Latest news

Hurricane Preparedness

From the Office of Congresswoman Lois Frankel

A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will open Wednesday, Sept. 20 in Palm Beach County to help Florida storm survivors.  The DRC will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday until further notice. The DRC is at the following address: Carolyn Sims Center – 225 NW 12th Ave., Boynton Beach FL 33435.
Regular hours: Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

As more centers open, survivors may locate one near them at https://www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by calling FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.  That information is also available on the FEMA Mobile App.

To speed recovery, survivors are urged to register before visiting a DRC.  To register, go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.  Help is available in most languages and phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) seven days a week until further notice.

If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register in one of the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585.
  • Download the FEMA Mobile App and apply.

Survivors requiring a reasonable accommodation such as American Sign Language interpreting, Braille, large print, etc., while visiting a DRC may call the Helpline number for support at 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available in ASL at: fema.gov/medialibrary/assets/videos/111546.

Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) crews are canvassing affected areas and are able to register survivors for FEMA assistance, if needed.  When residents require further assistance, the teams may refer them to a DRC.

If already registered, it is not necessary to visit a DRC.

FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.

Survivors should register even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but underinsured applicants may receive help after their claims have been settled.

For more information on the Palm Beach recovery, visit fema.gov/hurricane-irma.


To our businesses and partners impacted by the Hurricane Irma, we want to provide the following information released from the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc.:

  1. Governor Scott 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. 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
  2. Palm Beach County Business and Industry Unit ESF 18 has asked that all businesses immediately assess any damage that is a direct result of Hurricane Irma. Please send an email regarding your damage to esf18@pbcgov.org for inclusion in the overall reporting of damage to the county, State and Federal agencies.

The below message is brought to you by Visit Florida

If you are in one of the following counties, please be aware that you are eligible for assistance following Hurricane Irma:
Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, and Volusia.

For Residents: Residents who sustained losses in the 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.

For Businesses: The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center business damage assessment surveying tool has been activated for businesses to report damages resulting from Hurricane Irma. Businesses are encouraged to visit http://flvbeoc.org/index.php. Click on Hurricane Irma.

  • Small Business Owners: The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by Governor Scott as a result of Hurricane Irma. This program provides a source of expedient cash flow to Florida small businesses that have been physically and/or economically impacted by this storm. Businesses in all 67 counties are eligible and applications will be accepted through Oct. 31, 2017 contingent on the availability of funds. For more information, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network State Office at (850) 898-3489 or disaster@floridasbdc.org.
  • Business Owners: The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) has activated a Business Damage Assessment Survey for Hurricane Irma. This survey allows businesses to report any damages they suffered, which is vital to receiving state and federal disaster loans and grants. To complete the survey, go to http://flvbeoc.org/index.php?action=bda.
  • Business Owners: The Florida Division of Emergency Management recognizes the need to simplify and streamline re-entry for the private sector following Hurricane Irma. The three items individuals will need are a valid government-issued ID, proof of employment, and a work order or other proof of a demonstrated need to enter the area. To learn more, go to http://www.floridadisaster.org/PublicPrivateSector/reentry_information.html.
  • Business Owners and Self-Employed Residents: Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Irma. Individuals affected in the designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by October 16, 2017. To file a DUA claim go to http://www.floridajobs.org/ or call 800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday-Friday from 8:00-5:00 EST to assist claimants. For DUA claims information, call 800-204-2418 and choose option 2 to speak to a customer service representative.

For Insurance Claims: Floridians affected by the storm must now begin the process of surveying damages to their property and belongings. If you need help finding your Florida’s property insurance company’s website and contact information, click HERE. For a list of licensed insurance agents in Florida, click HERE.


More Important Links:

Tiffany FaublasHurricane Preparedness