Hurrican Michael has caused catastrophic damage to much of the Florida Panhandle. Many still don't have basic services like power, water, food and phone service. Many are on the Verizon service, but the towers are out. Food and supply trucks are arriving in daily from churches and many other local groups to aid in relief.
I'm not asking or collecting donations. What I am providing are some emergency info for those who may not know where to go for information. So if you have friends and family located in and around Panama City and Mexico Beach, please get this information to them.
Please beward of SCAMS! I live on the Gulf Coast also, and 80 miles was the difference of being included in the devastation. The day of the hurricane I got a call that said my Social Security had been suspended! What?? First of all I'm not quite old enough (just yet) for social security, but the fact that they were calling people to say that. So.... of course I called the number provided and asked why it was suspended... they said what is your social security number so we can pull your file.. really? I said I don't know it and my children take care of those things. But they asked me to go look for it. So I pleaded with them to tell me why it was suspended, but they refused to tell me without my SSN. I told them I would have my daughter call them back with the information. They said okay.... Later that day and the next day... I started receiving calls from Police Officer Brown who also said my social security had been suspended and to call the number provided....
Needless to say I blocked the number. But I say that to say the SCAMS are out there and FEMA and any of the emergency services won't ask for or take any money from people.
In this time of recovery here are some websites and telephone numbers that might assist you or someone you know:
To apply for FEMA assistance visit: www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585. To find the nearest FEMA Disaster Recovery Center visit: https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/ DRCLocator
If you need emergency help call 9-1-1.
If you need supplies, such as food, water, or ice, please contact your county emergency management at: http://www.floridadisaste r.org/fl_county_em.asp or by phone at (850) 815-4001 for the location of the nearest distribution center. Your county emergency management can provide up-to-date information about shelters and local distribution centers for food and supplies.
HELP FOR SENIORS
If you know of a senior who needs assistance call the Florida Department of Elder Affairs hotline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337). To report elder abuse, call 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).
HELP FOR VETERANS
Veterans in need of assistance or in need of their medication can contact the Veteran Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 or go to any VA medical facility for assistance.
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress please call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained counselor. You may also visit: http://bit.ly/2vH2Huc for more information about managing stress after a disaster and talking with children about traumatic events.
To find a dialysis center in your area visit: http://www.dialysisunits.com/. Patients of DaVita Dialysis may contact 1-800-400-8331 to find the nearest Dialysis Center.
To find out if you qualify for temporary mortgage relief, visit the Freddie Mac website at: http://www.freddiem ac.com/about/hurricane-relief.html , the Fannie Mae website at: http://www .fanniemae.com/portal/about-fm/hurricane-relief.html or by phone at 1-800-2FANNIE (800-232-6643). To contact the Federal Housing Finance Agency visit: https://www.fhfa.gov/Homeownersbuyer/MortgageA ssist ance/ Pages /Disa ster-Assistance.aspx
You may also contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to find out if you qualify for any hurricane related help with your mortgage or mortgage insurance. To contact HUD about disaster assistance visit: https://www. hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/ins/203h-dft or https://www. hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/nsc/qaho0121
Taxpayers in affected areas may be eligible for tax relief from the IRS. To learn more about IRS assistance visit: https://ww w.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations.
DISASTER RECOVERY LOANS
The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing various disaster loans to qualifying Floridians. For more information about SBA disaster loans visit: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-ass istance/. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides loans to qualifying individuals, businesses, and communities after disasters. For more information visit: https://www.usda.gov/topics/d isaster/storms, or contact the USDA office in Florida at: (352) 338-3400.
DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
Floridians who are unemployed as a result of a disaster, and who are ineligible for regular state unemployment insurance, are encouraged to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) through the U.S. Department of Labor. For additional information about DUA visit: https://workfo rcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/disaster.asp or contact the U.S. Department of Labor by phone at 1-866-487-2365.
HURRICANE RESPONSE HIRING
The U.S. Small Business Administration is hiring a variety of temporary positions located throughout areas affected by recent disasters. For more information visit: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurrican e-res ponse -jobs -sba< /a>. For FEMA hiring visit: https://careers.fema.gov/hur ricane-workforce.
For in-person assistance with storm related questions, visit your local FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. For a list of centers in your area visit: https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/ DRCLocator or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585.
Be aware of SCAMS: Federal and state workers never ask for or accept money, and always carry identification badges. There is no fee required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, or the State of Florida. If you suspect fraud call FEMA's Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or the Florida Attorney General fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226.
Emergency Assistance 9-1-1
Local resources (food, shelter, childcare,) 2-1-1
Food, water, ice distribution https://www.floridadisaster.org/, 850-815-4001, TDD/TTY: 1-800-226-4329
County Emergency Management Offices https://www.floridadisaster.org /counties/
Florida Highway Conditions: www.flhsmv.gov/f hp/traffic/live_traffic_feed.html, or dial 5-1-1 or *FHP (347)
Florida Elder Affairs Hotline 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/
Veteran Disaster Hotline www.va.gov, 1-800-507-4571
Disaster Distress Helpline (for emotional distress) 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
Blue Tarp Roofs (Army Corps of Engineers) 1-888-ROOF-BLU
FEMA www.disasterassistance.gov, 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-745-0243