Jackson County Hurricane Michael Recovery Information

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (Press Release) - UPDATE 11/1/2018 3:40 p.m.
From Governor Rick Scott's Office:
Governor Rick Scott has been in constant communication with local emergency management officials in Jackson County following the impact of Hurricane Michael. The following information has been reported to the State Emergency Response Team and includes specific actions the state has taken to aid the residents of Jackson County impacted by Hurricane Michael.

FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) was approved for families in Jackson County following a request from Governor Rick Scott. TSA provides FEMA-funded lodging in hotels and motels for eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return home for an extended period due to disaster-related damages. FEMA is currently notifying eligible families in Jackson County of their sheltering options under TSA. Families in Jackson County looking to confirm their TSA eligibility should call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). You can also visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov for more information on TSA and to find participating hotels and motels. This program has also been approved for Bay and Gulf counties.

Following Governor Scott's request, FEMA approved Direct Housing Assistance for Jackson County. This assistance includes recreational vehicles, mobile homes, direct lease, multi-family lease and repair and group sites.

FEMA Individual Assistance and Public Assistance was approved October 11. Federal re-employment assistance is also now available for individuals in Jackson County. Nearly 10,000 people in Jackson County have already registered for FEMA individual assistance.

DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS
A Disaster Recovery Center or DRC is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where survivors may go for information about our programs or other disaster assistance programs, and to ask questions related to your case. Representatives from FDEM, FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), volunteer groups and other agencies are at the centers to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance.
There is currently one DRC open in Jackson County at 2737 Penn Ave., Marianna, FL 32448, this center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT.

FOOD AND WATER
There are two points of distribution for food and water open in Jackson County:
3172 Main Street, Cottondale, FL 32431
6918 E Hwy 90, Grand Ridge, FL 32442

COMMUNICATIONS
Currently, 95 percent of cellular service coverage has been restored in Jackson County. This does not include mobile cellular assets augmenting the network.

POWER RESTORATION
Current power outage as of 3 p.m. is 3,343 or 13 percent. This means that 87 percent of customers that had lost power in Jackson County and are able to receive power have had their power restored.

SHELTERS
Currently one shelter is open in Jackson County at the Jackson County Agriculture Center, 3627 Hwy 90, Marianna, FL 32448.
Visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/shelter-status/ to find information on shelters in your area. This site is being updated as shelters open throughout the day.

MILITARY SUPPORT
There are currently 95 National Guard troops deployed to Jackson County.

LAW ENFORCEMENT
Currently, FHP troopers are deployed in Jackson County to provide traffic control on I-10 to assist with debris removal.
The Florida Highway Patrol also has Troopers escorting utility vehicles and providing security for power restoration efforts.

TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
All state roads in Jackson County are open.
FDOT has completed all state bridge inspections and all state bridges are open in Jackson County.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is in contact with healthcare facilities to ensure they have the resources they need.
Assisted living facility, Chipola Health and Rehabilitation Center has been completely evacuated and remains closed.
Jackson Hospital in Marianna has reopened and has power.
Facilities report their evacuation status to the Agency through the Emergency Status System. An updated evacuation report can be found on the AHCA twitter page: https://twitter.com/AHCA_FL
DOH-Jackson is open and providing services to the public.
3 ambulances vehicles have been deployed to Jackson County.
DCF is providing additional SNAP benefits for customers Jackson County. These benefits are now in the customer’s accounts and accessible on their EBT cards. For more information, click HERE.
There are currently four active boil water notices in Jackson County. To view boil water notices in your area, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/drinking-water/boil-water-notices.html.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
DEP has completed 13 mission requests, and is assisting with an additional 12 long term recovery missions, submitted through Florida's Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN) in Jackson County.
Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART) have completed assessments at all high priority hazardous waste facilities in Jackson County.
235 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been pre-authorized for the counties addressed by the Governor’s Executive Order, with four in Jackson County. An additional 32 sites have been approved for Jackson County.
DEP has deployed wastewater, drinking water and solid waste technical experts to Jackson County to ensure their needs are met.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
The Florida SBDC Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration have opened Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) to assist small businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Small businesses can get assistance applying for state and federal business disaster loans. The Jackson County Business Recovery Center is co-located with the Disaster Recovery Center at 2737 Penn Avenue, Marianna, FL. The center is open Monday - Saturday 9 am to 6 pm.
Executive Director Cissy Proctor and members of the DEO Leadership Team met with area businesses and CareerSource in Jackson County this week to discuss resources available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael.
DEO has launched the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to affected businesses Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida has been awarded federal National Dislocated Worker Grants to provide temporary employment to Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael. This program is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and provides disaster relief employment in the form of temporary jobs that support storm response and recovery efforts. See the Governor’s press release HERE.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has made the Disaster Reemployment Assistance program available for Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Michael. To file a DUA claim go to www.FloridaJobs.org or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to assist claimants.
DEO has launched the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to affects businesses at www.floridadisasterloan.org.
Disaster cleanup and other related job openings are now available at http://disasterrecovery.employflorida.com for businesses to post job openings and for individuals to find job opportunities.
DEO has opened the Business Damage Assessment Survey for businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Businesses with damage should complete the survey at https://www.floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments

EDUCATION
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) remains in contact with school districts, state colleges and universities for updates and to determine their needs and provide assistance.
FDOE issued an emergency order to extend the Best and Brightest scholarships’ deadlines as outlined below. The emergency order is posted HERE.
The deadline provided in section 1012.731(4), F.S., for school district submission of information related to both the Best and Brightest Teacher and Principal Scholarship programs to the department has been extended to January 7, 2019; and
The deadline provided in section 1012.731(5), F.S., for the department to disburse scholarship funds to each school district has been extended to March 1, 2019.
FDOE coordinated with the utility providers that serve Jackson County Schools. All Jackson County schools now have power, and all but two have internet connectivity (Malone High School and Marianna High School have damaged fibers. Repairs are ongoing).
Jackson County schools reopened Monday, October 29.

VOLUNTEER EFFORTS
An ESF-15 representative deployed from the State Emergency Operations Center to Jackson County. The representative is actively mobilizing volunteers and coordinating incoming donations.
At Governor Scott’s direction, Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund, 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. To donate, visit, www.volunteerflorida.org/donatefdf/.

STATE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER/ CONTACTS
The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Michael.
Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.

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A disaster recovery center is now open in Marianna in Jackson County.

Florida Division of Emergency Management and FEMA will open additional centers in affected counties in the coming days. The centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in counties designated in the Florida federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Michael.

Representatives from the State of Florida, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and other organizations are at the centers to explain available assistance programs and help connect survivors with resources that best match their recovery needs.

The center is located at:
University Extension Office
2737 Penn Ave.
Marianna, FL 32448

Sunday through Saturday, 8am to 7pm local time

Other centers will soon be open in affected areas. Survivors can view locations by using the FEMA mobile app or by visiting FEMA.gov/DRC.

Homeowners, renters and businesses should register for disaster assistance before visiting a recovery center. There are several ways to register:

• Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov;
• Call 800-621-3362 (voice/711/VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY) anytime from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

All recovery centers are accessible to people with disabilities. Centers have assistive technology equipment, such as amplified phones and listening devices for people with hearing loss and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available. In-person American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters
are available by request. (If possible, please allow 24 hours to schedule an interpreter). The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.

Survivors may follow these links to access informational videos in American Sign Language:
• Disaster Recovery Centers (ASL): fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/127259
• Just ask (ASL): fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111508
• FEMA assistance does not impact government benefits (ASL): fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/111582
• Requesting an interpreter (ASL): fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/172199

Florida homeowners, renters and business owners in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties may apply for disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Michael.

UPDATE: October 23, 2018, 11:30 a.m.

Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative reports Tuesday morning that power has been restored to 10,070 members in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Walton and Washington counties. This represents approximately 48 percent of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative’s total distribution system, which serves 20,815 members.

As of 9 a.m., Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative had the following outage numbers: Jackson County: 48 meters (100 percent).

TOTAL SYSTEM OUTAGES: 10,745 (52 percent)

Crews are working across all counties in Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative’s service area. However, many homes and businesses are damaged to the point that they will not be able to accept service once it becomes available.

There are more than 1,100 crewmen working on the restoration effort. Because all efforts are focused on power restoration, GCEC office lobbies are closed until further notice.

Due to the damage that GCEC offices received during the storm, service to the online bill pay system at www.gcec.com and phone system is intermittent. Repairs are being made to make all communication systems fully operational.

Follow Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative on Facebook for further updates.

Update October 20, 2018 9:45 PM

Jackson County residents will see a few changes in their communities this weekend. There are eight PODS (points of distribution), with supplies provided by the State of Florida, that have been operating throughout Jackson County since last week. Those PODS will begin to scale back as the community, volunteers and charitable organizations take the lead in recovery efforts.

Within the next twenty-four hours, all of the PODS offering MRE’s and water will be closed, with the exception of the Cottondale location. Each location will remain open until all of the supplies have been handed out. The Cottondale POD will receive one more supply delivery and is currently the only location providing tarps. Once the Cottondale POD supplies have been exhausted that location will close as well.

The National Guard continues to play a pivotal role in the disaster response in Jackson County following Hurricane Michael. Because they are tasked with providing security and traffic assistance, once the State distribution locations are closed, they will withdraw from those locations and move on to other areas affected by the disaster.

As area retailers have power restored and are able to offer goods and services to the community, the recovery process will continue to shift. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has updated the previous curfew to 11 p.m. – 5 a.m. in an effort to support the economic recovery of the County. The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce is assisting small businesses and can be reached at 850-482-8060.

Convoy of Hope in Marianna will be closed tomorrow, October 20, but will reopen on Monday and continue to provide supplies to Jackson County. The Salvation Army and Red Cross will continue to operate in the County, providing hot meals and other assistance to residents. The Red Cross has approximately eleven ERVs (Emergency Response Vehicles) that are mobile and can travel to communities providing food. The Salvation Army is currently operating approximately five Canteens in Jackson County, also providing food. For more information on where to locate the food locations, please call the Northwest Florida American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337 or for the Salvation Army visit www.salvationarmyflorida.org.

Florida Public Utilities representative, Mason Brock said crews are working around the clock to restore power to their customers in storm-affected areas. Please visit FPUC.com for information on power restoration and vital post-hurricane safety tips.

The Jackson County Board of County Commissioners is committed to the well-being of all Jackson County citizens and will continue to cooperate with organizations providing relief to our resilient communities.

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The following information is from Jackson County leaders:

1. As power begins to be restored in our communities, it is important to remember the following safety tips: Assume any downed power line is energized, never try to power your house by plugging the generator into a wall outlet as this "backfeeding" puts utilities workers at risk and ensure your battery powered smoke detectors are functional. For more information, visit the Red Cross website and search for generator safety. https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/power-outage/safe-generator-use.html

2. As of a 6 p.m. briefing Thursday night, Florida Public Utilities has approximately 1,000 customers' power restored. Both schools in Cottondale have power, along with Marianna High School and many businesses along U.S. Hwy 90. There are about 1,000 people (linemen, tree crews, etc.) working in Jackson County to restore power. FPU has an approximate date of October 31st for all customers who are able to receive power to have power restored. Many customers will have power before that date; that is their estimated date for all customers to have power back. FPU reminds customers that they do not repair the meter base at residential or commercial locations, as that is private property. A licensed electrician should be hired to repair the meter base at your home if it was damaged during the storm.

3. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has amended the curfew for Jackson County. The new curfew hours are 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. This will remain in effect until Tuesday, October 23. Anyone traveling to or from work is exempt from the curfew.

4. Friday's forecast is 81 and mostly sunny. Saturday there is a 50 percent chance of rain.

5. Convoy of Hope is still set up at RCC. They are currently serving about 600 cars a day, providing food, water and tarps. The number of families being served is gradually declining as businesses in our communities begin to open and as power is restored.

6. In a statement Thursday, the Jackson County School Board said that classes will resume on October 29th. Below is the press release from the School Board:
"Press Release 10/18/2018

"Our District has experienced one of the worst weather events in history. The impact on our county and its population is unprecedented. Everyone has been affected in one way or another and many have experienced devastating loss of property and homes. Our thoughts are with everyone as you deal with the recovery process.

"We are so appreciative of the first responders, the linemen, relief agencies, and many, many volunteers who are helping to make things easier by cleaning up, restoring power, providing food, water, supplies, and comfort, and many other acts of kindness. We also thank the County Road and Bridge Department and all who are working hard to clear roads so that our buses will have safe passage.

"In an effort to return to some type of normalcy and routine, it has been decided by Superintendent Larry Moore and the Board Members that teachers will return to work on Friday, October 26 and students will return on Monday, October 29. At this time each school building and classroom is being assessed by Belfor, a world-wide disaster recovery company that specializes in restoration of facilities after events such as we had. Any damages that need immediate repair are being taken care of to ensure that when teachers and students return, it will be to a safe classroom. Many schools already have power restored and all will have power restored well in advance of teachers returning. We hope this advance notice allows you time to make adequate plans and preparations.

"Please let us know if we can assist you in any way."

7. Reminder that the boil notice for Jackson County Utilities Customers has been lifted. The boil notice for the City of Marianna utilities customers has also been lifted.

8. Governor Rick Scott approved Operation Blue Tarp in conjunction with the Army Corp of Engineers. For more information call 1-888-766-3258.

9. To submit a FEMA individual assistance claim, visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call all 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, 7 days a week:
1-800-621-3362 (also for 711 & VRS)
TTY 1-800-745-0243
You can also send an email from the Disaster Assistance webform.
Or write to:
FEMA
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

10. As of the 6 p.m. briefing Thursday night (10/18/18) at the Emergency Operations Center, 100 percent of primary roads in Jackson County have been cleared. 90 percent of secondary roads have been cleared and 30 percent of tertiary roads have been cleared. Crews continue to work on clearing roadways. Many people have asked why the debris removal has not begun yet. In order for FEMA to reimburse the County (thereby saving the taxpayer money) debris collection sites must be approved by the Department of Environmental Protection. Due to the massive volume of debris following Hurricane Michael, additional debris collection sites are being reviewed. County officials are in daily talks with the State and are making plans to start debris removal asap.
When placing debris by the road for pick up, please separate construction debris from vegetation debris. This will allow the collection process to run quickly. There will be several passes for debris removal, so if all of your debris is not picked up on the first pass, there will be additional passes to collect all debris. Please do NOT include household garbage or trash in the debris pile.