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  6. Florida Keys: Plan Ahead Before Returning Home to Be Safe

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In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.

Florida Keys: Plan Ahead Before Returning Home to Be Safe

Release Date: September 18, 2017

For Immediate Release
FEMA News Desk
Phone: 202-646-3272

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. As the reentry process for the Lower Keys begins, FEMA stresses the importance of following guidance from your local officials. Currently only residents, business owners, disaster workers, and supply vehicles with appropriate identification, or re-entry stickers, will be permitted to enter.

For those returning to homes or businesses on the Keys, Monroe County offers important public safety information on their website www.keysrecovery.org/.

  • Have identification with their current address ready to get through any checkpoints.
  • Be alert to emergency rescue crews, power crews, or other personnel who may block roads.
  • Expect to see numerous law enforcement officials throughout the area.
  • Be wary of displaced local wildlife such as snakes, insects, or alligators.

Prepare Before You Go

For those eligible to return, local officials stress the need to be prepared. The area still is without electricity, and there are challenging conditions for life safety, communications, and sewer access. Those who return should bring plenty of supplies. Consider all your potential needs for food, water, medication, mosquito repellent, and other important items.

Structural Safety

From the outside of your home, examine the building. If you see obvious damage, the building is off

the foundation, or you have doubts about its structural safety, do not enter. If the outside looks safe, enter the building slowly and carefully.

Register for Federal Assistance

In some cases, you may not be able to stay in your home because of the amount of damage. If so, consider staying with friends or family while you repair your home. Transitional sheltering may be available to you once you register for federal assistance with FEMA.

Apply for FEMA assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by telephone at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Due to high demand, lines may be busy. Try calling in the morning or evening when call volume may be low, and be patient.

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Last Updated: 02/05/2021
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