Hurricane Michael Updates & Assistance Available

October 11, 2018
Blog Post

Dear neighbor,

Our fellow Floridians in the Panhandle and Big Bend just faced one of the strongest Hurricanes our state has witnessed in decades. There are over 400,000 people without power, massive property damage, and communication services are still down. Over 8,400 people are in shelters, and that number is expected to increase today.

While officials continue to assess the extent of the damage from Hurricane Michael, FEMA granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Florida, triggering the release of federal funds for programs that offer debris removal, food stamps, temporary shelter, property damage claims, and emergency protection measures.

Here are some of the assistance programs you and your loved ones in these counties can count on starting today:

  • Assistance to individuals and households has been approved Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Taylor, and Wakulla counties 
  • Public assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities has been approved for the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla.
  • All counties in the State of Florida are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. 

Individuals in Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Taylor, and Wakulla Counties can register with FEMA the following ways:

  • Apply online at 
  • Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

Our prayers are with North Floridians during this difficult time. In the face of adversity, Floridians have always come together, with a resilient spirit and a lending hand, to bounce back stronger than before. This won’t be the exception.

As always, my office is here to help.


Darren Soto