Following a request by Governor Scott, and approval by FEMA, families in the following counties are now eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance:
Following Governor Scott’s request, FEMA approved Direct Housing Assistance for Bay, Calhoun, Jackson, Gadsden and Gulf Counties. This assistance includes recreational vehicles, mobile homes, multi-family lease and repair and group sites.
Eleven Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are currently open in counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. The Holmes County and Liberty County DRCs are temporarily closed today. DRCs are readily accessible facilities or mobile offices where impacted residents can go for information about disaster assistance programs, and to ask questions about individual assistance applications. Representatives from FDEM, FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), volunteer groups and other agencies are at the centers to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance. A map of DRCs is available HERE.
Currently, Bay, Gulf and Jackson Counties have been approved for Transitional Sheltering Assistance. For more information and to apply for FEMA programs, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
Following the Governor’s request, FEMA announced that it is expanding public assistance in Florida to include permanent repairs on roads and bridges, buildings and equipment, utilities, public buildings, and parks and other recreational facilities for Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf and Liberty counties. For more information about FEMA’s public assistance visit https://bit.ly/2JeBFTx.
FOOD AND WATER
• The state is working to ensure adequate food resources are available for Florida residents impacted by Hurricane Michael. Specific activities include the following:
o Approximately 11 million meals are being or have been distributed.
o Approximately 3 million gallons of water are being or have been distributed.
o Approximately 3 million pounds of ice are being or have been distributed.
o Emergency Supply Distribution Centers, or Points of Distribution (POD), are places where the public can pick up emergency supplies following a disaster. These sites have food, water, and other critical supplies. Click HERE for a complete map of POD locations.
• Major retailers in impacted communities have re-opened and are stocked with food, water and other important commodities. Click HERE for a list of open businesses where these necessities are available for purchase.
• Governor Scott laid out his expectations for telecommunications companies in the areas impacted by Hurricane Michael. See the Governor’s press release HERE.
• Communications support packages have been dispatched through the Commercial Service Providers and Florida National Guard to Holmes, Liberty, Jackson, Gadsden, Calhoun, Gulf, Franklin and Washington counties.
• The Florida Department of Management Services’ (DMS) Division of Telecommunications has worked or is working 221 missions. This includes the deployment of more than 100 public safety mobile communications trailers and towers, mobile cell towers, hot-spots and Mi-Fi’s, as well as more than 1,050 public safety portable radios, 10,000 cellular devices and 30 charging stations. Approximately 90 percent of cell coverage in the impacted areas is up.
• Florida SERT made first responder fueling depots available to utility crews across the Panhandle. This helps ensure that utility restoration trucks have the fuel they need so they can restore power faster.
• Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation to organize, lead and mobilize push crews to expedite power restoration.
• Generators have been mobilized to impacted counties to bring traffic lights online, which will alleviate the need for law enforcement to direct traffic.
• Governor Scott also requested assistance from Manny Miranda, Florida Power and Light’s Senior Vice President of Power Delivery, to advise and assist the state’s power restoration efforts.
• To view the full list of Florida utilities with mutual aid agreements in place, click HERE.
• Power has been restored to all customers capable of receiving power. Restoration crews will continue to restore power to structures that have been damaged once the structures have been repaired and inspected.
• Currently three shelters are open with a population of 447.
• Visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/shelter-status/ to find information on shelters in your area.
• At Governor Scott’s direction, the Florida National Guard authorized the activation of up to 4,000 Soldiers and Airmen to assist with response and recovery efforts.
• Following Governor Scott’s visit to Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) on October 18th, he sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he direct immediate action to dedicate resources, manpower and funding to return Tyndall AFB to full operations as soon as possible. To see the letter, click HERE.
• On October 25th, Governor Scott toured the damage at Tyndall AFB with Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence. Following a briefing with Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson and Tyndall AFB Officials, Vice President Pence extended the administration’s commitment to rebuilding the Base.
• Joint Task Force – Florida (JTF-FL) has been tasked with a total of 403 missions to date, and is currently completing missions in support of Florida Division of Emergency Management Hurricane Michael relief efforts.
• State law enforcement officers have completed more than 450 missions and worked more than 600 missions including security, patrol and traffic control in response to Hurricane Michael.
• Approximately 30 FWC officers and support staff, with appropriate equipment assets, continue to work recovery efforts in the panhandle including assisting local law enforcement with calls for service, helping with traffic control, assisting residents with tarps, distributing supplies and conducting welfare checks.
• FWC staff are supporting the Unified Command post in Destin mitigating damaged and displaced vessels.
• FWC response teams are operating in 12-hour Alpha/Bravo shifts to provide 24-hour coverage in the affected areas.
• The Florida Highway Patrol has approximately 400 state troopers assigned to the Panhandle of Florida to assist with response and recovery.
• The Florida Highway Patrol has completed 235 missions and has 10 active missions including:
• The Florida Highway Patrol is providing security escorts to utility crews, commodity convoys and other response vehicles.
• The Florida Highway Patrol is supplementing local law enforcement agency efforts with increased patrol of damaged areas.
• The Florida Highway Patrol is providing traffic control and security at a donation center in Calhoun County.
• The Florida Highway Patrol is providing support for DSNAP distribution in Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties.
• The Florida Highway Patrol is providing traffic control for debris removal along I-10 in Gadsden and Jackson Counties.
• DHSMV’s Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles continue to be in the Panhandle to offer driver license and motor vehicle services this week. Each day’s schedule can be found on the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
• Since Tuesday, October 16, DHSMV FLOW mobiles have completed more than 3,300 transactions for customers seeking driver license, ID or motor vehicle services in the impacted areas.
• The Florida Highway Patrol donated six vehicles to the Mexico Beach Police Department (MBPD).
• An aggressive recovery effort is ongoing, working with FEMA to identify and activate federal grant programs that can benefit Floridians and their communities.
• To date, FEMA has approved nearly $95 million in Individual Assistance.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
• FDOT issued Weigh Station Bypass letter to allow emergency response vehicles such as utility vehicles and bucket trucks to bypass all FDOT weigh stations.
• FDOT issued an Emergency Road Use Permit letter to relieve size and weight restrictions for divisible loads on any vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and agricultural commodities and citrus as recommended by the Commissioner of Agriculture.
• FDOT contuse to repair and restore damaged traffic signals in Bay County and the surrounding area.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
• Following Governor Scott’s request, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has activated the federal Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, administered jointly by HHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to help families without health insurance impacted by Hurricane Michael receive prescription medications.
• Florida continues to communicate and monitor pharmacies in the affected areas. Currently there are 54 pharmacy locations open and dispensing medication in the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Franklin, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Wakulla, Walton and Washington. To find an open pharmacy, go to RxOpen.org, which maps open and closed pharmacies during disasters.
o For those with a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, medicare.gov recommends contacting the plan to find the nearest network pharmacy that is open. If one is unavailable, the plan can connect evacuees with an out-of-network pharmacy. Call your plan for more details and instructions. To find your plan’s phone number, call 800-MEDICARE.
• At the direction of Governor Scott, AHCA Secretary Justin Senior sent a letter to Florida Healthy Kids requesting a waiver of premiums for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and full pay enrollees premiums for the months of November, December and January. See the letter HERE. The Florida Healthy Kids Board voted to waive the monthly premiums for November, December and January. This step assists the families of 5,604 enrolled children living in the impacted areas.
• An updated evacuation report can be found on the AHCA twitter page: https://twitter.com/AHCA_FL.
• AHCA has activated the Emergency Status System (ESS) for health care facilities in the panhandle to continue to report their ongoing status including generators and utility company information, emergency contacts, and bed availability.
• For the comfort of the those impacted by Hurricane Michael, there are 55 shower stations, 70 cooling stations, 1,590 portable toilets and 42 laundry stations currently deployed throughout the affected counties.
• Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) staff continues their presence at open Disaster Recovery Centers in affected regions and are providing information to the public on DOEA services and resources.
• DOEA is continuing efforts with DOH to resolve needs of elders at shelters in Bay County, including screening for long-term care needs and providing education on programs and services.
• 33 ambulances and four paratransit vehicles are in the area of operations to assist with rescue operations, health care facility evaluations, local EMS augmentation and patient movement. Since activation, 5,638 patients have been moved.
• There are currently five Active Boil Water Notices: Bay (3), Calhoun (1) and Gulf (1). To view boil water notices in your area, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/drinking-water/boil-water-notices.html.
• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced steps taken to support Florida in response to Hurricane Michael, including:
o Temporarily waiving or modifying certain Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP requirements.
o Making special enrollment periods available for certain individuals seeking health plans offered through the Florida Health Insurance Exchange.
o Helping patients obtain access to life-saving services such as dialysis.
• Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is helping customers access donated items and resources, as well as assisting with the FEMA relief application process.
• APD is hosting conference calls with providers to share the latest resources and answer questions. The FEMA Disability Integration Advisor for Florida is a presenter on these calls.
• Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) Field Services Staff is working with managers at various Disaster Recovery Centers to assist veterans.
• VA Outpatient Clinics in Panama City and Marianna have resumed normal operations. For more information visit https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?STATE=FL&dnum=ALL.
• County Veteran Service Offices are open (some with limited services) during normal business hours. For more information visit http://floridavets.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/CVSO_Directory_Oct-19-2018.pdf#new_tab.
• The Department of Children and Families (DCF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has initiated the federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in 12 counties to assist communities impacted by Hurricane Michael.
• DSNAP site locations will be open in Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson and Liberty counties.
o Calhoun County – Blountstown
Civic Center Circle
Blountstown, Fl 32424
9am – 4pm ET
o Gadsden County – Quincy
2140 W Jefferson Street
Quincy, Fl 32351
7am – 6pm ET
o Jackson County – Marianna
4574 Lodge Drive
Marianna, Fl 32446
8am – 6pm CT
o Liberty County – Bristol
10561 NW Theo Jacobs Way
Bristol, Fl 32321
9am – 4pm ET
• Pre-registration for Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson and Liberty counties is open and will end on November 11.
• Telephone interviews for Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson and Liberty counties began November 3.
• DSNAP site locations in Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson and Liberty counties will open on November 7 and end on November 11.
• All site locations and telephone operations will be suspended today, November 6, and will resume on Wednesday, November 7.
• Additional information can be found at www.myflfamilies.com/DSNAP.
• At the direction of Governor Scott, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is offering the suspension of up to $12 million in wastewater and drinking water facility loan repayments and interest accrual for two years.
• DEP has deployed wastewater, drinking water and solid waste technical experts to impacted areas to ensure all needs are met.
• To fulfill water sampling needs, DEP is serving as a courier to deliver samples daily from Bay and Gulf counties to DOH’s lab in Defuniak Springs for analysis.
• An online tool for the public to report the location of storm debris in waterways has been deployed; and 543 reports of debris have been received.
• 149 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been authorized in impacted areas.
• Florida State Parks strike teams continue to clear debris and assist individuals in impacted state parks. To date, 68 state parks have re-opened. Current Florida State Park closures can be found at https://www.floridastateparks.org/StormUpdates.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
• Executive Director Cissy Proctor and members of the DEO Leadership Team have met with area businesses and communities in Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Franklin, Jackson, Liberty, Taylor, Washington and Wakulla counties.
• The Florida SBDC Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration have opened Business Recovery Centers to assist small businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Small businesses can get assistance applying for state and federal business disaster loans. There are currently 11 Business Recovery Centers open throughout the impacted areas. Locations can be found at FloridaDisaster.biz or FloridaSBDC.org.
• DEO has launched the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to affected businesses at www.floridadisasterloan.org. Eligibility changes to the program now allow for small business owners with fewer than two employees located in any of Florida’s 35 counties impacted by Hurricane Michael to qualify.
• Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida has been awarded federal National Dislocated Worker Grants to provide temporary employment to Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael. This program is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and provides disaster relief employment in the form of temporary jobs that support storm response and recovery efforts. See the Governor’s press release HERE.
• The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has made the Disaster Re-employment Assistance program available for Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Michael. To file a DUA claim go to www.FloridaJobs.org or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time to assist claimants.
• Disaster cleanup and other related job openings are now available at http://disasterrecovery.employflorida.com for businesses to post job openings and for individuals to find job opportunities.
• DEO has opened the Business Damage Assessment Survey for businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Businesses with damage should complete the survey at https://www.floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments.
• Businesses can also visit FloridaDisaster.biz to view tips for assessing storm damage and to register to receive updates on storm recovery.
• VISIT FLORIDA has activated the Expedia/VISIT FLORIDA Hotel Accommodation Web Portal to support evacuation orders and first responders. Visit www.expedia.com/florida to find available hotel rooms.
• Governor Rick Scott announced that VISIT FLORIDA has developed and launched an extensive new marketing campaign to highlight the Sunshine State. This multi-phased campaign includes more than $5.1 million to support the Panhandle following Hurricane Michael.
• As part of the campaign, VISIT FLORIDA has relaunched their Florida Now landing page to provide real time information from destinations across the state and encourage the continuation of bookings to Florida.
• VISIT FLORIDA is working with officials at the State Emergency Operations Center to enhance comfort and morale at shelters throughout the Florida Panhandle.
• Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) Executive Director Leon Biegalski announced extended due dates for corporate income tax filers impacted by Hurricane Michael following the recent declaration from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In addition, DOR Executive Director Biegalski issued an emergency order to extend certain filing due dates for Florida businesses located in counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. For more information, please visit http://floridarevenue.com/Pages/media.aspx.
• DOR has posted a webpage for customers regarding DOR-specific Hurricane Michael updates. To view the webpage, please visit http://floridarevenue.com/Pages/hurricanemichael.aspx.
• The Department issued an emergency order to extend the Best and Brightest scholarships’ deadlines as outlined below. The emergency order is posted HERE.
o The deadline provided in section 1012.731(4), F.S., for school district submission of information related to both the Best and Brightest Teacher and Principal Scholarship programs to the department has been extended to January 7, 2019; and
o The deadline provided in section 1012.731(5), F.S., for the department to disburse scholarship funds to each school district has been extended to March 1, 2019.
• The Department issued guidance to school districts affected by Hurricane Michael regarding student services, including Homeless Student Identification, Immunization Verification, Educational Placement, Exceptional Student Education, and Student and Teacher Support. The guidance document is posted HERE.
• FDOE issued a memo to superintendents in impacted areas to provide additional flexibility related to student reporting. The memo is posted online HERE.
• FDOE coordinated with utility providers to restore power at schools, and all schools now have power.
• To accommodate the reopening of schools, Bay County has consolidated the three school shelters into one – Arnold High School.
• All Bay County schools have power and phone connectivity.
• On November 2, 2018, Bay County Schools provided a transportation update HERE.
• The following schools will reopen November 8:
o Cherry Street Elementary
o Mowat Middle School
• The following schools will reopen November 13:
o Bay High School at (Jinks Middle School)
o Bozeman Elementary School
o Bozeman Middle School
o Bozeman High School
o C.C. Washington Academy (at Rosenwald High School)
o Cedar Grove/Springfield Elementary School
o Everitt Middle School at (Rutherford High School)
o Hiland Park Elementary School
o Jinks Middle School
o Margaret K. Lewis School
o Rosenwald High School
o Rutherford High School
o St. Andrew Elementary School
• The following schools’ start dates are still being determined:
o Arnold High School
o Breakfast Point Academy
o Surfside Middle School
• The following charter schools have announced tentative reopening dates:
o Bay Haven Elementary/Middle School – Nov. 12
o Central High School – Nov. 12
o Palm Bay Preparatory Academy – Nov. 12
All Bay District Schools students will receive two free meals each day until January 7, 2019.
Haney Technical Center in Bay County will restart the following programs for current students Tuesday, November 13:
Computer Systems & Information Technology
Medical Administrative Specialist
Administrative Office Specialist
Marine Service Technologies
FDOE will be posting up-to-date information regarding closures and meeting cancellations at www.fldoe.org/hurricaneinfo.
INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
• At the direction of Governor Scott, Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Emergency Order suspending and activating certain insurance rules and statutes for the health, safety, and welfare of Florida’s policyholders. Among other provisions, the Order provides:
o An additional 90 days to policyholders to supply information to their insurance company
o Prohibits insurance companies from canceling or non-renewing policies covering residential properties damaged by the hurricane for at least 90 days
o Freezes efforts to increase rates on policyholders for 90 days. A copy of the Order can be found HERE.
• OIR ordered property insurers to submit claims information from Hurricane Michael on a daily basis until Friday, November 2nd. Additional data calls will be scheduled.
• Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and CFO Jimmy Patronis conducted a conference call with representatives of various insurance companies that have policies in force within the regions forecasted to be impacted by Hurricane Michael to ensure those companies:
o Have resources positioned and available to respond to consumers’ needs.
o Assess damage and pay claims quickly.
o Report any challenges or issues as quickly as possible.
o Report claims to the OIR on time and in accordance with the reporting schedule.
• OIR’s Incident Management Team remains fully activated. OIR team members will be actively working throughout the recovery phase with consumer advocates, industry stakeholders and entities licensed under OIR’s regulatory authority.
• In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 18-276 and 18-277, OIR has:
o Notified all health insurers, managed care organizations and other health entities of their statutory obligation to allow for early prescription refills during a state of emergency.
FL Pharmacy Assoc.
• Teams from OIR and CFO Patronis’ Office have traveled to various counties to assess insurance-related needs and facilitate resource deployments to impacted regions. Additional resource deployments will be announced in the near future. So far, teams have met with residents to assess needs in Wakulla, Franklin, Gulf, Washington, Leon, Jackson, Bay, Liberty and Holmes counties to assess needs.
• Teams from OIR and CFO Patronis’ Office met with consumers to discuss insurance-related needs while helping staff the Disaster Recovery Centers located in Panama City, Callaway, Blountstown, Carrabelle, Gretna, Wewahitchka, Port Saint Joe, Bonifay, Marianna, Tallahassee, Bristol, Crawfordville and Chipley.
• The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Consumer Services has resources for consumers seeking assistance with the claims-filing process or to file insurance complaints HERE.
• For information on financial services providers, see below:
o For a list of Florida’s state-chartered financial institutions and their websites, click HERE.
o Find your bank’s contact information, click HERE.
o Find your credit union’s contact information, click HERE.
o Find your mortgage servicer’s contact information, click HERE.
o If you don’t have your mortgage servicer’s information with you, you can search the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) or call toll-free at (888) 679-6377 to
find the company that services your mortgage.
o Visit the Florida Office of Financial Regulation’s Hurricane Michael resources HERE.
• Volunteer Florida is continuing to work with more than 9,840 registered volunteers to connect them with volunteer opportunities.
• Volunteer Florida’s 80+ Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) partners are still engaged in response and recovery activities.
• Thousands of tarps have been sent to emergency operations centers (EOCs) and logistical staging areas (LSAs) throughout the Florida Panhandle, and Volunteer Florida is coordinating with Florida VOAD partners to pick them up and help with tarping.
• Volunteer Florida is coordinating a team of 100+ AmeriCorps members from throughout the country, including an AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) from Florida. Members are deployed to work sites in four counties, where they are assisting with debris cleanup and tree removal, tarping and roof repairs and mucking out and gutting of homes.
• Volunteer Florida is working with a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to support base camp operations in Gulf County.
• Volunteer Florida’s partner, Crisis Cleanup, has extended operations and continues to coordinate voluntary organizations to respond to requests submitted by individuals, as not to duplicate efforts. To submit a request, individuals can call 800-451-1954.
• Volunteer Florida has joined the Rebuild 850 initiative, which promotes volunteerism and donations to the Florida Disaster Fund following Hurricane Michael.
• At Governor Scott’s direction, Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund, the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To donate, visit, www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text “DISASTER” to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10.
• The Salvation Army has deployed 26 mobile feeding units in Panama City Incident Command (serving Bay, Holmes and Washington Counites), 10 mobile feeding units in Apalachicola Incident Command (serving Franklin, Gulf and Liberty Counties) and seven mobile feeding units in the Tallahassee Incident Command (serving Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson, Leon and Wakulla Counties).
• The Salvation Army continues to partner with Operation BBQ Relief, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Therapy Dogs International.
• As of November 6, the Salvation Army has provided 582,476 meals, 286,531 drinks, 399,047 snacks and 54,021 hours of service. Trained personnel have also provided emotional and spiritual care to 37,750 people.
• As of November 6, the Salvation Army has committed more than $6,160,869 in resources to Hurricane Michael relief efforts.
• The Red Cross has approximately 750 relief workers in the affected counties.
• The Red Cross has 63 emergency response vehicles in the affected counties and, as of Nov. 2, has provided 1,083,022 meals, snacks, and drinks.
• The Red Cross has distributed more than 161,000 emergency supplies.
STATE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER/ CONTACTS
• The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
• The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
• Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Michael.
• Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.
• El número de contacto de la Línea de Información de Asistencia Estatal (SAIL) es 1-800-342-3557.
• La línea de Prensa del Centro de Operaciones de Emergencia Estatal es: 850-921-0217
• Siga a @FLSert o @FLGovScott en Twitter para obtener actualizaciones en vivo sobre el Huracán Michael.
• Visite http://www.floridadisaster.org/infopara encontrar información sobre refugios, cierres de carreteras y rutas de evacuación.
• Para español, busque el ícono de Google en la parte superior de la página, haga clic en el menú desplegable y seleccione español.