TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) – Tropical Storm Debby’s victims in Florida need your help.

State officials are urging private citizens to help by donating cash to established relief organizations.

In a release Thursday from the state’s emergency response team, Gov. Rick Scott and emergency operations director Bryan Koon said financial gifts are the best way to provide immediate help.

While residents in 11 counties are going to receive federal disaster unemployment assistance to aid folks out of work due to Tropical Storm Debby, more help is needed.

Anyone wanting to help should call 1-800-FL-HELP1 (1-800-354-3571) or visit the Volunteer Florida donations page. You may also contact your county’s South Florida volunteer center.

Florida emergency management officials have already declared 11 Florida counties as disaster areas that are eligible for federal assistance. That assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

Other federal programs will help individuals and business owners recover from the flooding that resulted from the storm.

Disaster officials say Debby is responsible for eight deaths, and the storm continues to affect North Florida with a mosquito infestation.

Track tropical weather this season by visiting our Tropical Weather Section. The section contains maps, storm tracks and an interactive planner.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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