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FEMA Approves $2.6M For Pinellas Schools Hurricane Irma Shelter Expenses

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Public schools across Florida opened their doors to residents last year during Hurricane Irma evacuations.

Pinellas County Schools were recently reimbursed more than $2.6 million by the federal governrment for the cost of food, fuel, staff, custodial supplies and floor coverings.

Alberto Pillot, spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said it's hard to predict how long it'll take to finish paying out all the money for their Public Assistance program.

"They have more than 1,000 government entities and nonprofits across Florida that are seeking that public assistance,” Pillot said.

FEMA’s Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program with FEMA reimbursing applicants no less than 75 percent of eligible costs and the remaining covered by a nonfederal source. FEMA approved 100 percent of the total costs of this project. The federal portion is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to the agencies, local governments and nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. 

The Public Assistance program is available in all 67 Florida counties through the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Irma.

In the past, many Florida counties and school boards applied for FEMA reimbursements as separate recipients.

Now, counties must reimburse school districts, then ask FEMA for the money.

Copyright 2018 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.
Daylina Miller
Daylina Miller, multimedia reporter for Health News Florida, was hired to help further expand health coverage statewide.