Assistance for Victims of Hurricane Michael

Our thoughts & prayers continue for those affected by Hurricane Michael, the most powerful storm to strike the Florida Panhandle in over 150 years. Here’s a list of OPEN SHELTERS (just in Florida).

As of October 15, seven Florida school districts remain “closed until further notice,” per Governor Rick Scott. Eleven counties in Florida alone are now eligible for FEMA individual assistance. Here’s the FLORIDA UPDATES issued by the governor’s office as of October 15, 2018.

Here’s VIDEO of Samaritan’s Purse volunteer efforts and IMAGES of the devastation. They are still in need of volunteers and donations.

Per Florida’s officials:

(Remember to use the back arrow to the left of your browser to return to this page after visiting the below websites).

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
If you need emergency help call 9-1-1.

FEMA ASSISTANCE

Apply for FEMA assistance here or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585. To find the nearest FEMA Disaster Recovery Center click here.  They can offer in-person assistance with storm related questions. For a list of centers in your area visit: https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/ DRCLocator or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585.

Be aware of SCAMS: Federal and state workers never ask for or accept money, and always carry identification badges. There is no fee required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, or the State of Florida. If you suspect fraud call FEMA’s Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or the Florida Attorney General fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226.

BASIC SUPPLIES
If you need supplies, such as food, water, or ice, please contact your county emergency management. They can be reached in Tallahassee at (850) 815-4001 for the location of the nearest distribution center. They can also provide up-to-date information about shelters and local distribution centers for food and supplies.

HELP FOR SENIORS
If you know of a senior who needs assistance call the Florida Department of Elder Affairs hotline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337). To report elder abuse, call 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

HELP FOR VETERANS
Veterans in need of assistance or in need of their medication can contact the Veteran Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 or go to any VA medical facility for assistance.

MENTAL HEALTH
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress please call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained counselor. You may also visit here for more information about managing stress after a disaster and talking with children about traumatic events.

DIALYSIS
To find a dialysis center in your area visit here. Patients of DaVita Dialysis may contact 1-800-400-8331 to find the nearest Dialysis Center.

MORTGAGE RELIEF
To find out if you qualify for temporary mortgage relief, visit the Freddie Mac website, the Fannie Mae website or by phone at 1-800-2FANNIE (800-232-6643). To contact the Federal Housing Finance Agency visit this website.

You may also contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to find out if you qualify for any hurricane related help with your mortgage or mortgage insurance.  Click here to contact HUD about disaster assistance.

TAX RELIEF
Taxpayers in affected areas may be eligible for tax relief from the IRS. Visit this website to learn more about IRS assistance.

DISASTER RECOVERY LOANS
The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing various disaster loans to qualifying Floridians. Here’s more information about SBA disaster loans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides loans to qualifying individuals, businesses, and communities after disasters. For more information visit this website, or contact the USDA office in Florida at: (352) 338-3400.

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
Floridians who are unemployed as a result of a disaster, and who are ineligible for regular state unemployment insurance, are encouraged to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) through the U.S. Department of Labor. For additional information about DUA click here  or contact the U.S. Department of Labor by phone at 1-866-487-2365.

HURRICANE RESPONSE HIRING
The U.S. Small Business Administration is hiring a variety of temporary positions located throughout areas affected by recent disasters. For more information visit their site.  For FEMA hiring visit here.

RESOURCES

Emergency Assistance 9-1-1
Local resources (food, shelter, childcare,) 2-1-1
Food, water, ice distribution  Phone: 850-815-4001, TDD/TTY: 1-800-226-4329
County Emergency Management Offices 
Shelters
Florida Highway Conditions or dial 5-1-1 or *FHP (347)
Florida Elder Affairs Hotline 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337)
Veteran Disaster Hotline 1-800-507-4571
Disaster Distress Helpline (for emotional distress) 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Blue Tarp Roofs (Army Corps of Engineers) 1-888-ROOF-BLU
FEMA  1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-745-0243

Below: AP photo of Mexico Beach, FL on October 11, 2018

AP Photo Mexico Beach FL 10 11 18

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