WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the catastrophic devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for nine Florida counties.

The declaration will allow individuals, businesses and localities in the hardest hit areas to seek federal funding to recover.

What You Need To Know

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the entire Florida congressional delegation had requested the declaration. It follows the pre-disaster emergency declaration the president signed before the storm made landfall. 

"Both of them work in tandem," said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. "The first is to get ready to make sure resources are poised that local communities and the state has that flexibility to spend funds in preparation for a major disaster. But, the disaster declaration from the president frees up additional resources for recovery and relief, and we're going to need it."

Funding from the major disaster declaration will be available for people in the nine counties "who​ have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs." 

"The counties include Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota," said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. "They can now register for assistance to begin their recovery process." 

Some of the assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses.

"Folks in Florida who have destroyed or damaged homes, you don't have enough insurance, it means the federal government will provide individual assistance of $37,900 for home repairs, another $37,900 for lost property, everything from an automobile to a lost wedding ring," Biden said Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Washington headquarters. 

People living in the affected counties can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov​, using the FEMA mobile app, or by calling 800-621-3362.

The declaration also includes public assistance for localities for aid including debris removal, and work to repair broken infrastructure and utilities. ​