Response efforts continue for Hurricane Michael survivors
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent out the following press release on Tuesday, October 16...
As the response to Hurricane Michael continues, local and state responders, federal teams and voluntary agencies continue providing assistance to help survivors begin their recovery.
“Disaster response works best when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “FEMA is coordinating round-the-clock efforts by thousands of trained responders. Whether it is FEMA personnel, voluntary organizations or members of the military, there are a lot of people working to help survivors.”
Since Michael’s landfall, search and rescue teams from FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and others, working alongside state responders and volunteers, have completed 152 evacuations, 4,194 rescues/assists, 21,568 shelter in place checks, and 2,100 animal assists. More than 27,000 structural assessments were completed in Florida.
FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are in Florida helping survivors register for assistance. More than 36,000 individuals in Florida contacted FEMA for help and information, including for disaster assistance and referrals to federal, state and voluntary agency sources of disaster assistance.
Sixteen different states are sending support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. More than 35 missions are active in Florida; there are three missions active in Georgia. Nearly 500 people deployed to assist missions in both states.
Additionally, more than 30,000 utility workers from several states are assisting with power restoration missions throughout the impacted areas.
Distribution sites are providing meals, water and other items in areas where stores are not open, or where supplies are limited. For locations:
- Florida residents should visit FloridaDisaster.org.
- Georgia residents should visit Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency's website.
Residents in the impacted areas should:
- Keep yourself and your family safe. Return home only if you are told it is safe by local officials. As you clear debris please look carefully around the debris for any visible cables. If you see any cables, wait for professional help. Power cables can kill easily.
- Be strong. Focus on your specific needs and take care of one another. Shelters are providing information, charging stations, and connection to assistance from federal, state, and voluntary agencies. They also have communications support, so you can contact loved ones and let them know you’re safe.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Register for assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov if you have damages not covered by insurance. Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline by texting TalkWithUs to 66746 or call 1-800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press 2 or text Hablanos to 66746) to speak with a trained crisis counselor.
- Get started on your recovery. Photograph/video damages, and then begin cleaning up. Contact your insurance company to file a claim.
Other federal, private sector and voluntary organizations response actions include:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Disaster Distress Helpline is available to assist survivors in coping with the stress. To connect with a trained crisis counselor, call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (for Spanish, press 2 or text Hablanos to 66746).
- Eight Health and Human Services Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are caring for patients at four emergency departments in Florida. The teams treated 500 emergency patients and are also providing medical care at one shelter.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are implementing the Operation Blue Roof program today and will be starting right of entry collection in Bay County.
- The Corps is engaged in 14 response programs including providing temporary emergency power in Florida, offering technical assistance on debris removal, route clearance and temporary roofing and assessing critical public facilities and infrastructure.
- The temporary power team has installed two generators in Florida, with three installations in progress. Three generators have been installed in Georgia, with three more installations in progress.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- EPA engineers are assisting local officials as they assess drinking water and wastewater facilities in communities affected by Hurricane Michael. An EPA mobile lab is providing support to restore Bay County’s drinking water operations.
U.S. Department of Labor
- National Dislocated Worker Grant funding is available to help Florida assess its workforce needs due to significant job losses caused by Hurricane Michael. This funding assists the state and local governments to expand service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs.
Internal Revenue Service
- The IRS granted an extension of the Oct. 15 and other filing deadlines to people who were affected by Hurricane Michael. Survivors in parts of Florida and elsewhere have until Feb. 28, 2019, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments.
Whole Community Response Efforts: Government agencies are just one part of the team. Partnerships with faith-based, voluntary and non-governmental agencies, and the private sector help support survivors who need assistance:
- The Salvation Army mobilized 70 mobile feeding units with a combined service capacity of 105,000 daily meals. Since the response to Hurricane Michael began, the Salvation Army has served more than 59,000 meals and provided emotional and spiritual support to 2,839 survivors.
- Operation Barbeque Relief has field kitchens in Florida with a total meal capacity of 30,000 meals per day.
- In Florida, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief opened a disaster kitchen which can produce up to 20,000 meals per day. Three more kitchens with an additional 40,000 meals per day capacity are expected to open today.
- In Georgia, Southern Baptists Disaster Relief is opening one kitchen today with a capacity of 15,000 meals per day.
- Airbnb homes have opened to host displaced survivors for free, 214 available in Georgia and Florida including 63 in the Panhandle area.
- Comcast is offering free access to 8,000 XFINITY WiFi hotspots in Tallahassee and the Panhandle. The service is available to customers and non-customers.
- Verizon has two, free charging stations in Albany, Ga. Verizon’s Big Red Command Trailer has multiple workstations and satellite connectivity and is supporting the Bay County Emergency Operations Center.
- Voluntary technology professionals at Information Technology Disaster Resource Center are providing free communications support for Albany, Ga.
- Datto is working with the Red Cross to provide internet in Florida shelters.
Uber is offering free rides, worth up to $25 each, to and from shelters.