Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Hurricane Michael Recovery

11/1/2018

Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Hurricane Michael Recovery

Today, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott welcomed students back to school at Carr Elementary and Middle School in Calhoun County. Governor Scott is in constant communication with federal, state and local emergency management officials and state agency leaders to ensure that communities impacted by Hurricane Michael are receiving the resources they need.

STATE RESPONSE AND RECOVERY ACTIONS

Following Governor Scott’s request, President Donald Trump issued a Major Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Michael. See the declaration HERE. On October 7th, Governor Scott declared a state of emergency in 26 Florida counties, and expanded it to include 35 counties total on October 8th. To see his Emergency Order, click HERE.

Following a request by Governor Scott, and approval by FEMA, families in the following counties are now eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance:

  • Bay
  • Franklin
  • Gulf
  • Leon
  • Taylor
  • Wakulla
  • Calhoun
  • Liberty
  • Jackson
  • Gadsden
  • Holmes
  • Washington

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, direct lease, multi-family lease and repair and group sites.

Nine Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are currently open in counties impacted by Hurricane Michael. Four DRCs are temporarily closed today due to severe weather but will reopen Friday, November 2 at 8 am. To view which DRCs are closed today, click HERE. 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:
    • Approximately 11 million meals are being or have been distributed.
    • Approximately 3 million gallons of water are being or have been distributed.
    • Approximately 3 million pounds of ice are being or have been distributed.
    • 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.

COMMUNICATIONS

  • 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. Ninety percent of cell coverage in the impacted areas is up.

POWER RESTORATION

  • 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.
  • The current power outage as of 3 p.m. is 5,446 accounts, down from approximately 400,000 after the storm.

SHELTERS

MILITARY SUPPORT

  • 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 400 missions to date, and is currently executing missions in support of Florida Division of Emergency Management Hurricane Michael relief efforts.
  • In the past 24 hours, elements of JTF-FL have supported various missions including (but not limited to):
    • Supporting six Points of Distribution (PODs) throughout Calhoun County and Jackson County.
    • Staffing the State Emergency Operations Center with 10 personnel.
    • Liaison Officers are operating in three counties (Bay, Calhoun and Jackson).
    • Operating at the State Logistics Readiness Center in Orlando and at one Logistics Staging Area in Marianna.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • More than 500 law enforcement officers are deployed to the impacted areas in the Panhandle and Big Bend. These officers have completed 425 missions.
  • Approximately 30 FWC officers and ten support staff, with appropriate equipment assets, continue to work recovery efforts in the panhandle.
  • FWC staff are supporting the Unified Command post in Destin to begin the process of 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, including maritime patrol.
  • 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 218 missions and has 19 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 served more than 2,000 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).

SAFETY AND SECURITY

  • Approximately 85 fire and rescue personnel are currently deployed to the impacted areas. Including:
    • Three Hybrid Strike Teams consisting of fire engines, water tender tankers and an ambulance;
    • Two Florida Fire Forest Service Incident Management Teams; and
    • More than 100 ambulances with more than 200 personnel.

RECOVERY BRANCH

  • 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 more than $80 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 is coordinating with utility companies to coordinate post storm clean-up activities.
  • FDOT is in the process of repairing and restoring 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.
    • 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, the state has deployed 50 shower stations, 78 cooling stations, 1,600 portable toilets and 42 laundry stations.
  • Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) staff has deployed to assist at the open Disaster Recovery Centers in affected regions and are providing information to the public on DOEA services and resources.
  • DOEA is working with DOH to resolve needs of elders at shelters in Panama City, including screening for long-term care needs and providing education on programs and services.
  • 110 ambulances and 27 paratransit vehicles are in the area of operations to assist with rescue operations, health care facility evaluations, local EMS augmentation and patient movement. The Patient Movement Unit has moved 5,334 patients since activation.
  • There are currently 11 Active Boil Water Notices: Bay (4), Calhoun (1), Gadsden (1), Gulf (1) and Jackson (4). 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:
    • Temporarily waiving or modifying certain Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP requirements.
    • Making special enrollment periods available for certain individuals seeking health plans offered through the Florida Health Insurance Exchange.
    • 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 are now open in Franklin, Gulf, Wakulla, Bay, and Taylor counties.
    • Franklin County – Eastpoint
    • Volunteer Fire Department
    • 24 6th Street, Eastpoint, FL
    • 9am – 4pm ET
    • Gulf County – Port St. Joe
    • Gulf Coast State College
    • 3800 Garrison Ave., Port St. Joe, FL
    • 9am – 4pm ET
    • Wakulla County – Crawfordville
    • Medart Recreation Park
    • 79 Recreation Drive, Crawfordville, FL
    • 7am – 6pm ET
    • Bay County – Panama City
    • Bay High School (Gymnasium)
    • 1200 Harrison Avenue, Panama City, FL
    • 8am – 6pm CT
    • Taylor County – Perry
    • First Baptist Church Student Center
    • 100 N Orange Street, Perry, FL
    • 9am – 7pm ET
  • Pre-registration for Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson, and Liberty counties begins today, November 1, and will end on November 11.
  • Telephone interviews for Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson, and Liberty counties will begin on November 3.
  • DSNAP site locations in Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson, and Liberty counties will open on November 7 and end on November 11.
  • Additional information can be found at:www.myflfamilies.com/DSNAP.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • 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 completed 162 requests and is assisting with 10 additional requests for assistance submitted through Florida’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN) in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington counties, and has made outreach calls to 3,900 facilities to assess needs.
  • Drinking water and wastewater crews completed on site spot assessments and continue to conduct field work in the impacted areas.
  • An online tool for the public to report the location of storm debris in waterways has been deployed; and543 reports of debris have been received.
  • 235 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been pre-authorized for the counties addressed by the Governor’s Executive Order, with an additional 147emergency sites approved in impacted areas.
  • Florida State Parks strike teams continue to clear debris and assist individuals in impacted state parks. 63 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 Gadsden, Taylor, Calhoun, Liberty, Washington, Bay, Gulf, Franklin 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 10 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 Reemployment 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 Standard 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.
  • DEO is working with FDEM to identify potential solutions related to homeowners who may not be able to afford to pay for electricians to assist in repairs and connecting to the utility line from the homes, including utilizing funding from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  • 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.
  • VISIT FLORIDA is working with officials at the State Emergency Operations Center to enhance comfort and morale at shelters throughout the Florida Panhandle.
  • DBPR Secretary Jonathan Zachem issued an Emergency Order suspending Florida statutes and rules that may prevent, hinder or delay necessary response and recovery from Hurricane Michael for counties identified in the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declaration DR-4399. This includes suspending rules to allow general contractors to perform roof repairs. See the Emergency Order HERE.
  • 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.

EDUCATION

  • The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) issued an emergency order to extend the Best and Brightest scholarships’ deadlines as outlined below. The emergency order is posted HERE.
    • 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
    • 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.
  • FDOE 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, Florida Education Foundation and independent booksellers across the state have joined together to host Re-book to Re-build: Hurricane Relief Fundraiser. A portion of sale proceeds on November 3 and 4 at participating bookstores will fund grants that will enable schools impacted by Hurricane Michael to re-stock their libraries and classrooms. A list of participating book stores can be found HERE.
  • FDOE coordinated with utility providers to restore power at schools, and all schools now have power.
  • All but two Jackson County schools have internet connectivity (Malone High School and Marianna High School have damaged fibers, and repairs are ongoing).
  • All Calhoun County schools have power, and all but one has phone and internet connectivity. Schools reopened today, Thursday, November 1. School schedules, contact information and other education-related information specific to Calhoun County is posted HERE.
    • Bus service resumes November 1. Questions regarding transportation should be directed to the district office at 850-674-5927.
    • Due to significant damage to the main building at Blountstown Elementary School (BES), all of the students have been relocated to other schools as follows:
      • Prekindergarten and Kindergarten students will remain on the BES campus in the Pre-K wing and portables.
      • Grades 1 & 2 will be housed at Blountstown High School.
      • Grade 3 will be housed at the CARE building.
      • Grades 4 & 5 will be housed at Blountstown Middle School.
      • CARE students will be bused to and from Carr Elementary and Middle School each day.
      • Ms. Reed’s class will be housed at Blountstown Middle School
    • Additional counselors will be available November 1, 2 and 5 to support students as needed.
  • All Gulf County schools are open and in session for half days.
  • 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. The district is asking all families to complete a confidential online form to provide them with information about where their children were enrolled and whether they will now be attending a different school following the storm.
  • On October 31, 2018, Bay County Schools provided a transportation update HERE.
  • The following Bay County schools will reopen November 5, 2018:
    • Hutchinson Beach Elementary School
    • Northside Elementary School
    • Mosley High School (split schedule with Merritt Brown Middle School)
    • Oakland Terrace Elementary School
    • Parker Elementary School (Patterson Elementary displaced students)
    • Tommy Smith Elementary School
    • West Bay Elementary School
    • Patronis Elementary School
    • Waller Elementary School
    • New Horizons Learning Center
    • Southport Elementary School
    • Lynn Haven Elementary School
    • Lucille Moore Elementary School
    • Deer Point Elementary School
    • Callaway Elementary School (Tyndall Elementary displaced students)
  • The following schools will have split schedules beginning November 5:
    • Mosley High School students will attend class from 7 a.m. – noon at Mosley High School.
    • Merritt Brown Middle School students will attend class from 1 – 6 p.m. at Mosley High School.
  • The start dates for the following schools are still to be determined:
    • Arnold High School (at Surfside Middle School)
    • Bay High School at (Jinks Middle School)
    • Bozeman Elementary School
    • Bozeman Middle School
    • Bozeman High School
    • Breakfast Point Elementary School
    • Breakfast Point Middle School
    • C.C. Washington Academy (at Rosenwald High School)
    • Cedar Grove/Springfield Elementary School
    • Cherry Street Elementary School
    • Everitt Middle School at (Rutherford High School)
    • Hiland Park Elementary School
    • Jinks Middle School
    • Margaret K. Lewis School
    • Mowat Middle School
    • Rosenwald High School
    • Rutherford High School
    • St. Andrew School
    • Surfside Middle School
  • The following charter schools have announced tentative reopening dates:
    • Bay Haven Elementary/Middle School – Nov. 12
    • Central High School – Nov. 12
    • North Bay Haven Charter School – Nov. 5; in order to plan appropriately for students’ return, the school is asking parents to complete a survey outlining their needs. The survey is available HERE.
    • Palm Bay Preparatory Academy – Nov. 12; in order to plan appropriately for students’ return, the school is asking parents to complete a survey HERE.
    • Rising Leaders Academy- Nov. 5
  • All Bay District Schools students will receive two free meals each day until January 7, 2019.
  • Haney Technical Center in Bay County will reopen Monday, November 5, and restart the following programs for current students at their regularly scheduled times:
    • ABE/GED/ESOL
    • Aviation- General, Airframe & Powerplant
    • HVAC
    • Electricity
    • Massage Therapy (Building 2, Room 213)
    • Practical Nursing (Building 2, Rooms 201, 204, 215)
    • Welding Technology
  • Haney Technical Center in Bay County will restart the following programs for current students Tuesday, November 13:
    • Computer Systems & Information Technology
    • Digital Design
    • Medical Administrative Specialist
    • Administrative Office Specialist
    • Marine Service Technologies
    • Automotive Collision
    • Automotive Service
  • Gulf Coast State College will reopen November 5 at the following campuses: Panama City Campus, North Bay Campus and Gulf/Franklin Campus. The Tyndall Education Center remains closed. The college opened a phone line to address students’ questions in advance of the reopening. The number is 850-873-3514, and it will be staffed 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. through Friday, November 2.
  • FDOE will be posting up-to-date information regarding closures and meeting cancellations at 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 has 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.

      • Health Insurers
      • AHCA
      • DOH
      • 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, and Liberty counties and the following activity will take place in Holmes County to assess needs:
  • Town Hall in Bonifay (Holmes County)
      • Thursday, November 1, 2018
      • Hosted by the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce
      • Holmes County High School
      • 825 W Highway 90, Bonifay, FL
      • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CDT
  • 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:
    • For a list of Florida’s state-chartered financial institutions and their websites, click HERE.
    • Find your bank’s contact information, click HERE.
    • Find your credit union’s contact information, click HERE.
    • Find your mortgage servicer’s contact information, click HERE.
    • 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.
    • Visit the Florida Office of Financial Regulation’s Hurricane Michael resources HERE.

VOLUNTEER EFFORTS

  • Volunteer Florida is continuing to work with more than 9,670 registered volunteers to connect them with volunteer opportunities.
  • Volunteer Florida’s 38 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’s partner, Crisis Cleanup, is coordinating 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 is in the process of scheduling a training for 500+ virtual volunteers, enabling them to assist with call center operations.
  • 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 committed 23 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 11 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 October 31, The Salvation Army has provided 505,367 meals, 256,379 drinks, 344,619 snacks and 43,251 hours of service. Trained personnel have also provided emotional and spiritual care to 32,804 people.
  • As of November 1, The Salvation Army has committed more than $3,375,848 in resources to Hurricane Michael relief efforts.
  • Red Cross has more than 850 relief workers in the affected counties.

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.
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2018
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