Maria Recovery

DISASTER ASSISTANCE | APPLY TODAY:

Deadline to register for FEMA assistance is June 18, 2018 for those impacted in Puerto Rico by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. 

Individuals impacted by Hurricane Maria can apply for FEMA disaster assistance by:

  • Calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. 

Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 1-800-621-3362.  People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and a TTY my call 800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available. 

Options remain for those who have unmet housing needs and need help with their permanent housing plans. We encourage survivors to:

  • Call their disaster case manager if they have one.

  • Call 2-1-1 to connect with volunteer agencies that may help.

  • Go online to FloridaHousingSearch.org to find available housing.

  • Go online here to search the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for lenders that may help provide finances to rebuild a home. They may also call HUD at 800-569-4287 or TTY 800-877-8339. 

Immediate Disaster Case Management Hotline: For additional resources to support your recovery, you may also contact FEMA'S Immediate Disaster Case Management Hotline at 1-855-742-5993. Representatives are able to assist in both English and Spanish.

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) HOUSING RESOURCES:

Evacuees who received housing vouchers from HUD in Puerto Rico can transfer those vouchers to Florida. Evacuees should contact their County HUD office to coordinate the transfer. To find your local county HUD office please click here.

FLORIDA'S HOMELESS SHELTERS

Homeless Shelter Directory

FOLLOW FEMA FOR UPDATES HERE:

FEMA Puerto Rico Facebook , @Femaregion2 and https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-maria

STATE ASSISTANCE INFORMATION LINE | 1-800-342-3557

Call for information to local and state resources available for Hurricane Maria recovery. For questions regarding FEMA assistance, please call FEMA directly at the hotline listed above. 

Disaster Loss Deductions

Disaster Loss Deductions – Click here for guidance from the IRS on how to deduct losses from a disaster. 

MULTI AGENCY RESOURCE CENTER (MARC)

Visit the MARC today for assistance with your FEMA disaster assistance application, as well as, guidance to other available resources. For more information click here.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

If you need assistance or information regarding WIC or immunization forms please contact your local health department here or visit one of the Multi Agency Resource Centers for forms. 

EMERGENCY RELIEF ITEMS

For more information click here.

JOBS IN ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

Visit http://www.OCPS.net, click on "Jobs & Careers" then click on "Search for Vacancies" for openings.

VETERAN AFFAIRS | HURRICANE MARIA EFFORTS

Click here for more information on resources available to veterans impacted by Hurricane Maria. Veterans from storm-affected areas who require immediate assistance may contact the Health Resource Center Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571.

PUERTO RICO HURRICANE DISASTER RELIEF

If you are interested in supporting the relief efforts in Puerto Rico, please consider donating to one of the following organizations:

United for Puerto Rico
Hurricane Relief Fund by the United Way

EMERGENCY PRESCRIPTION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

To learn more click here

PUERTO RICO RECOVERY STATUS

FEMA Recovery Updates

Housing and Lodging Information

Visit the sites below to find available housing and lodging in Florida:

MRI Software
Rent Café
Florida Housing Finance Corporation
Entrata
Airbnb
Expedia

Emergency Prescription Assistance Program

The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program provides an efficient mechanism for enrolled pharmacies to process claims for prescription medication, specific medical supplies, vaccines and some forms of durable medical equipment (DME) for eligible individuals in a Federally-identified disaster area.  The program provides a 30-day supply of covered drugs and medical supplies that can be renewed every 30 days for as long as EPAP is active. Currently, over 72,000 pharmacies are enrolled in EPAP. Visit their website here

Crisis Counseling Program (CCP)

These counseling services will be available through the 24/7 Helpline (Linea PAS) at: 1(800) 981-0023 or TTY 1(888) 672-7622. 

Disaster Legal Services (DLS)

DLS is available through the Helpline at 1(800) 310-7029  Monday through Friday at 10:00AM to 5:00PM EST

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Individuals from Puerto Rico who are interested in filing a Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) claim may do so online at http://www.trabajo.pr.gov/.

An initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim can be filed by clicking on the label titled, “Reclamación Inicial,” and a continued UI claim can be filed by clicking on the label titled, “Reclamación Semanas Subsiguientes.” Individuals interested in filing a DUA claim are encouraged to file an initial UI claim online, as eligibility must be determined.

Individuals who do not have internet access may call the Puerto Rico Department of Labor’s call center, at 787-945-7900 to file either an initial UI claim or a continued UI claim.

Business License Fee Waived        

Governor Rick Scott directed the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Secretary Jonathan Zachem to issue an Emergency Order suspending all fees required for occupational license applications for residents of Puerto Rico who were impacted by Hurricane Maria and are now in Florida. This includes over 50 different individual professional license types, such as barbers and realtors. By suspending fees, residents from Puerto Rico will be able to obtain a license from the state more quickly and continue their careers in Florida. To view the order, click HERE.

Educator Certificate Fee Waived

The Governor also directed DOE to waive the educator certificate application fee and other requirements to help Puerto Rican educators displaced by the storm more easily continue their teaching careers in Florida. Upon receiving a request from a district superintendent, DOE will waive the application fee for an initial educator certificate and will allow the acceptance of an unofficial transcript of teaching degrees or copies of a valid teaching certificate issued by another state or U.S. territory. To view the order, click HERE.

American Red Cross Safe & Well

For Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available and open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website.

  • English - American Red Cross Safe and Well
  • Spanish -American Red Cross Registro en la Lista Sano y Salvo
    Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English. To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross.

According to news sources, these avenues are also available to find people in Puerto Rico:

  • The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration directed those seeking information or assistance to call 202-800-3133 or 202-778-0710. The agency is prioritizing emergency situations, like people who are in dire need of medical attention.
  • The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has set up a hotline at 877-976-2400 for people staying at hotels.
  • Puerto Rico Maria Updates, a public Facebook group, is collecting information for those affected by the storm.
  • Map and Phone Directory of local emergency operation centers in Puerto Rico
  • The island’s government radio station WIPR at 787-777-0940 or 787-766-0505, which is helping people figure out what zones their family members are in. You can also listen live for updates at 940 AM and 91.3 FM.
Behavioral Health Services

Aspire Health Partners (Aspire) is a comprehensive, behavioral health company in Central Florida. If you, or a loved one are experiencing trauma, anxiety, depression, adjustment issues or other mental health related issues, you may seek assistance by contacting one of Aspire’s Access Centers.  The Access Center provides comprehensive clinical assessments, identifies your specific clinical needs, provides immediate support and will refer you to the most appropriate behavioral health service (i.e. Outpatient Counseling, Psychiatric Services, and Medication Clinic Services).

Orange County Access Center
1800 Mercy Drive; Orlando, FL 32808  
Phone:  407.875.3700 extension 6186

Seminole County Center
919 East Second Street; Sanford, FL 32771  
Phone:  407.323.2036

If you, or a loved one are experiencing substance use issues, you may seek assistance by contacting Aspire’s Assessment & Screening Center.  The Screening and Assessment Center provides comprehensive clinical substance abuse assessments, identifies your specific clinical needs, provides immediate support and will refer you to the most appropriate behavioral health service (i.e. Detoxification, Outpatient Counseling, Residential Services, and Medication Assisted Treatment).

Orange County
712 West Gore Street; Orlando, FL      
Phone:  407.245.0012

For information regarding other services providing by Aspire, please call 407.875.3700.​

Salvation Army Emergency Assistance for Orange County

Visit 400 West Colonial Drive, no appointment needed.
Hours of operation:
Monday through Friday 9-noon | 1-4 p.m.

Services Provided: 

  • Weekly worship services Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m. | 440 West Colonial Drive 
  • Emotional Spiritual Care
  • Short term emergency assistance, which may include clothing vouchers for school age children, personal hygiene items or non-perishable food or groceries. 
Agency for Persons with Disabilities

APD works in partnership with local communities and private providers to assist people who have developmental disabilities and their families. APD also provides assistance in identifying the needs of people with developmental disabilities for supports and services.

APD is specifically tasked with serving the needs of Floridians with the following Developmental Disabilities only includes the following:
•        People severely impaired by autism
•        Cerebral palsy
•        Spina bifida
•        Intellectual disabilities
•        Down syndrome
•        Prader-Willi syndrome
•        Phelan-McDermid syndrome
•        Children age 3-5 who are at a high risk of a developmental disability

All other Disabilities should contact: Florida Department of Children and Families at http://www.myflfamilies.com or 407-317-7000

Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) – State of Florida
Address: 400 West Robinson Street , Ste. South 430
Phone: 407—245-0440 | www.apdcares.org
Hours of Operation: M-F, 8 AM-5 PM (closed official State Holidays)

Open Pharmacies in Puerto Rico

To view all open pharmacies in Puerto Rico, click here.

Hurricane Workforce | Jobs with FEMA

If you are interested in employment related to hurricane recovery, please click here for available job openings with FEMA.  

Emergency Relief Items

Leadership and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has established the following in support of those impacted by Hurricane Maria:

- Emergency relief locations:  

Leadership and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has established two emergency relief locations. At Latino Leadership’s headquarters (8617 E. Colonial Drive Suite 1600 Orlando, FL 32817 | 407-895-0901), there is an emergency relief pantry that includes food items, toiletries, diapers, formula, etc. for families that are in need. At Azalea Park United Methodist Church (50 Willow Drive Orlando, FL | 407-277-3472), the PRFRC has set-up a ‘store’ were families who have arrived with limited clothing and household items can ‘shop’ free-of-cost for these items.  
- Employment services 
- Education placement  
- Health referrals 
- Disaster relief paperwork

For more details on these services please click here.

SNAP | Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as The Food Stamp Program, is now available to Puerto Ricans in Florida. This program helps people with low income to buy food. Recipients can buy all food items such as breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy, and plants and seeds.

Customers can apply for SNAP by visiting the Department of Children and Families (DCF) ACCESS Online Website on any computer with internet connection. If the customer does not have computer access, DCF community partner sites are locations where customers can apply also. Paper Applications for assistance can be mailed, faxed, or returned to your local service center once downloaded from the ACCESS forms page on the DCF internet site.​

Free School Meals for Disaster Evacuees/Gratis Comidas Escolares

To find out how to get school meals for your children, please contact the Department of Education Homeless Liaison: 850-245-0479
For more information on the National School Lunch Program call: 1-800-504-6609

Para saber cómo obtener comidas escolares gratis para sus hijos, por favor comuníquese con la persona de enlace de Los Desamparados del Departamento de Educación: (850) 245-0479
Para más informacion sobre el Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares llamar al:1-800-504-6609

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides USDA commodities to low-income households statewide. Individuals/households who qualify for SNAP, TANF, SSI or Medicaid automatically qualify for TEFAP.

Individuals interested in applying for TEFAP will need to do so by visiting a distribution site (food pantry) in their community. To locate a food pantry that provides TEFAP foods, please visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com/TEFAP  or call the corresponding State Contracted Recipient Agency (Food Bank) below. The food pantry will provide information regarding the availability of TEFAP foods, distribution dates/times and the application process. In addition, individual may contact 1-800-504-6609 for more information:

  • Feeding the Gulf Coast Food Bank | 850-626-1332
    Counties Served: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf
  • America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend | 850-562-3033
    Counties Served: Franklin, Liberty, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Madison, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Gilchrist, Columbia
  • Farm Share Northeast Florida | 904-328-6160
    Counties Served: Levy, Alachua, Union, Baker, Bradford, Nassau, Duval, Clay, Putnam, St. Johns, Flagler
  • Feeding America Tampa Bay | 813-254-1190
    Counties Served: Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas
  • Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida | 239-334-7007
    Counties Served: Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades, Highlands
  • Second Harvest of Central Florida, Inc. | 407-295-1066
    Counties Served: Marion, Lake, Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Brevard
  • Treasure Coast Food Bank, Inc. | 772-489-3034
    Counties Served: Okeechobee, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin
  • Feeding South Florida | 954-518-1818
    Counties Served: Palm Beach, Broward
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

CSFP works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods.

Individuals interested in participating in the CSFP must meet the following criteria:
1. Must be 60 years of age or older,
2. Household income must fall at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level, and
3. Must reside in the county where their local agency (distribution site) is located. Below is the list of counties in Florida that currently participate in CSFP, along with the contact information:

  • Feeding the Gulf Coast | Bay, Holmes and Walton Counties | 850-626-1332 ext. 2105
  • America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend | Calhoun, Liberty and Madison Counties | 850-879-3285
  • Hamilton County | 386-754-9180
  • Bread of the Mighty Food Bank | Dixie, Lafayette, Alachua, Flagler, Marion and Union Counties | 352-336-0839
  • Feeding Tampa Bay | Citrus and Hernando Counties | 813-402-3784
  • Harry Chapin of SW Florida | Glades and Hendry Counties | 239-334-7007 ext. 125
  • Treasure Coast Food Bank | Osceola and Indian River Counties | 772-446-1750
  • Feeding South Florida | Miami-Dade County | 954-518-1818 ext. 6254
Puerto Rican Students Can Enroll in Florida Public Schools

At Governor Scott’s direction, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) has temporarily waived rules and regulations that will allow Florida public school districts to enroll Puerto Rican students whose education records are unavailable due to the storm.

Additionally, the Office of Early Learning (OEL) has temporarily waived rules and regulations that will allow Florida’s 30 early learning coalitions to enroll Puerto Rican children whose education records are unavailable due to the storm. This will make it easier for young children to continue their early learning education through Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) and School Readiness Programs. To view the order, click HERE.

Florida State Colleges and Universities Waive Out-of-State Tuition

The below Florida state colleges and universities are waiving out-of-state tuition and fees for students from Puerto Rico displaced by Hurricane Maria following a request by Governor Scott:
Broward College
Chipola College
College of Central Florida
Daytona State
Eastern Florida State College
Florida A&M University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gateway
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida International University
Florida Keys Community College
Florida Southwestern State College
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Florida State University
Gulf Coast State College
Hillsborough Community College
Indian River State College
Lake Sumter
Miami Dade College
New College of Florida
North Florida Community College
Northwest Florida State College
Palm Beach State
Pasco-Hernando State College
Pensacola State College
Polk State College
Santa Fe College
Seminole State
South Florida State College
Johns River State College
Petersburg College
State College of Florida, Manatee–Sarasota
Tallahassee Community College
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of North Florida
University of South Florida
University of West Florida
Valencia College

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