Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Continued Hurricane Irma Response Efforts
NAPLES, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott and several state agency heads met with local officials in the Florida Keys to discuss recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma. The Governor will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, city and county leaders, law enforcement and National Guard leaders, and utility officials as Hurricane Irma response continues.
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
- Flood warnings are in effect across the state. To see the most current advisories in your county, click HERE.
POWER AND UTILITIES
- The current power outage as of 6:00 p.m. is more than 1.4 million accounts. For a full breakdown, click HERE. Since the height of power outages, 6.7 million on Monday, power has been restored to more than 5.2 million accounts, which is how utility companies measure each Florida home or business. More than 78 percent of all outages have been restored by more than 30,000 restoration personnel across Florida – the largest power restoration undertaking in history for a single state.
- Do not try to handle downed power lines. Contact your local utility company to report it.
- In total, 425,000 of Tampa Electric’s 730,000 customers were impacted by the storm. Power has already been restored to more than 381,000 customers.
- Tampa Electric expects to restore power to essentially all customers the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.
Florida Power and Light
- In total, 4.4 million customers were impacted by the storm. Power has already been restored to more than 3.4 million customers.
- FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the East Coast the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.
- FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the West Coast by Friday, Sept. 22.
- More than 1.3 million customers were impacted by the storm. Power has already been restored to more than 1.1 million customers.
- Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed for western service areas the night of Friday, Sept. 15.
- Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed for central and northern service areas the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.
- Gulf Power has fully restored power to the 13,000 customers affected by the storm and has no storm related outages.
Florida Electric Cooperatives Assoc.
- More than 760,000 customers were impacted by the storm. Power has already been restored to more than 662,000 customers.
- More than 800,000 customers were impacted by the storm. Power has already been restored to more than 689,000 customers.
- Restoration is expected to be completed by the night of Sunday, Sept. 17, except hardest hit areas, such as Key West, which will take longer to restore.
- Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Port of Jacksonville, and Port of Tampa are actively accepting fuel. The Florida Highway Patrol has troopers dedicated to escorting fuel resupply trucks to communities in need.
- This week, the Governor took the following actions to expedite fuel delivery to gas stations:
- Directed the Florida Highway Patrol to escort fuel resupply trucks to gas stations;
- Scott and executive office staff have held daily calls with all fuel supply stakeholders, including Florida Ports;
- Following the Governor’s request, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved an emergency fuel waiver which allows more fuel to quickly enter the state. For more information, please click HERE.
- Requested 11 states to join Florida in waiving weight and driver restrictions to move goods more quickly into the state, including fuel.
- More than 200 FWC officers statewide are deployed in areas with more than 500 law enforcement vessels including trucks, coastal and river patrol boats, ATVs and shallow draft boats.
- FWC has 155 officers, including Special Operations Group (SOG) and 28 officers from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in Monroe County, and 34 vessels. These officers are working with National Guard Members and an Urban Search and Rescue team to continue rescue operations in the Keys.
- As a result of the Governor’s Executive Order the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is waiving certain driver license and motor vehicle service fees for individuals impacted by Hurricane Irma.
- The entire Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), approximately 1,700 troopers, is on 12-hour shifts, with the primary mission to assist emergency response.
- FHP Auxiliary members continue to volunteer their time and more than 40 FHP Auxiliary Officers have volunteered at least 1,400 hours and assisted 446 motorists.
- The Florida Highway Patrol has more than 70 troopers who have conducted numerous missions to escort fuel resupply trucks from Port of Jacksonville, Port of Tampa, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral to communities in need.
- FHP has 50 troopers across the state continuing to conduct numerous security escorts for utility companies and companies with commodities so they can get damaged areas more expediently and provided traffic control for a utility company running power lines across the FL Turnpike in Dade County.
- FHP is providing multiple escorts to the Keys ensure the quick delivery of relief supplies, such as food to local supermarkets, portable toilets, water and resources with the Red Cross.
- 50 troopers have been deployed to assist the Collier County Sheriff and 20 troopers were deployed to assist St. Johns County law enforcement.
- FHP has troopers in Hardee County for traffic control/road closure support, troopers in Orlando to assist with emergency vehicle traffic, troopers in Duval County assisting with traffic control/road closures due to flooding, troopers in Monroe County to assist with traffic, and continues to receive numerous other urgent emergency escorts to damaged areas in south Florida.
- US 27 and US 41 near the Santa Fe River are closed due to flooding. FHP has troopers on post at various locations for traffic detour and safety.
- DHSMV Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW)Mobiles has been mobilized for impacted Florida residents in Lee and Collier counties to provide credentialing services to impacted customers.
- FDLE is coordinating hundreds of law enforcement missions through the state EOC including patrol and escort missions, shelter security and helping staff in the local EOCs in the impacted areas.
- There are more than 7,000 soldiers and airmen on the ground, as a combined force of members of the Florida National Guard, partner National Guard states and active duty components, that have conducted hundreds of missions across the state.
- In addition to Florida National Guard personnel and assets, more than 2,200 Guardsmen from 12 states (Georgia, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Iowa, Mississippi and South Carolina) are currently assisting with Hurricane Irma response operations. If need arises, the Guard stands ready to bring in more than 20,000 additional personnel through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
- More than 220 Soldiers and Airmen from the Florida National Guard are now supporting missions at 30 shelters across the state.
- 240 Florida Guardsmen are actively operating at 12 Points of Distribution (PODs) throughout the state, including the State Logistics Readiness Center (SLRC) in Orlando and various Logistics Staging Areas (LSAs) to ensure supplies are being quickly provided to those who need them.
- All Florida Army National Guard aviation assets are staged in Opalocka, where they are conducting air bridge operations to deliver life-saving supplies to the Florida Keys in coordination with the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Iwo Jima. The helicopters involved in the air bridge have the capability to deliver 18 pallets per day or evacuate 300 people per day, as needed.
- More than 65 shelters are open throughout Florida with a total population of more than 5,000 individuals. More than 30 special needs shelters are open with a total population of more than 1,800 individuals. This number is being updated throughout the day. Visit floridadisaster.org/shelters/summary.aspx to find information on shelters in your area.
- The Red Cross is preparing to open four shelters in the Florida Keys following area surveys and consultation with local officials. These shelters will provide humanitarian services in support of ongoing recovery operations.
- To find information about available shelter information by county, visit floridadisaster.org/shelters. FEMA is also hosting shelter information on its mobile app which can be found at fema.gov/mobile-app.
- The state is fully committed to ensuring adequate food resources are available to residents impacted by Hurricane Irma, and are prioritizing these resources based on areas where landfall occurred first and based upon urgency of need. USDA Foods from the state inventory have been deployed and the state is distributing ice for shelters, canteens, kitchens, and military support operations.
- The state has received approval from USDA Food and Nutrition Service to release foods sourced from The Emergency Assistance Food Program and Commodity Supplemental Food Service foods to be used by all counties per the Presidential Disaster Declaration.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
- The Florida Department of Transportation has announced that I-75 will remain open, as flood waters have been receding on the Santa Fe River. As of today, FDOT engineers and state meteorologists do not believe that the Santa Fe River will reach a level to make the interstate unsafe.
- This unprecedented river flooding is also causing closures and extensive rerouting of traffic nearby roadways. FDOT is monitoring S.R. 47 and U.S. 121 and will reroute traffic if needed. See the most recent closures below:
- US 27 BRIDGE CLOSURE: Northbound – US 27 traffic to Lake City detour at NW 9th Street in High Springs. Southbound – US 27 to Gainesville and Southbound US 27 traffic to Gainesville detour at SR 47 in Fort White.
- US 41 BRIDGE CLOSURE: Northbound – US 41 traffic to Lake City detour at Winn Dixie in High Springs. Southbound – US 41 traffic to Gainesville detour at CR 778.
- SR 47 CLOSURE – Traffic is being diverted on the north side at US 27 in Fort White and on the south side at CR 340.
- FDOT construction contractors have received notice to resume work on projects beginning at the discretion of FDOT local offices.
- FDOT continues to coordinate with Google’s emergency response team to “close” damaged roads in Google Maps in real time following damage assessments. FDOT is also working closely with WAZE, the Georgia Department of Transportation and other transportation industry partners to communicate the potential reroutes to the public.
- Governor Scott announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved a $25 million Emergency Relief (ER) Quick Release Grant to support response and recovery efforts for Florida’s roadways and transportation system. This federal funding will be used to conduct emergency repairs on impacted roads, embankments, bridges or other infrastructure and help restore traffic on major roadways to ensure Florida residents and visitors can travel safely.
- FDOT debris removal crews have cleared US 1 and has completed bridge inspection on 26 off-system bridges in Monroe County. FDOT is closely coordinating support of debris removal in off-system roads in Monroe County. Crews are out now in Big Pine Key and working their way into other locations as directed by the county. Local officials will determine when it’s safe to reenter Monroe County.
- FDOT worked with ATT to install temporary towers so those with ATT phones should have normal connectivity.
- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has completed damage assessments on major highways. Every interstate and turnpike is open for Floridians, however, there is heavy traffic volume on I-10 eastbound and I-75 southbound. Everyone should continue to listen to local officials on when to return home.
- Bridge inspections and debris clearance are ongoing throughout the state.
- FDOT is coordinating with other states to deploy additional resources to impacted counties. A number of other states have offered assistance. Maryland, Missouri and Delaware are currently deploying crews to Florida. FDOT continues to coordinate with other states.
- Around the state, FDOT has 13 traffic management centers where hundreds of DOT workers are monitoring traffic cameras 24/7.
- Governor Scott directed the FDOT to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Tolls remain suspended and immediate recovery efforts continue.
- An aggressive recovery effort is ongoing, working with FEMA to identify and activate federal grant programs that can benefit Floridians and their communities.
- President Donald Trump’s Administration expanded Major Disaster Declaration for Florida requested by Governor Scott to include individual assistance for Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, and Volusia counties. Sunday, just hours after Governor Scott’s request, President Trump approved a Major Disaster Declaration for Florida authorizing federal funding to flow directly to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma and reimburse local communities and the state government to aid in response and recovery.
- Emergency Protective Measures (Category A and Category B) funded through the Federal Public Assistance Program is available for all 67 counties.
- The Department of Management Services has helped repair, secure or assess more than 30 back-up communications systems, deployed more than 680 communications assets and resources and has processed more than 2,250 network trouble tickets and requests in support of city and county recovery efforts. The department is coordinating with telecommunications companies and working with vendors to repair network equipment and systems statewide.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging individuals and families to be alert for false rumors, scams, identity theft, and fraud. For resources on how to protect yourself and your loves ones from disaster fraud, visit https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma-rumor-control.
- Residents who sustained losses in the declared counties can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Residents who suffered damages from the storm may register now, and if their county is later included in the declaration, the application will be processed automatically.
- Governor Scott will continue to work with President Trump and FEMA to approve more funding to additional communities affected by the storm.
- Residents are also encouraged to download the FEMA App to begin the registration process. Simply click on Disaster Resources.
- If you do not have access to the internet, you may register by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY); if you use 711 Relay or Video Relay Service call 1-800-621-3362.
- The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
- The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health is conducting frequent and vigorous outreach to facilities every day, which includes daily calls with hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In-person wellness checks are being conducted for facilities when contact cannot be made or any facility that reports distress. See full release HERE.
- Assisted Living Facilities: 145 are utilizing generators, 2,373 have power, 187 have reported as being closed, 176 have reported post-storm evacuations;
- Nursing Homes: 30 are utilizing generators, 645 have power, 8 have reported being closed, 40 have reported post-storm evacuations
- Hospitals: 2 are utilizing generators, 304 have power, 8 have reported being closed, 8 have reported post-storm evacuations
- See the Governor’s statement regarding the tragedy in Broward HERE.
- The state is holding daily calls with assisted living facilities and nursing homes to ensure they have everything they need to serve those in their care. The state is aggressively working to restore power to these facilities.
- Up-to-date information on boil water notices is available online HERE.
- Disaster Medical Assistance Teams have been deployed to provide healthcare services to communities in need.
- Department of Health (DOH) Environmental Health staff are conducting assessments throughout the state and epidemiology staff are monitoring emergency department surveillance to identity carbon monoxide poisonings relating to generator use.
- DOH staff continues to provide staffing for special needs shelters and deploy other assets to aid in county recovery efforts. Ambulance strike teams have also been deployed to aid with movements.
- OneBlood is urging all those who are able to visit a local blood center and donate blood to do so. They have an urgent need for platelets and O negative blood.
- The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ regional offices are communicating with providers, waiver support coordinators, and APD customers to ensure they are safe and the status of their homes.
- The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility. All state veterans’ homes are currently operational and now on main utility power.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates a number of Florida-based medical centers, outpatient clinics and Vet Centers in the storm path. For specific information on all VA closures in Florida, please click HERE or visit http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/hurricane-irma/
- The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is working with federal officials as emergency assessments are completed for Disaster SNAP (also known as Food for Florida). DCF proactively submitted an initial request to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to activate Disaster SNAP in counties approved for FEMA for Individual Assistance. While Disaster SNAP is not currently active in Florida, DCF is communicating with the federal government to activate this program in eligible counties as soon as possible.
- DCF requested and FNS granted a mass replacement for 40 percent of SNAP benefits to customers approved as of September 10 in 52 counties. For more information, visit the ACCESS Florida webpage.
- Volunteer Florida and the Department of Management Services are seeking state employee volunteers to transport food to affected areas in Southwest and Northeast Florida beginning Friday, Sept. 15. DMS is also working with rental car companies to secure cargo vans and box trucks for this effort and both agencies are coordinating with the American Red Cross to deliver supplies to shelters and staging areas. For more information, visit www.dms.myflorida.com and click “Hurricane Irma: Volunteer to Help.”
- Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to support individuals who are impacted by Tropical Storm Irma. The Florida Disaster Fund helps provide financial support to Florida’s communities in times of disaster. To make a contribution, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10. Volunteer Florida has also engaged with Facebook to activate a donation portal online.
- In response to Hurricane Irma, Lyft is donating $100,000 to a “Relief Rides” program helping those in need get to/from hospitals and shelters after the hurricane, as well as partnering with Team Rubicon to help their volunteers. Call (754) 900-5949 to request a ride. If you are associated with a hospital, shelter, or local government, please email email@example.com so that Lyft can get you access to a pre-funded account to help those in need. Click here for information on how partners can use Lyft’s Concierge Service to request rides for those in need and who may not have access to a smartphone.
- Uber is donating $400,000 of rides, food and relief to families and communities affected as well as first responders. Uber is helping provide free rides across the state to Floridians in need. Call the toll-free number 844-800-9425 to request a ride. Local governments, nonprofits, and organizations with an immediate need can visit IrmaRelief@uber.com.
- Volunteer Florida is working with Johnson & Johnson, which is donating baby supplies and personal hygiene items to victims, Americares, which is donating pharmaceutical supplies to special needs shelters, Poland Water, which is donating 100 box cars of bottled water, American Logistics Network to stand up a multiple agency warehouse, and multiple volunteer partners.
- A Red Cross advance team is in the Florida Keys evaluating and assessing the most expeditious manner to provide services and emergency supplies there.
- The American Red Cross has accepted 1,000 meals offered through Volunteer Florida from Boar’s Head Provisions. Local arrangements are being made to deliver these meals to areas of need in Duval County.
- Volunteer Florida’s Community Emergency Response (CERT) Teams are assisting special needs residents with transportation, managing shelters, feeding first responders and local EOC staff, assisting citizens with reports of unmet needs, staffing county staging areas, and staffing call centers in Taylor County, Nassau County, Pasco County, Seminole County, Collier County, Broward County, Charlotte County Franklin County, Escambia County, and Lee County.
- Volunteer Florida’s AmeriCorps teams, including Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, Teach for America Jacksonville, Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie County, Northwest Florida State College, Heart of Florida United Way, Metropolitan Ministries, Florida State Parks, City Year Jacksonville, the Arc Jacksonville, Polk Education Foundation and the City of Orlando are continuing to provide disaster response services to Floridians in need. AmeriCorps members have served in special needs shelters, answered local citizen information lines, supported crisis hotlines, worked to clean up schools, and provided clean up at activities in 24 Florida state parks. These services are anticipated to support over 2,600 individuals.
- Today American Red Cross and the Southern Baptists will begin serving hot meals under their national agreement to provide food to disaster survivors. Under this agreement, the Southern Baptists mobilize their cooking teams with high capacity mobile kitchens and the Red Cross provides the bulk commodities for meal preparation and the trucks necessary to deliver these meals to the community. Seven such kitchens will be operational today in areas in most need of feeding support. Initially each kitchen will prepare between 1000 – 5000 meals per day but capacity can be increased as the demand requires. The Salvation Army is also working in several areas, including Key West. They are feeding at 3,000-4,000 meals and will ramp up to 10,000 meals.
- Today Volunteer Florida released a PSA featuring Sofia Vergara for the Florida Disaster Fund.
- Please visit www.fldoe.org/irma/ to view all school closures.
- 53 Florida State Parks have reopened for day-use only, 114 parks remain closed to ensure visitor safety. Park service staff have formed teams to respond to impacted parks and re-open them as quickly as possible. A full list of closures can be found at https://floridastateparks.org/content/storm-information.
- DEP staff requested an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) for 10 crews to assist the 117-mile main line repairs need from Key Largo to Key West. Currently, Tennessee and South Carolina are working to deploy teams tomorrow morning, to be escorted by law enforcement once in Florida. To supplement work until the teams arrive, Miami-Dade water and sewer department is assembling two teams to start work, and they will continue assisting in wastewater capacity once the EMAC teams arrive.
- At Governor Scott’s request, EPA will make it easier for Duke Energy Florida to use available fuel resources for vehicles and equipment responding to power outages in Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma to allow recovery efforts to continue as quickly as possible.
- DEP is coordinating with our contractors to complete post-storm inspections of the active state-led cleanup sites. 15 post-storm site inspections were completed yesterday, another 19 are expected to be completed today.
- DEP is mobilizing Beach Response Teams and participating with assistance of USACE in efforts to expedite recovery of Florida beaches. DEP staff have completed initial inspections to document damage to structures and the beach-dune system in Nassau, Duval, Brevard, Martin, Pinellas, Manatee, Indian River, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Broward, Franklin and Gulf counties. They will continue surveys in St. John, Flagler, Volusia, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. DEP’s Beaches Program staff began conducting more detailed engineering surveys and damage assessments today in Collier, Sarasota and Charlotte counties.
- DEP continues to coordinate with US Army Corps of Engineers, FDOT, US Coast Guard, FWC, and FEMA on debris removal statewide. DEP contractors are mobilizing to county-identified debris sites. Debris can be reported here.
- DEP has mobilized 12 Hazardous Assessment and Response Teams in coordination with the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard to assess hazardous waste facilities and respond to pollution incidents and other storm impacts. The 40 members of these teams have deployed to Duval and Hillsborough counties tomorrow to begin assessments, and are identifying additional sites north of Lake Okeechobee for assessment. 207 assessments have been completed.
- Dune and beach fortification activities in St. Johns, Volusia and Flagler counties that had begun in the week prior to Hurricane Irma have resumed. To date, more than 27,000 cubic yards of sand have been placed in these areas.
- Technical specialists from EPA’s water division have deployed to Florida to assist DEP staff with wastewater and drinking water system recovery.
- DEP has established a mutual aid system to coordinate responses between utilities, the department, and other responders. This system is active and continues to coordinate and respond to the needs of drinking and waste water facilities throughout Florida. This includes ensuring generators for lift stations, wastewater plants and other vital infrastructure operations, providing pumps for flood control measures and deploying crews to assist with drinking and wastewater facility repairs.
- DEP has issued an emergency order to ensure recovery efforts are not hampered or delayed. DEP has expanded that order for power plants to cover the entire state to assist any facility recovering from the storm and a new order to waive certain rules for fuel facilities impacted by the storm statewide. Both orders apply only to impacted facilities and have provisions to guard the environment while assisting in quick recovery of critical infrastructure.
- DEP is working with FWC, EPA, and the U.S. Coast Guard to mitigate pollutants from submerged vessels.
WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS
- The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD): Water control structures in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes area remain open and water managers have increased flows at the S-65 structure from Lake Kissimmee south into the Kissimmee River to help further lower water levels in the Chain of Lakes.
- SFWMD will install two additional 42-inch temporary pumps to help lower water levels in Lake Rosalie in Polk County.
- To help lower water levels in the Big Cypress Basin, SFWMD is installing two 42-inch temporary pumps in Collier County, and deploying additional temporary pumps.
- SFWMD debris removal contractors are making progress removing debris from canals and rights of way in Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties that could slow the flow of water.
- SFWMD continues pumping into the Ten Mile Creek Water Preserve Area in northern St. Lucie County to help lower water levels in the creek.
- All SFWMD diesel pumps South Dade Conveyance System in the system are pumping, and gated structures remain fully open to help reduce water levels.
- Pumps along the southern rim of Lake Okeechobee continue pumping water into the lake to address flooding, which has affected families and businesses in Glades communities.
- SFWMD continues to assist Orlando International Airport with operations to lower its water levels.
- The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) continues to operate water control structures. All structures without power are being monitored and are discharging as needed. These structures can be manually operated if needed.
- SWFWMD continues to operate the Lower Hillsborough River Flood Detention Area, diverting all flows from the Hillsborough River to the Tampa Bypass Canal. In cooperation with the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County, the District has started to discharge out of the Detention Area to the Hillsborough River while closely monitoring river stage. This effort is intended to reduce impacts to Morris Bridge Road.
- The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) continues to manage flood control structures at the Ocklawaha Basin to protect private residences. This includes closure of the Apopka Dam.
- SJRWMD continues to manage the Upper St Johns River Basin to help mitigate flooding. At this time, all possible efforts have been taken to reduce discharges to the St Johns River; including maximizing flows through the C-54 to the Indian River Lagoon. Levee inspections within the SJRWMD are 50 percent complete at this time.
BUSINESS, INDUSTRY, & ECONOMIC STABILIZATION
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has launched the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma to provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm. To complete an application by the Oct. 31, 2017, deadline, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. For more information contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 850-898-3489 or emailDisaster@FloridaSBDC.org.
- DEO has launched the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Program to provide assistance to businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Irma. To file for DUA or for more information go to www.FloridaJobs.org or call 1-800-385-3920.
- The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center business damage assessment surveying tool has been activated for businesses to report damages resulting from Hurricane Irma. Businesses are encouraged to visit http://flvbeoc.org/index.php. Click on Hurricane Irma.
- A private sector hotline is available at (850) 410-1403 to respond to calls from businesses and private sector support organizations.
- The state is working to identify the “open/close” status of businesses. This information is being posted to the SERT Tropical Storm Irma web page: http://www.floridadisaster.org/info/ .
- The Florida Retail Federation is assisting in coordinating information to Florida Retailers regarding restocking of emergency supplies, readying mobile pharmacies, and the transportation of fuel.
- The Florida Small Business Development Center Network is working with federal officials to identify additional staffing and financial resources to support business response activities.
- The Florida Chamber of Commerce is coordinating with their members and local chambers to determine post-storm recovery needs and identifying resources available to be sent to the affected areas.
- Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is encouraging lodging operators’ enrollment in the FEMA Transitional Shelter Assistance Program for displaced persons. All lodging operators are encouraged to sign-up at http://ela.corplodging.com.
- DEO has received approval by the United States Department of Labor to implement the Disaster Dislocated Worker Program to assist with cleanup and in providing humanitarian assistance.
- At the direction of Governor Scott, Insurance Commissioner 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 an additional 90 days to policyholders to supply information to their insurance company; prohibits insurance companies from canceling or non-renewing policies covering residential properties damaged by the hurricane for at least 90 days; and freezes any and all efforts to increase rates on policyholders for 90 days. The Order can be found HERE.
- Floridians affected by the storm must now begin the process of surveying damages to their property and belongings. If you need help finding your Florida’s property insurance company’s website and contact information, click HERE. For a list of licensed insurance agents in Florida, click HERE.
- Consumers with questions about their policies and those who need help filing a claim should call the CFO’s free Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
- It is important to document all damaged property and belongings. A free smartphone app developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners called “MyHome Scr.APP.book” is available to assist with photo documentation.
- Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has opened three Catastrophe Response Centers have across Southern Florida. At these centers, policy holders can file claims, confirm coverage and receive advance payments for additional living expenses when appropriate. For more information, click HERE.
- OIR has updated its “Hurricane Season Resources” webpage, which contains links to information provided by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, and contact information for Florida’s property insurers.