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AIA Florida Hurricane Irma News and Updates

Hurricane Irma Disaster Information
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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.

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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.­ ­

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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.

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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:

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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.
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If you are in the path of Hurricane Irma, please consider the following suggestions:

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Basic Tips

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  • 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."

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After a Hurricane
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  • 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.

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Refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA)­­­­Ready.gov/hurricanes­­ ­ for comprehensive information.
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AIA National's ­­ Disaster Assistance Handbook ­­­is a great resource for architects looking to help their community after a disaster has occurred.­

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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.

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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.­

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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.­
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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.

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Important Documents­

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AIA Florida stands ready to help members throughout the storm. ­Stay safe and let us know how we can assist you.

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AIA Florida Hurricane Irma News and Updates


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