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Disaster Assistance

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.

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

Business Mitigation & Preparedness:

  • Florida’s Economic Development Organizations by County: business disaster planning & local personalized assistance provided by the economic development organization in each of the 67 Florida counties.
  • Business Disaster Plan Template: provided by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
  • Emergency Management Guide for Business & Industry: provided by FEMA.
  • Tourism Disaster Assistance: provided by the state’s official tourism organization, Visit Florida. Tourism hotline: 800.287.8598
  • NOAA’s National Weather Service: posting the latest in weather updates.
  • Florida Building Code Standards: provided by Building a Safer Florida, Inc.

Florida Disaster Website

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced the launch of a new website,, to help Florida businesses prepare for and recover from hurricanes and other disasters. By providing critical information before, during, and after a disaster, the website will help businesses recover and get Floridians back to work following emergencies.

Features of the new 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.

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 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 business 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.

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.

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.

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:

Description: VisitFlorida 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:

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Ready to learn more about doing business in Florida? Get in touch with Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) for more information.
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