Residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can follow up on the status of their FEMA claims by visiting the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center located inside The Regent at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview.

You’re never too far removed from hurricane season in Florida and as most residents enjoy a seasonal respite after the storms of 2022, some in Hillsborough County are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which crossed the Sunshine State in September 2022.

While the deadline to apply for financial aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for damage from Hurricane Ian has passed, the agency is still assisting residents and businesses who have submitted claims and need to follow up to complete processing.

To facilitate the process, FEMA is continuing to operate disaster recovery centers to support impacted residents who have requested assistance such as funding for temporary lodging, rent or basic repairs to damaged homes. The disaster recovery center (DRC) located in Hillsborough County is open six days a week at The Regent in Riverview.

Residents who filed claims with FEMA should have received a letter indicating approval status and how any authorized funding can be spent.

The agency is encouraging applicants who need to follow up with such things as submitting documents to do so at a DRC to facilitate the approval process.

Besides following up on claims, the Hillsborough County DRC has information on receiving recovery support from the Small Business Administration, as well as useful tips on safely cleaning mold, dealing with contractors and preparing for future storms. According to the DRC’s on-site mitigation advisor David Morgan, anyone recovering from Hurricane Ian damage needs to be thinking ahead.

“Build back stronger for the next one,” he said.

Recipients of rental assistance grants from FEMA who cannot return to their primary residence may be eligible for continued temporary housing assistance, and visiting a DRC can be the first step in maintaining the support. Also, even though the initial deadline to file a claim with FEMA has passed, officials said consideration will be given to late applications where circumstances warrant it.

“During disasters, FEMA will continue working with individuals and, or families on a case-by-case basis,” La-Tanga Hopes, media relations specialist with FEMA, wrote in an email.

The Hillsborough County DRC is located at The Regent at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview and is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No appointment is required. You can also get assistance by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 or visiting

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Brad Stager
Avian-named publications have figured prominently in Brad Stager's career. Besides writing for the Osprey Observer, he started out writing sports articles for the Seahawk, a weekly newspaper serving the military community aboard Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. That position followed a career documenting life in the Fleet, from the Straits of Magellan to the North Arabian Sea, as a Navy Photographer's Mate. Since settling in the Tampa Bay area, Brad has produced a variety of written, visual and aural content for clients ranging from corporate broadcasters to small businesses.