Hurricane Michael – Florida Disaster Overview
The president issued a major disaster declaration, including Individual and Public Assistance, for Florida (DR-4399). Other helpful information for Hurricane Michael recovery in Florida can be found at fema.gov/hurricane-michael and at floridadisaster.org
Homeowners and renters in the following counties are eligible to apply for assistance under FEMA’s Individual and Households Program: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, Washington Counties. For more information about the types of assistance available through the Individual Assistance program, see the Individuals & Households Program Fact Sheet.
This includes assistance provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to businesses, nonprofits, homeowners and renters.
Individuals, including homeowners and renters, in the above designated counties who suffered loss or damages due to Hurricane Michael may register for assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by downloading the FEMA mobile app, or by calling 800-621-3362. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, 800-621-3362. TTY is 800-462-7585.
Disaster recovery centers offer in-person support to help Florida residents through the assistance process. DRCs are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. For a list of centers: floridadisaster.org/info/#drcs.
Businesses may apply directly to the SBA online using the Electronic Loan Application at the SBA’s website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov. For additional details on the locations of disaster recovery centers, business recovery centers, and information on the loan-application process, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
State of Florida Resources for Businesses
The State of Florida offers affected businesses a wide range of disaster assistance and information.
FloridaDisaster.biz, a partnership between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, is a new website developed to provide businesses, small and large, easy access to critical information before, during and after a disaster.
Visit FloridaDisaster.biz to fill out and submit a Business Damage Assessment Survey and/or get information on numerous disaster-recovery programs and resources, including the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, Microfinance and State Small Business Credit Initiative programs, the Disaster Dislocated Worker Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Labor Market information, and the Employ Florida Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal. Please see the attached fact sheet for more information about many of these programs.
Businesses that need assistance may also call the Florida Private Sector Hotline at 850-815-4925 or email ESF18@em.myflorida.com
DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to Florida residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Michael.
Workers can apply if they worked/were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work/self-employment and are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to their places of employment as a direct result of the disaster.
**The deadline for Florida residents to apply is Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.**
To file a DUA claim, go to www.FloridaJobs.org or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST to assist claimants. For DUA claims information, call
800-204-2418 and select the “speak to an agent” option.
FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM
The Bridge Loan Program supports businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael by providing short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that had physical or economic damage directly from Michael. The program bridges the gap between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer-term recovery resources, such as payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.
Applications must be completed by Friday, Dec. 7, 2018; apply at www.floridadisasterloan.org. For more information, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.
Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network
For affected businesses to receive on-site assistance with preparing disaster-loan applications and other post-disaster challenges, the Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with SBA, establishes temporary business recovery centers. Find BRC locations and hours at www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurricane-michael.
The Florida SBDC Network has also established a business-disaster hotline for questions at 850-898-3479 (toll-free at 866-737-7232). Email inquiries to Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.
Business Recovery Centers
In times of disaster, the Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, establishes business recovery centers in communities most adversely affected for businesses to receive on-site assistance with preparing disaster-loan applications and other post-disaster challenges. Businesses needing assistance may go to one of these centers or their local Florida SBDC office; find locations and hours at sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurricane-michael.
How to Help
Neighbors helping neighbors is a crucial step in the recovery process. Companies, organizations and volunteer groups looking to help can learn more at www.volunteerflorida.org.
Florida farmers and ranchers who suffered livestock mortality and/or damage to working lands due to Hurricane Michael are encouraged to sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Agricultural producers in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington counties are eligible to apply for assistance. The first sign-up period ends Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. A second sign-up period will end Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. This assistance does not apply to local governments or other entities.
Conservation practices available through EQIP can protect your land from erosion, support disaster recovery and repair, and help mitigate loss from future events. Visit a local NRCS office to sign up. Bonifay, Marianna, and Quincy field offices are open to serve producers in Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, and Liberty counties until the Blountstown Field Office is repaired.
Through its new website Farmers.gov, the USDA recently launched a disaster assistance discovery tool that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of disaster assistance programs. For more information on disaster assistance programs for farmers and ranchers available from USDA, visit farmers.gov/recover.
Disaster Legal Services
A legal-aid hotline is available for Hurricane Michael survivors in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney: The hotline operates through a partnership including The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and FEMA.
Caller (in English and Spanish) can leave a message to ask for storm-related legal assistance and to provide their name, telephone number, county of residence and a description of their legal problems.
Assistance through this hotline is available to qualified Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties. Free legal help can involve:
- Securing FEMA and other benefits.
- Making life, medical and property-insurance claims.
- Dealing with home-repair contractors.
- Replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the hurricane.
- Helping with consumer-protection matters, remedies and procedures.
- Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems or landlord/tenant issues.
Callers can leave a message on the hotline at any time. Calls will be returned within two business days between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Disaster Distress Helpline assists survivors coping with stress. To connect with a trained crisis counselor, call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (for Spanish, text Hablanos to 66746).