FEMA teams assessing Hurricane Matthew damage

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- State officials say teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are starting to assess damage caused by Hurricane Matthew across northeast Florida.

FEMA crews hit the ground Tuesday to pinpoint damage caused by the storm in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns and Flagler counties.  The mission is to help identify areas where Preliminary Damage Assessment teams will be needed. Their goal is to further document the extent of hurricane damage.

According to FEMA spokesperson John Mills, many people in our region have their power back on, and many grocery stores and gas stations that were impacted by the hurricane are now open.  Mills said FEMA knows people are hurting from the hurricane, and he offered important information for people affected by the storm.

“People should call 211 if they have immediate needs," he said. "They should definitely contact their insurance provider and file claims."

Mills also recommended documenting damage.  For example, he suggests saving receipts for expenses related to Hurricane Matthew.

"If you have contractor estimates, hold onto those too," he explained.

Officials say that while the teams will visit, inspect and document damage, they won't be visiting every home or business.

They say residents and businesses don't have to wait to find out if federal assistance is available to begin cleanup. They recommend keeping repair receipts and document your damage.

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