By Ted Scouten

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Time is running out to apply for assistance after Hurricane Irma. People have just over three weeks to ask FEMA for help.

“My home was just a little water damage,” explained Larry Thomas. “We had some water coming through the roof. A couple shingles missing and things of that nature.”

Thomas is checking on the status of his FEMA claim at county hall. Monday is the last day for the FEMA mobile registration center he visited. Others are still open around the county.

“I just want to get reimbursed for the damage,” he said. “I’m not trying to get anything, just reimbursement for what’s rightfully mine as a U.S. citizen.”

Clay Henry is helping those who are applying for assistance. He said even if you’re not sure you need FEMA’s help, you should still register.

“Even if you don’t think you qualify, get registered,” he said, “because a lot of people may run into an unsafe situation with mold in their home and maybe they don’t recognize it now, but if you’re not registered we may not be able to help you.”

Anjeenie Edwards hopes she’ll have luck.

“I lost my job for about a week and I lost food,” she said.

Over the weekend, she tried getting help from the state run Food for Florida Program.  Edwards was among the tens of thousands who crowded into local parks for help.

“There was so much trouble getting in line, people was just falling apart, some women just fainting away, falling in front of me,” she said. “They shut everything down so we was locked out, we didn’t have any chance.”

Several parks in Miami-Dade and Broward closed early Saturday because of the crush of people. In Broward, they did not reopen Sunday because of safety concerns.

In all, nearly 142,000 households applied for help in Miami-Dade. In Broward, the number was 41,000 for Thursday and Friday.

The program will open up again. Next time, Miami-Dade is hoping for better communication with the state to avert the problems they ran into over the weekend.

“More than likely you’re going to see more police presence, more fire rescue personnel and also a little more organization,” said Miami-Dade Director of Communications Michael Hernandez.

There is still not date selected for the additional Food for Florida Program.  You can check online for the latest at the Department of Children and Families’ website.

These are the locations to register with FEMA:

Broward County:

Atrium West

7771 W Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33351

Palm Beach County:

Carolyn Sims Center

225 NW 12th Ave, Boynton Beach, FL  33435

Miami-Dade County:

Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus Building K

11011 SW 104th St, Miami, FL  33176

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Homestead Regional Library

700 N Homestead Blvd, Homestead, FL 33030

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Westland Gardens Park

13501 NW 107th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33018

Monroe County:

Islamorada Fire Station/2nd Floor

81850 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL  33036

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Marathon Park

3911 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050

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Big Pine Community Park

31009 Atlantis Dr, Big Pine Key, FL  33043

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Key West Fire Station #2

616 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33435

These Disaster Recovery Centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

However, looking to the future, they will only remain open for a limited amount of time.

If you’d like to register for FEMA assistance, visit FEMA’s website.

Ted Scouten

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