Resources (updated daily or more frequently)
Florida's toll-free Disaster Legal Services Hotline Number is 866-550-2929. This is a dedicated Hurricane Irma disaster line, funded by FEMA and supported by the American Bar Association, the Florida Board of Governors, and the Florida Young Lawyers Division, where you may leave a message for a lawyer to return your call. For more information about this resource, click here.
Visit the Florida Law Help Website for additional disaster relief information and resources.
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA)
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) offers assistance for sheltering (including paying for a hotel) and money for home repairs, housing, and other assistance (including medical, dental, funeral, essential household items, storage, and vehicle assistance). FEMA assistance does not have to be repaid.
FEMA Frequently Asked Questions (English)
FEMA Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish)
FEMA Frequently Asked Questions (Haitian Creole)
FEMA’s Operation Blue Roof Program is now available in some counties to homeowners impacted by Irma. This program provides blue plastic sheeting to reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has prepared a Hurricane Irma fact sheet with basic information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). To qualify for DUA, you must be out of work as a direct result of Irma and not qualify for regular Reemployment Assistance. DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning September 10, 2017 until March 17, 2018. DUA benefits do not have to be repaid.
You can also call 1-800-385-3920 Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Most people only have until about October 16, 2017 to apply.
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)
TANF pays money to low-income families with dependent children and pregnant women in their third trimester to help pay for rent, utilities, and other household expenses. TANF is not a disaster program but may help families who have been impacted by Irma. TANF benefits do not have to be repaid.
Medicaid pays for medically necessary services for low-income individuals and families. Medicaid is not a disaster program but may help families who have been impacted by Irma. Medicaid benefits do not have to be repaid.
Apply for Medicaid online. Or you can apply for Medicaid on a paper application that you can mail, fax, or return to your local Customer Service Center. Download the paper application here.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have instructed loan servicers to extend a 90-day forbearance due to Irma. http://www.freddiemac.com/about/hurricane-relief.html
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) will provide remote access to educational resources to all Florida students who have been displaced by Hurricane Irma. Go to www.flvs.net to begin the registration process or email firstname.lastname@example.org for special accommodations. This does not replace Florida’s obligations under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Call 2-1-1 for general shelter advice. If the call fails, text IRMA to 898-211 for help by text.
Visit the national Disaster Legal Aid Website
The Florida Disaster Website provides resources for shelters by county, evacuation zones, traffic updates, road closures, and power outages. Florida Disaster Website and Florida Emergency Information Line - 1-800-342-3557
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES CONSUMER HELPLINE
DFS STORM HOTLINE
AMERICAN RED CROSS
legal assistance is critical...
Legal aid provides critical resources for all people surviving natural disasters. We help people find safe, secure housing, stand up against discrimination, navigate insurance claims, provide fraud protections, and assist with reproduction of wills or other lost life planning documents.
For low-income families, who often have little power or influence, any loss of property or income has a disproportionately heavy impact. Legal aid helps connect people with disaster recovery networks and obtain FEMA benefits and other insurance benefits. We also assist with Landlord/Tenant disputes and foreclosure problems.
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) runs SNAP, which used to be known as “Food Stamps.” There are 3 different ways that this program may be able to help you buy food. SNAP benefits do not have to be repaid.
1. Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP), which will help many people who were caught in Irma even if they would not normally qualify for SNAP. Apply for D-SNAP online. However, you will not be able to apply for D-SNAP until DCF officially starts the program. DCF working to enact a DSNAP assistance program. The most up-to-date and accurate information on SNAP benefits and changes will be posted on the ACCESS Florida webpage. There is misinformation currently circulating on social media that indicates that Disaster SNAP is available to any individual who lost power for more than two hours – this is FALSE. Additional scams and rumors may arise. Check the ACCESS Florida webpage for accurate information.
2. The second is Replacement SNAP, which provides current SNAP recipients with more SNAP benefits to pay for food they lost in Irma. Apply for replacement SNAP by filling out a Food Assistance Replacement Authorization form # CF-ES 3515. Return the form to DCF by mail, fax, or in person within 10 days of your loss. Find contact information for local DCF offices here.
3. Regular SNAP, if you are low income and in need of food assistance.
Apply for regular SNAP online here. You can also apply for regular SNAP on a paper application that can be mailed, faxed or returned to your local Customer Service Center. Click here to downloaded a paper form.
Regular SNAP Benefits now extended to hot food through 9/30/17
Current food assistance households in the following counties lost power for four or more hours and will automatically receive 40% of their food assistance allotment for September 2017 to replace food loss. Households that experienced a greater loss than 40% will be required to submit documentation (e.g., affidavits, photos, etc). Contact FLS if you experience roadblocks in obtaining this additional assistance. This rule applies to the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gilchrist, Glades, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Suwanee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, and Wakulla.
HURRICANE FOOD PACKAGES
Persons impacted by Irma can get food packages through the Disaster Household Distribution (DHD) program run by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in collaboration with Feeding Florida and Farm Share and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is a short-term program until D-SNAP is implemented. Not all counties are participating yet.
You do not have to apply for Hurricane Food Packages and no documentation is needed. Simply go to your local distribution location at the specified time to get a food package. For locations and times, go to: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Food-Nutrition-and-Wellness/HurricaneFoodPackages