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Emergency Preparedness

Florida's Disaster Assistance for Businesses

Florida’s disaster response programs serve as a model for the nation.

Preparation and planning are key elements in keeping Florida open for business after a disaster. Florida’s Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) annually updates a statewide Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) with the goal that Florida’s citizens and businesses receive state-of-the-art assistance during and after an emergency.

If you need additional assistance with your business, please call 850-815-4925 between the hours of 8 am to 6 pm or email

Below is a list of state and federal resources available for businesses to utilize in their mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities:

State of Florida Disaster Assistance Programs:

Florida Business Damage Assessment Survey: Businesses that are damaged after a state-designated emergency can fill the Damage Assessment Survey to provide information about the damage and connect with available resources. The information provided in this survey will be shared among various state and local agencies to expedite implementation of appropriate disaster relief programs for businesses.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program: The purpose of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program is to provide a source of expedient cash flow to Florida small businesses impacted by a disaster. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Disaster Unemployment Assistance is a benefit program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor that assists individuals who become unemployed as a result of a disaster. Eligible applicants may apply on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) website.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Recovery Guide: A collection of resources designed to reopen your business and assist with long-term recovery, including immediate needs, financial assistance, IT disaster recovery, mental health, and community recovery.

Rebuild Florida Business Loan Fund: The Rebuild Florida Business Loan Fund, a resiliency loan fund provided through a partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration, is assisting businesses that experienced physical damage or economic injury from Hurricane Ian. It provides longer-term loans with higher funding levels at market interest rates. Up to $500,000 in financing can be provided to an eligible business for the following purposes: inventory purchases, construction or renovation, working capital needs, capital start-up loans, machinery and equipment purchases, equipment financing, and more.

Heart of Florida United Way: In response to the effects of Hurricane Ian on Central Florida residents, Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) has opened the application for one-time assistance for food & emergency supplies. The online application can be completed online. Applicants must be over the age of 18, residents of Orange, Seminole or Osceola counties, and must attest they were adversely impacted by Hurricane Ian. Impacts include loss of income due to work closures, loss of food, or damage to property. Only one application per household can be submitted for the assistance which will come in the form of a Wal-Mart e-gift card in the amount of $300.

American Red Cross

Florida Veterans Foundation Emergency Assistance

Loan Programs:

FSMSDC: Contact: Marie B. Hyppolite, MBA, (305) 762-6151

Prospera USA: Contact: Myrna Sonora, (786) 329-5830

BBIF: Contact: Lamont Jackson, MBA (407) 502-0979

Ascendus: Contact: Elsa Rosario, (407) 901-9419

Federal Disaster Assistance Programs:

FEMA (FLORIDA): Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance can help residents recover after Hurricane Ian.

Orange County Residents may qualify for:

  • Up to $37,900 for home repairs from FEMA
  • Up to $37,900 for other lost property (damaged automobile or other property from FEMA)

Apply now at, dial (800) 621-3362 or download the FEMA mobile app.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loans: If your business sustained damage or economic hardship due to a disaster in your area, you can apply for a SBA Disaster Loan. Businesses of all sizes may apply for up to $2 million to be used to repair damaged real estate, replace, or repair machinery and equipment, or replace inventory and various other business assets. You may also be eligible to borrow up to $2 million for economic injury recovery.

Counties that Qualify in Florida: Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota

What the loan funds can be used for: SBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $2 million to qualified businesses or most private nonprofit organizations. These loans proceeds may be used for the repair or replacement of the following: Real property, Machinery, Equipment, Fixtures, Inventory, Leasehold improvements.

Maximum Amount of Loan: The maximum loan for any combination of property damage and/or economic injury is $2 million.

For additional information, please contact the Customer Service Center. Call 800-659-2955 (If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or email

SBA: Visit or call (800) 659-2955

SBA Disaster email contact:

To Apply for disaster assistance:

Florida residents who did not evacuate but now need to leave their home can visit for open general and special needs shelters in Florida.

Business Mitigation & Preparedness:

Florida Disaster Website

Florida Disaster recovery for businesses (Subset of for business recovery)

Recovery resources for businesses, including links to a damage assessment survey, emergency loan program, unemployment assistance, small business recovery guide, etc.

Features of the website include:

  • A disaster planning toolkit to help businesses prepare for hurricanes and other disasters;
  • Critical disaster updates from the State Emergency Operations Center to keep businesses informed during emergencies; and
  • A Business Damage Assessment Survey to help businesses get back up and running after an emergency.
  • County Emergency contact info

Business Response & Recovery Programs:

Florida Short Time Compensation for Employers Program
Description: Short-Time Compensation (STC) is a temporary alternative work style that will assist employers in keeping their workforce intact. The program permits prorated unemployment compensation benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of an STC plan to avoid the total layoff of some employees.  Phone: (850) 921-3253 – Website:

Florida Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Description: Unemployment benefits for individuals unemployed as a result of the disaster that are not covered by regular state or private unemployment insurance. Applicants have 30 days to file after the disaster is announced. Phone: (800) 204-2418 – Website:

Florida Small Business Resource Network
Description: The Small Business Continuity Services Resource Network (SBCSRN) is a database of Florida professionals identified to fill niche areas for recovery technical assistance in support of small businesses and the Florida economy. Phone: (904) 620-2489 – Website:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Description: License, insurance, and consumer complaint information on building contractors Phone: (800) 435-7352 – Website:

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Description: An order can be given to reduce regulatory processes and provide flexibility for restoring services quickly during a disaster. Phone: (850) 245-2118 – Website:

Florida Department of Insurance
Description: Small Business Insurance information assistance Phone: (850) 922-3132 – Website:

Florida Department of Management Services

Florida Emergency Network Secure Site
Description: Log in for State agencies, EOC offices, City, and County to order supplies during a declared emergency. Website:

The Florida Emergency Supplier Network (Vendors)
Description: Identify and group needed commodities and services by type and/or distribution channel, based on experience. Coordinate suppliers of emergency commodities and services for membership in the FESN. Also collect and organize the information and make it accessible to government buyers during emergency operations. Website:

The Florida Emergency Purchasing Network (Volunteers)

Description: Coordinates purchasing volunteer efforts during declared emergencies, organizes the delivery of specialized training through the Division of Emergency Management. Also collects and organize the FEPN information and make it accessible to emergency logistics officials requiring procurement assistance during emergency operations. Website:

Florida Department of Revenue
Description: The Florida Department of Revenue will waive penalties and interest during the period of emergency for impacted taxpayers who are unable to file returns and/or make payment of taxes on time. Phone: (800) 352-3671 – Website:

Visit Florida
Description: Visit Florida adopted complimentary Cover Your Event (CYE) Insurance. This supplemental insurance cover any costs directly related to re-booking a meeting should it be displaced due to a named hurricane/disaster. CYE ensures that you can plan your meeting with confidence and take full advantage of Florida’s unsurpassed venues any time of year, while benefiting from those outstanding summer and fall values. Phone: (850) 205-3800 – Website:

Business Response & Recovery Programs: Federal

Description: Disaster victims can obtain additional information and apply for disaster assistance through FEMA in various ways. A toll-free number has been established by FEMA for disaster victims to apply for certain types of disaster programs and obtain information about others. You can obtain information by calling. Phone: (800) 621-FEMA (3362) – Website:

SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration)
Description: Small businesses and small agricultural cooperatives suffering a substantial economic injury may be eligible for an economic injury disaster loan of up to $1.5 million to meet necessary financial obligations – Bills the company would have paid if the disaster had not occurred. Phone: (800) 659-2955 – Website:

Physical Disaster Loans
SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) Description: Businesses of all sizes may apply for a Physical Disaster Loan of up to 1.5 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, equipment, inventory and fixtures. These loans will cover uninsured or under-insured losses. Phone: (800) 659-2955 – Website:

IRS Excise Tax
Description: IRS will waive tax penalties on disasters on a case-by-case basis. Phone: (800) 829-1040 – Website:


Government Notifications:

Hurricane Preparation for Businesses:

Ten Steps to prepare your business

  1. Prepare an Emergency Action Plan and practice it.
  2. Back up your data
  3. Protect Your Site and Fleet
  4. Operate Remotely
  5. Establish an on-site support plan
  6. Secure a Recovery services provider
  7. Declare early
  8. Outsource your recovery
  9. Implement an effective communications strategy
  10. Expect the Unexpected

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