Two Ways You Can Help
The Florida Disaster Fund
The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. 100% of funds raised will go toward disaster-related response and recovery; there are no overhead costs. Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, 501(c)(3) charitable organization and are tax deductible.
The Florida Disaster Fund distributes funds to service organizations that will serve individuals within their communities with disaster response and recovery. Individuals seeking financial assistance should register with FEMA at 800-621-FEMA or www.disasterassistance.gov.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce maintains a Local Chamber Relief fund and it’s exclusively designed to support Florida’s local chambers that have been most impacted by Hurricane Irma. Click here www.FloridaChamber.com/Relief to make a tax deductible donation. Thank you for your help ensuring that local chambers of commerce can get back to doing what we do best – supporting free enterprise.
Consumer Alert Warning
If your home or automobile suffered damage from Hurricane Irma, don’t sign over benefits of your insurance to contractors without consulting your insurance company. You don’t have to sign an AOB (Assignment of Benefits) to get your home repaired or to get the glass in your vehicle repaired.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce and its Consumer Protection Coalition urge you to be on the lookout for unscrupulous home repair vendors and trial attorneys that try to profit off the disaster by asking you to sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Remember, consumers do not need to sign an AOB to get storm-related repairs. Click here to listen to a special consumer alert. Watch the videos below to learn more.
Attorney General Bondi Activates Price Gouging Hotline
A quick guide on how to avoid falling victim to Assignment of Benefits abuse.
Florida’s Source for Traffic Info: Florida511
There are a number of closures due to Hurricane Irma. Florida 511 provides up to the minute traffic and transit information for Florida. You can view these on the map by selecting ‘Closures’ in the map legend.
Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center
- Business-specific information about hurricane preparation and recovery efforts can be found here.
- If your business has been damaged in a hurricane, please take the Business Damage Assessment. The information provided in this survey will be shared among various state and local agencies to expedite implementation of appropriate disaster relief programs for businesses. This survey assists the State with determining if relief services for businesses should be activated. The Business Damage Assessment can be found here.
Post-Hurricane Business Assistance
- The Florida Division of Emergency Management has created a webpage that outlines the types of assistance that may be available for businesses after a hurricane. Click here to learn more.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides financial assistance to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Click here to learn more.
U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
- Per a Presidential Disaster Declaration, eligible businesses from the following counties can receive Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration: Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota, Saint Johns. Click here to apply.
- Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Pasco, Polk, Volusia. Click here to Apply.
Important Florida Hurricane Information
Both general and specific information about hurricanes threatening Florida can be found here.
Avoid Digital Disaster: Free Email Continuity Program for Businesses Threatened by Natural Disaster
The AppRiver Digital Disaster Recovery Program is an emergency email continuity program provided free by AppRiver to businesses facing imminent natural disasters. Businesses threatened by approaching hurricanes or other catastrophic events may simply redirect their email to AppRiver through our secure data centers. Once the danger passes and connectivity is restored, AppRiver will forward all outage-period e-mail activity to the company’s e-mail server, free of charge.