community Center:
    • 8000 Old Woodville Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32305
    • Monday, July 1 to Friday, July 5, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Apalachee Regional Park Operations Room:
    • 7550 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32311
    • Sunday, July 7 to Sunday, July 14, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fort Braden Community Center:
    • 16387 Blountstown Highway, Tallahassee, FL 32310
    • Monday, July 15 to Friday, July 19, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Currently open fixed site:

  • Leon County: LeRoy Collins Leon County Library:
    • 200 West Park Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301
    • Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Sunday.

In Southeast Tallahassee, Kenya Cardonne, ABC 27