• The Bay County Medical Examiner is reporting 23 casualties in Bay County.
• The 211 Citizen Hotline continues to receive non-emergency calls. Out-of-state callers, call 850-248-6099.
• Visit recoverbaycounty.com for recovery information.
• On Tuesday, Nov. 20, the National Weather Service calls for partly sunny skies, with a high near 70. North wind around 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday evening calls for mostly clear with a low around 45. North wind around 5 to 10 mph.
Recover Bay County – by the numbers
Total sheltered: 213
Debris Management: An estimated 2 million cubic yards of debris have been removed in the unincorporated areas of Bay County.
The following organizations have set up food pantries to help residents recovering from Hurricane Michael.
2nd Mt Moriah Baptist Church
3083 E 1st St., Springfield
Everyday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Bayou George Christian Church
7814 Hwy 2301, Panama City
Monday – Friday, 1 – 4 p.m.
Deerpoint Lake Assembly of God
3317 New Church Rd, Panama City
Everyday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Emerald Coast Fellowship
4102 W Hwy-390, Lynn Haven
Call 850-792-7801 for hours.
First Baptist Church of Panama City
601 Grace Ave., Panama City
Call 850-960-9929 for open hours.
Food 4 Kidz, Inc.
16610 Front Beach Rd., Panama City Beach
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Grace Presbyterian Church
1415 Airport Rd., Panama City
Thursdays, 8 – 11:30 a.m. & 1 pm – 3 p.m.
Hope Panhandle Inc.
801 Ohio Ave., Lynn Haven
Call 601-606-4142 for open hours.
1616 Transmitter Rd., Panama City
Call 850-371-9054 for open hours.
Palo Alto Church of Christ
3119 US-231, Panama City
Everyday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
PC First Assembly of God
1701 NE Ave., Panama City
Call 850-554-9826 or 850-516-9148
Restoration Church of God in Faith
721 E. 11th St., Panama City
Everyday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Springfield Community Church
615 Transmitter Rd, Panama City, FL 32401
Everyday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Springfield United Methodist Mission House
615 Transmitter Rd., Panama City
Everyday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
St. Andrew Christian Care Center
3101-A West US Hwy 98, Panama City
Everyday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
St. Andrew UMC
2001 W 11th St., Panama City
Call 850-785-1564 for open hours.
St. Dominic Catholic Church
3308 15th St., Panama City
Everyday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Rock Church
2413 Harris Ave., Panama City
Call 850-689-0546 for open hours.
Trinity Lutheran Church
1001 11th St., Panama City
Call 850-624-9887 for open hours.
Truth Baptist Church
4015 Maynard Drive, Panama City
Every other day, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Call 850-774-0300 for open hours.
Woodlawn United Methodist Church
219 N. Alf Coleman Rd., Panama City Beach
Everyday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
17495 Panama City Beach Pkwy,
Panama City Beach
Everyday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers
All Disaster Recovery Centers will be closed on Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving. FEMA is committed to ensuring that services and assistance are available for people with access and functional needs. FEMA offers many ways to help register by Dec. 10. The DRCs are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. If a disaster survivor cannot travel to the DRC, FEMA will arrange a home visit.
• Bay County Public Library DRC, 898 W 11th Street, Panama City
• John B. Gore Park DRC, 599 Beulah Ave., Callaway
• Youngstown Fountain Recreation Park, 12421 E. Hwy. 20, Fountain
(Open through Nov. 21 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
A DRC provides survivors information about FEMA programs and can help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance. Representatives from FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration, volunteer groups and other agencies will be at the center to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. When registering, survivors should let FEMA staff know if they have an accommodation request.
If you were affected by Hurricane Michael in Florida and need a sign language interpreter, foreign language translator, a Braille document or large-print or electronic file and it is not available on the FEMA website, call 470-364-7252. To register for assistance, go to DisasterAssistance.gov, the FEMA app on phones/tablets, or call 800-621-3362, 800-462-7585 (TTY). Multilingual operators are available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Mobile Registration Intake Centers
FEMA has deployed Mobile Communications Office Vehicles in the Individual Assistance designated counties to serve as Mobile Registration Intake Centers (MRICs). Individual Assistance specialists, Small Business Administration, FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance, and State Disaster Case Managers will be available at these centers. These centers will be temporarily at these locations and hours of operation will be 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.
Bay County – Lynn Haven City Hall 826 Ohio Drive, Lynn Haven, FL 32444
Bay County – Mexico Beach City Hall 201 Paradise Path, Mexico Beach, FL 32410
Bay County – Parking Lot 225 S. Tyndall Parkway , Panama City, FL 32404
U.S. Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof Program
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to install tarps for survivors whose home roofs were damaged in Hurricane Michael. Even though the USACE is no longer accepting requests, it is still making repairs for survivors who applied for Blue Roof assistance before the Nov. 16 deadline. To date, more than 6,000 roofs have been installed. To check on the status of a Blue Roof request, call 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258). Those who sustained losses from Hurricane Michael and have not yet registered for disaster assistance may do so at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.
USACE is warning homeowners of fraudsters who may be representing themselves as Operation Blue Roof representatives.
Signs of fraud may include:
• No USACE quality assurance assessment.
• No USACE contractor with a valid work order.
• Asking for payment. (The program is free of charge.)
• Soliciting by paper applications.
Homeowners who may suspect they are being scammed should contact the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 (TTY 844-889-4357), USACE at 888-766-3258 or local law enforcement.
Volunteer Reception Center
The Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) is relocating to the Bay County Public Library at 898 W. 11th St., Panama City. The VRC will reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The new hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The VRC will be closed on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 for the Thanksgiving holidays.
If visiting the VRC, go through the main library entrance and make a left at the lobby. The VRC is housed in Adult Services near the Large Print section. The VRC is still accepting new volunteers to help with the recovery efforts. The VRC receives and assigns volunteers to areas of the most critical need in Bay County. Volunteer organizations may also contact the VRC for assignment, or to request volunteers for specific projects. For more information, contact the VRC at (850) 960-4235.
Emergency Prescription Assistance Program
The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) has been extended to Dec. 15. EPAP covers prescription drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies damaged in the hurricane. Individuals without health insurance qualify for EPAP. Prescriptions for medications and medical supplies may be renewed every 30 days for as long as the EPAP is activated. To register for EPAP, call 1-855-793-7470. The call line can also answer questions about the program and confirm whether a specific prescription is covered by EPAP. A list of participating pharmacies where claims can be filled is available at the Department of Health & Human Services website: https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/national-plus/Pages/NationalPlus.aspx. For additional information about EPAP, visit www.PHE.gov/EPAP.
FEMA Direct Housing Assistance for Homeowners and Renters
Direct Temporary Housing Assistance is available to eligible applicants whose primary residence is uninhabitable if FEMA determines that eligible applicants cannot use financial Rental Assistance due to a lack of available housing resources in the area. Direct housing is just one form of temporary housing assistance being provided by the state and federal agencies. Many survivors have received grants for basic repairs and rental assistance, and temporary roofs provided by the Corps of Engineers.
Obtaining a travel trailer or manufactured housing unit is not an automatic process. Eligibility must be determined after survivors apply for assistance and according to guidelines developed and approved by the state of Florida and FEMA. Register at DisasterAssistance.gov, visit a Disaster Recovery Center, or call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).
Additional phone interviews are being conducted to determine applicants who are identified and qualified for direct housing assistance. An inspector will schedule a visit to assess the damaged home.
As individual eligibility for direct temporary housing is determined, sites to place the units are inspected to assess feasibility for placement. For homeowners, a site inspection will determine if a unit can be placed on the private property. If the site is approved, FEMA will install a unit on the property. For renters, a unit may be placed in a commercial park. If the landlord agrees and the site is feasible, a unit may be placed on their property.
Installation of a temporary housing unit includes:
· Site preparation
· Placement of the unit
· Anchoring of the unit
· Utilities hookup
· Compliance with local permitting and completion of final inspection
When the unit passes final inspection, it is ready for occupancy. At that point, the applicant will sign a license-in-agreement to occupy the unit while they work on their permanent housing plan.
Direct housing is temporary. These units are not permanent dwellings. FEMA staff will meet with survivors regularly to determine their continued eligibility and demonstrated needs and assist them in developing a permanent housing plan. To remain eligible, survivors must demonstrate continuing progress on a permanent housing plan. FEMA staff will keep survivors up to date on program details and deadlines through face-to-face meetings, phone calls and letters.
Panama City Comfort Stations
The Panama City Comfort Stations continue to see decreased use among residents and have been closing in stages. The comfort stations at Northstar Church (2379 St. Andrews Blvd.), Cove Shopping Center (925 Cherry St.) and Panama City Mall (corner of 23rd St. and Hwy 77 by Dillard’s) will remain open through Nov. 21. The comfort stations at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center (705 E. 14th Ct.) and Daffin Park (320 Kraft Ave.) will remain open through Nov. 24.
Bay Town Trolley
The Bay Town Trolley has eight routes in Bay County that are operating daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Bay Town Trolley is taking flag stops. Riders should be patient due to traffic. Plan your route ahead with the online trip planner at www.baytowntrolley.org/. For additional fixed route information, call 850-960-1084.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has extended the application deadline for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to Friday, Dec. 7. DUA is available to Florida residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Michael.
DEO is currently accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties. Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by Dec 7. Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to those who:
• Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
• Are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
• Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;
• Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
• Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
• Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because the former breadwinner’s death occurred as a result of the major disaster.
Applicants must submit their Social Security number, check stubs and documentation to support the claim that they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the date the DUA application is filed.
DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning October 14, 2018, until April 13, 2019, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. 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., Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to assist claimants. For DUA claims information, call 1-800-204-2418 and choose the speak to an agent option to speak to a customer service representative.
SBA Disaster Loans
When you register for disaster assistance, the U.S. Small Business Administration may contact you to offer the opportunity to apply for a low-interest disaster loan to repair or rebuild your damaged home. An SBA disaster loan may be your best recovery step, particularly when repairs are not covered by other sources such as insurance.
A submitted application may also make you eligible for other federal assistance. You are not obligated to accept an SBA loan, but here are some potential benefits in applying:
• If you do not have enough insurance for required repairs, an SBA loan may cover the difference.
• If eligible, a survivor may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace a primary dwelling to pre-disaster condition.
• Some applicants may be eligible to include their pre-existing mortgage in an SBA loan to reduce payment hardship.
• In addition to funds for a damaged or destroyed primary residence, a loan may help homeowners or renters repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars and appliances.
• If the SBA does not approve a loan, you may be referred to FEMA for a grant to replace essential household items, replace or repair a damaged vehicle, pay for storage expenses or meet other serious needs.
If you wish to complete a paper loan application, request one from the SBA. Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or call 800-659-2955, (800-877-8339 TTY). For other information, visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362, (800-462-7585 TTY). If you need a sign language interpreter, foreign language translator, a Braille document or large-print or electronic files, call 470-364-7252.
SBA Mobile Business Recovery Center
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has set up a Mobile Business Recover Center to provide one–on-one assistance for businesses. The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for physical damage and working capital. SBA representatives at the centers will provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses with completing the SBA application. The Business Recovery Center will operate until further notice.
Bay County City Job Center Parking Lot
625 Hwy 231, Panama City
Mon.- Sat., 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
SBA customer service representatives are also located at the Disaster Recovery Centers. If you cannot get to a center, disaster survivors may register for federal assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov and apply for SBA disaster loan assistance using the electronic loan application via the SBA’s website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov. If online or mobile access is unavailable, call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers, Business Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The filing deadline to return SBA disaster loan applications for physical property damage is Dec. 10, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 11, 2019.
Doorways of Northwest Florida
Doorways of Northwest Florida may be able to provide assistance to Bay County residents who were homeless before or are now homeless due to Hurricane Michael. Doorways of Northwest Florida strives to educate, advocate, and eliminate homelessness in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties.
First steps towards housing assistance:
1. Contact your insurance company if you have home owners insurance or renters insurance to begin a claim. Many may even cover Temporary Housing.
2. Contact FEMA to see if you are eligible for assistance. FEMA can be contacted directly at 1-800-621-3362 or visit www.disasterassistance.gov to start a claim.
3. Contact family and/or friends who may be able to assist you until you are able to get back on your feel.
For those in need of housing assistance, residents can visit the temporary office by appointment at the Florida Department of Health located at 597 W. 11th St., Panama City. The hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call (850) 819-1414 or stop by the clinic entrance check-in desk at the Florida Department of Health. For more information, email to email@example.com.