Hurricane Resources & Information
See below for resources and information for people with disabilities who were affected by a recent hurricane. We will update this page as more resources become available.
If you are looking for general information about disaster and emergency planning, please visit our Disaster and Emergency Planning disability topic page.
General Resources and Links
Visit Florida Disaster – Florida Division of Emergency Management at http://www.floridadisaster.org/info/ for comprehensive information on a current disaster event.
Until Help Arrives information and training on how to behave in an emergency situation until assistance is available https://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives
State Assistance Information Line -- 800-342-3557
- The Florida State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) is a toll-free hotline activated at the time of an emergency to provide an additional resource for those in Florida to receive accurate and up-to-date information regarding an emergency or disaster situation impacting the State of Florida.
- SAIL is currently activated and available 24 hours/7 days a week.
Text your zip code to 888777 to receive real-time text updates and advisories directly from your local police department and other local agencies
- Public Service Commission updates on outage reports due to the most recent natural disaster: http://www.psc.state.fl.us/
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
- Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
- It's a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
Mental health resources that may be needed post-disaster provided by National Alliance on Mental Illness (Florida):
By Phone: 800-950-6264 or
Crisis text line: text NAIMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24-7 for support via chat.
- FEMA Rumor Control page: https://www.fema.gov/Rumor-control
FEMA Appeal Tool interactive template to help a disaster survivor appeal from a denial or payment of less than the amount the survivor claimed. The system does not file the letter, it prepares a letter that the survivor mails with their receipts or other evidence. https://lawhelpinteractive.org/Interview/GenerateInterview/6100/engine
National Legal Assistance legal information after a natural disaster occurs https://www.disasterlegalaid.org/
Florida Legal Assistance:
After a disaster, many legal aid and legal services programs operate clinics to assist survivors with legal problems that arise as a result of the disaster. Search for clinics and other community events to assist clients with a range of legal problems here: https://www.floridalawhelp.org/events?keys=&topic=All®ion=All
Find legal help in your area with a list of legal help available by county: https://www.floridalawhelp.org/node/711/find-legal-help-county
CMS Emergency Preparedness Rules (Updated in February 2019): https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertEmergPrep/Emergency-Prep-Rule.html
Pass It On Center (reutilized assistive technology, especially durable medical assistance): http://pioc.gatech.edu/wiki/Disaster_Response - from Pass It On Center Website: http://pioc.gatech.edu/reuse_locations.php.
Portlight Disaster Survivors with Disabilities Hotline (if you have a DME need for Hurricane Dorian) is 1-800-626-4959.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Guidance related to Medicare and hurricane preparedness: https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/Hurricanes.html
Florida Department of Children and Families Information on Disaster SNAP (Food for Florida) updates and details: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access/dsnap/learn.shtml
Florida Centers for Independent Living: http://www.rehabworks.org/cil_map.shtml
- Agency for Health Care Administration Hurricane Dorian updates: https://ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Emergency_Activities/DORIAN_2019.shtml
Residents who sustained losses in declared counties can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Residents who suffered damages from the storm may register now, and if their county is later included in the declaration, the application will be processed automatically.
If you do not have access to the internet, you may register by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY);
If you use 711 Relay or Video Relay Service call 1-800-621-3362.
- Persons displaced by Hurricane Irma may search for available housing using www.Floridahousingsearch.org
- If you are without power for an extended amount of time, FEMA Emergency Lodging Assistance Program will pay for hotels. Please contact FEMA ELA program 1-866-545-9865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit https://ela.corplodging.com/ for additional information.
- Volunteer Florida coordinates residential home clean-up for damages after a natural disaster occurs. This can include items like tree removal, yard clean up, tarping roofs, removing drywall etc. Please call 1-800-451-1954 for assistance or visit https://www.crisiscleanup.org/survivor for more information.
- Many banks are offering payment deferments to people impacted by Hurricane Irma. Contact your bank and ask what options they offer.
Medicaid Administrative Actions
Blanket Waivers for the United States Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and States of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Under section 1135 of the Social Security Act, the HHS Secretary may temporarily waive or modify certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements to ensure that sufficient health care items and services are available to meet the needs of individuals enrolled in Social Security Act programs in the emergency area and time periods and that providers who provide such services in good faith can be reimbursed and exempted from sanctions. These temporary emergency policies would apply to the timeframes specified in the waiver(s) issued under section 1135 of the Act in connection with the effect of Hurricane Irma in the United States Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and States of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
More information on the 1135 waiver is available through:
- CMS website: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertEmergPrep/Downloads/1135-Waivers-At-A-Glance.pdf
- Social Security Administration website https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title11/1135.htm.