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Hurricane Resources

Emergency Food Distribution and Shelter Assistance

Food Distribution

The state of Florida sends food to participating food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and organizations such as the Salvation Army and other mass care organizations to feed those affected by a disaster.

Additional Emergency Food Assistance Programs:

Shelter Assistance

Transitional Shelter Assistance: https://www.fema.gov/transitional-shelter-assistance

Disaster Relief Information 

For those affected by a hurricane and seeking relief assistance, the first thing you must do is register with www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.

If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

Critical FEMA and Florida-specific resources

FEMA Website and Helpline 800-621-3362

FEMA coordinates response to disasters occurring within the United States. Those who have suffered significant damage to their homes can apply for government assistance on their home page: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Contact the FEMA Helpline if you have questions about:

  • The help offered by FEMA.
  • How to apply for assistance.
  • Information in your account.

Call 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, 7 days a week:

  • 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362)
  • TTY 1-800-462-7585
  • 711 or VRS 1-800-621-3362
  • You can also send an email from the Disaster Assistance webform.
  • Or write to:
    FEMA
    P.O. Box 10055
    Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are accessible meeting places set up after a disaster. There you can learn about FEMA or other assistance programs. You may also ask questions about your case or seek guidance on other disaster-related issues. The services offered at each DRC may vary.

There are two ways to find a DRC near you:

  1. Use the DRC Locator web page to find addresses and DRC details. Find info like the hours of operation, services offered, and driving directions.
  2. Text DRC and a ZIP Code to 4FEMA (43362). (Example: DRC 01234.) Using this option doesn’t add you to any messaging service. It’s just like doing a search on the Web. (Standard text rates may apply.)

Legal Aid Hotline – 866-550-2929

A legal aid hotline is available for hurricane survivors in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney: 1-866-550-2929.

The hotline operates through a partnership between The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Both English and Spanish voicemail recordings give instructions for callers to leave a message requesting storm-related legal assistance, and to provide their name, telephone number, county of residence, and a description of their legal problems.

Assistance through this hotline is available to qualified Floridians affected by hurricanes in all Florida counties. Those who qualify will be matched with Florida lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help such as:

  • Securing FEMA and other benefits
  • Making life, medical and property insurance claims
  • Dealing with home repair contractors
  • Replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the hurricane
  • Helping with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures
  • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems or landlord/tenant issues

Callers can leave a message on the hotline at any time. Calls will be returned within two business days between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. There are some limitations: for example, assistance is not available for cases in which fees are paid as part of a settlement or award from a court. Such cases will be referred to a lawyer referral service. Funding for this hotline comes from FEMA under the authority of Section 415 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency assistance Act (Public Law 100-707).

The Florida Bar has raised the income qualifying cap for its online legal clinic, Florida Free Legal Answers, to ensure that Floridians can access the site and post questions related to Hurricane Michael. More than 500 attorneys signed up to volunteer for the site, which ordinarily matches low-income Floridians with attorneys who can answer basic legal questions. The site is a collaboration between the Florida Bar and the American Bar Association, which approved the qualifying cap increase.

Disaster Assistance Insurance Helpline

1-800-22-STORM (800-227-8676) or 1-850-413-3089

Red Cross Resources

http://www.redcross.org/get-help

Phone Numbers for the Red Cross: 

North Florida Region:

  • Jacksonville  (904)-358-8091 or (888)-843-5748  serving Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns and Union counties.
  • Tallahassee (850)-878-6080 or (866)-943-9010 serving Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties.
  • Pensacola  (850)-432-7601 or (800)-733-2767 serving Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties.

Central Florida Region:

  • Florida’s Space Coast Chapter | Brevard, Flagler, Volusia Counties | 321-890-1002
  • Greater Orlando Chapter | Orange, Osceola, Seminole Counties | 407-894-4141
  • Mid-Florida Chapter | Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Pasco, Polk, Sumter Counties | 863-295-5941
  • Southwest Florida Chapter | Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Sarasota, Manatee Counties | 941-379-9300
  • Tampa Bay Chapter | Hillsborough, Pinellas Counties | 813-348-4820

South Florida Region:

  • Broward County Chapter | Fort Lauderdale, FL (954) 797-3800 serves Broward County
  • Coast to Heartland | Vero Beach, FL (772) 562-2549  serves Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Highlands counties.
  • Florida’s Southern Gulf | Naples, FL (239) 596-6868 serves Collier, Glades, Hendry & Lee Counties
  • Miami & The Keys | Miami, FL (305) 644-1200 serves Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Florida Department of Health (DOH); If you are on FL ADAP and have lost your medications due to a hurricane and your county health dept. is not open call toll-free (844) 381-ADAP (2327). 
  • Florida Department of Financial Services Disaster Assistance 1-800-22-STORM or (850) 413-3089
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585 
  • To Verify Coverage/Report Claims Citizens Property Insurance Corporation 1-866-411-2742
  • American Red Cross 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
  • State of Florida Emergency Information 1-800-342-3557
  • To Verify Contractor License Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (850) 487-1395 
  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 1-800-435-7352
  • Florida Department of Elder Affairs Helpline 1-800-963-5337
  • Florida Department of Financial Services Fraud Hotline 1-800-378-0445

Additional Resources

You may reach the Florida Division of Consumer Services by calling 1-877-693-5236, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, EST.

You can speak directly with individuals who can help you review your policies to understand your coverage, help you file claims for damage and offer assistance in the event that you are having trouble communicating with your insurance company.

The Children and Disasters webpage reflects resources available to support the integration and implementation of children’s disaster related needs into preparedness, planning, response and recovery efforts initiated by state, local and tribal governments, as well as stakeholders responsible for the temporary care of children.

Emergency Financial Toolkit – This toolkit is designed to help you organize your financial information before and after an emergency.

NEA Member Benefits – NEA Member Benefits has announced that many of their benefit partners are offering special assistance to members in need. Their site has a list of contact information for our partners and details on specific assistance they have available.

AFT Disaster Relief – AFT has compiled their own resource page which includes helpful information about everything from fact sheets on cleaning up after a storm, a link with tips for students that receive financial aid, to helping students cope after a natural disaster.

Have a fur baby? You can search for pet-friendly lodging on BringFido.com.

Emergency Management Websites (by county)

Q&As for Florida Educators

Common questions about school closures, testing, students with IEPs, evaluations, certifications and more. Updated 3/31.

Digital Learning Resources for Educators and Parents

Resources for engaging students during the school closure

FEA Statewide Town Hall on COVID-19 

Video and transcript of March 25 town hall on the impact of coronavirus on Florida’s public education system.

Q&As and Resources for Parents

Common questions and resources for parents — including links for meals for students in need.

Advocacy Updates for
COVID-19

Ways for members to take action to protect students, educators, healthcare professionals and working people.

Member Benefit Resources and Links

Overview of the additional resources our benefit partners are providing to help members deal with the COVID pandemic. Updated 4/20 with Student Loan Forgiveness information.

AFL-CIO Survival Guide for Unemployment

A PDF guide for working people facing unemployment.

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