AIA Florida Hurricane Irma News and Updates
Hurricane Irma Disaster Information
Business owners in additional Florida counties are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs as a result of Hurricane Irma that began on September 4, 2017. Business owners in Brevard, Broward, Charlotte,Citrus, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough,Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe,Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties in Florida may now apply for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.
To Apply for Physical and Economic Injury Loans
Businesses must first register with theFederal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by mobile device at m.fema.govor call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:
- Submit an online application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela;
- Download an application from www.sba.gov/disaster and submit to a SBA disaster recovery center or mail to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155;
- Visit a SBA recovery center for one-on-one assistance; or
- Visit their local Florida SBDC for assistance.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 9, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.
For a complete list of eligible counties, information on state assistance available through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, and how the Florida SBDC can help, please click here.
AIA National has resources and guidelines available to help you prepare. You can find this information in the AIA Handbook for Disaster Assistance Programs HERE.
We are also compiling data and confirming volunteers from those who have participated in the Safety Assessment Program, or SAP, training in the last several years.Should Emergency Management officials reach out for volunteerassistance, AIA Florida SAP trained architects stand ready to volunteer their help. AIA Florida's General Counsel reminds members of the following:
This is to advise you that while some states do have laws that protect volunteers from a legal action arising out of the contribution of their professional services, Florida does not. There is a Florida law stating that, as a volunteering professional, you are immune from liability—as long as you can show that your volunteer work was performed without professional negligence. In essence, this statute subjects you to the same standard you are subjected to in your everyday practice. So, if you provide volunteer architectural services, even in a time of need, you still may be sued and may be liable unless you can prove that your services were provided with the same degree of skill as a reasonable licensed architect.
If you are in the path of Hurricane Irma, please consider the following suggestions:
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) and have a plan for where you can stay.
- Assemble a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information. Plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days. Be sure to charge your devices.
- Find out what alerts are available in your area by searching the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts."
After a Hurricane
- Listen to local officials for updates and instructions and return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
- Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
- Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
- Photograph the damage to your property to assist in filing an insurance claim.
- Take precautions to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
Refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA)Ready.gov/hurricanes for comprehensive information.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a great resource for disaster alerts and update as well as tips on making an emergency plan. Click HERE to visit their page.
Governor Rick Scott has called for volunteers to help in advance of Irma. Architects and members interested in helping should visit www.volunteerflorida.org to register and find volunteer opportunities nearby.
Stay up to date on news and information about Irma as well as contribute updates by following the hashtag #AIAFlaDisasterReady on Twitter and our Facebook page.
Hurricane Irma Relief Charities
The Miami Foundation is currently accepting donations benefiting these charities:
- TheHurricane Relief Fund-The Miami Foundation's Fund will support recovery and rebuilding work driven by organizations on the ground.
- Irma Caribbean Strong Relief Fund- This Fund will support relief efforts in Caribbean nations and territories, including Antigua & Barbuda, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.
- Irma Community Recovery Fund- This Fund will support relief efforts for Florida's marginalized communities, ensuring residents in poverty have access to critical services and resources.
You may donate by clicking here.
AIA Florida stands ready to help members throughout the storm. Stay safe and let us know how we can assist you.