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The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) wants to provide clients, waiver support coordinators, partners, and providers with resources to help meet your needs in an emergency.

The resource links listed below contain information to help individuals plan for and recover from a disaster or emergency occurring within the state of Florida.

Hurricane Idalia

Get Help with Unmet Needs

Are you a community member looking for help with food, housing, transportation, peer support, or other services due to impacts from Hurricane Idalia? Use your camera to scan the QR code below or use This Link to request help from Unite Florida. For more recovery resources, visit FloridaDisaster.org/Updates

Hurricane Idalia Recovery - FEMA

Florida homeowners with insurance policies covered by the National Flood Insurance Program are urged to file claims for Hurricane Idalia as soon as possible. Policy holders should call their insurance agent or provider and initiate the claim even if they do not have all necessary documentation because they had to leave the property after the storm. Homeowners with damage from both wind and flood will need to file two separate claims: a homeowner’s insurance claim and a flood insurance claim. If filing a flood claim, ask about advance payments. You may be eligible for an advance payment of up to $5,000 prior to a visit from an adjuster.

How to Apply for FEMA Assistance

If you sustained loss from Hurricane Idalia and live in Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Suwannee or Taylor counties, FEMA may be able to help. You may be eligible for FEMA financial assistance for temporary lodging, basic home repairs, personal property losses and other uninsured disaster-related expenses.

Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA App for mobile devices, or call toll-free 800-621-3362. The line is open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Help is available in most languages. If you use a relay service such as VRS, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. To view an accessible video on how to apply visit Three Ways to Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance - YouTube. The deadline to apply is Oct. 30, 2023.

Understanding Your FEMA Letter

If you applied for FEMA assistance after Hurricane Idalia you will receive an eligibility letter from FEMA. The letter will explain your application status and how to respond. You might need to provide more information to FEMA. If the letter says you are ineligible, it will tell you how to provide more information and appeal the decision. If you have a question, visit a Disaster Recovery Center or call 800-621-3362 for help.

What Kind of Help Can FEMA Provide?

FEMA assistance does not replace insurance and cannot restore your home to its pre-disaster condition. But FEMA may be able to provide help for uninsured or underinsured costs. File your insurance claim, then apply to FEMA.

Rental Assistance: Financial help for rent, including a security deposit, if your primary residence was made uninhabitable by the disaster. The assistance includes essential utilities such as electricity and water.

Housing Assistance: Covers repairs to structural parts of your home, such as windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, utilities, well and septic system.

Other Needs Assistance: Covers disaster-related items such as medical and dental expenses; funeral and burial costs; furniture and appliances; specialized tools used in your occupation; educational materials; moving and storage; vehicles; generators.

Critical Needs Assistance: Immediate or critical needs are lifesaving and life-sustaining items, including water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation. Critical Needs Assistance is a one-time $700 payment per household.

Clean and Sanitize Assistance: If your home was damaged by Hurricane Idalia but you can live in it safely, FEMA may be able to provide up to $300 in one-time financial assistance to help with cleanup. This assistance is for eligible homeowners and renters.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

The Florida Department of Children and Families announced mass replacement of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for individuals in Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Pasco, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties who normally receive their monthly benefit between August 15-28. This will eliminate the need for recipients to submit requests individually in the severely impacted areas. This will affect 38,000 households and will provide more than $8 million in food assistance. These benefits will be added to EBT cards automatically. Individuals do not need to apply for the benefits.

Low-Interest Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and other sources. Apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/ela/s/. Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Application deadline for physical damage is Oct. 30, 2023, and for economic injury May 31, 2024. SBA is operating a Business Recovery Center at Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce in Live Oak.

Mold Cleanup

More Resources

Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Visit FloridaJobs.org or call 800-385-3920.

Free Cleanup Help: Call 800-451-1954, through Sept. 15, 2023. Restoring Electric Connection: Apply for Individual Assistance and let FEMA know that your electric connection needs repair. In addition, help may be available from the Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc. at 386-362-4115 (srecinc.org/programs/emergency-assistance-self-sufficiency).

Agricultural Assistance: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partnered with FEMA and other organizations to create the Disaster Resource Center. For questions about food safety, call the Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854 email MPHotline@usda.gov or live chat at Ask USDA. Owners of meat and poultry producing businesses may call 877-374-7435) or email infosource@fsis.usda.gov.

Points of Distribution

Points of Distribution are opened in impacted areas to distribute Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), water and tarps to impacted residents at:

  • Hamilton County
    • 1291 Florida Street Jennings, Florida 32053
    • 1129 4th Street Northwest Jasper, Florida 32052
  • Jefferson County
    • 325 S Water Street Monticello, Florida 32344
  • Lafayette County
    • 160 NE Hornet Drive Mayo, Florida 32066
  • Madison County
    • 2649 US 90 Madison, FL 32340
  • Suwannee County
    • 1302 SW 11th Street Live Oak, Florida 32064
    • 1625 Walker Avenue SW Live Oak, Florida 32064
    • 405 North Reynolds Street Branford, Florida 32008
  • Taylor County
    • 1509 S Byron Street Parkway Perry, Florida 32348

Feeding Sites

Mercy Chefs

  • Suwannee Middle School, 1730 Walker Ave SW, Live Oak FL 32064

Operation BBQ Relief

  • Madison County High School, 2649 E US Highway 90, Madison, FL 32340
  • 831 Pinewood Dr SW, Live Oak, FL 32064 

FL Baptists

  • Taylor County Kitchen location at First Baptist Church of Perry, 102 N Center St. Perry, FL 32347
  • Dixie County Kitchen location at First Baptist Church of Cross City, 6024 SE Highway 19, Cross City, FL 32628

Salvation Army

  • Dixie County
    • Old Town Elementary-221 SE 136 AVE Old Town FL 32680
    • Roy Ward Sports Complex, NE 241 St Cross City, FL 32628
  • Jefferson County (alternating at -)
    • 8781 Old Lloyd Rd Monticello, Florida 32344
    • Waukeenah Methodist Church, 81 Methodist Church Rd.
  • Taylor County
    • 2057 S Byron Butler Pkwy Ste 1, Perry, FL 32348

Catholic Charities

  • 2750 S Byron Butler Pkwy, Perry, FL 32348

Food pantries in Madison County:


Agency Name

Agency Contact

Phone Number


Consolidated Christian Ministries, Inc.

Shellie Hoschar

(850) 294-3861


Fellowship Baptist Church

Christy Adams

(850) 673-9764


Greenville United Methodist Church

Lou Miller

(850) 673-1538


Midway Church of God

Shellie Hoschar

(850) 294-3861

8-30-2023 - Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Idalia

8-29-2023 - DCF Releasing SNAP Early due to Hurricane Idalia

8-29-2023 Update: As of 11:00 AM EDT, Idalia was located about 120 miles west of the Dry Tortugas, 275 miles south-southwest of Tampa, and is moving northward at 14 mph. A faster north-northeast motion is expected later today and Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Idalia is forecast to move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico later, reach the Gulf Coast of Florida within the Hurricane Warning area on Wednesday, and move near the coasts or Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 85 mph, making Idalia a Category 1 hurricane. Rapid intensification is likely through landfall, and Idalia is forecast to become an extremely dangerous major hurricane before landfall on Wednesday. Computer models indicate Idalia will continue to strengthen as it moves over the warm waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, before making landfall along the Florida Big Bend or Nature Coast Wednesday morning. Tropical Storm Watches/Warnings, Hurricane Watches/Warnings, and Storm Surge Watches/Warnings have been continued across the Big Bend, Northeast and West Florida.

The following counties are under a Hurricane Warning: Western Alachua, Citrus, Dixie, coastal Franklin, Gilchrist, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Manatee, western Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, and coastal Wakulla.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville has extended the Hurricane Warning to include the following areas: Hamilton and Columbia.

The National Weather Service has extended the Hurricane Warning to include the following areas: Leon County, Inland Wakulla, Union County, Bradford County, Baker County, Alachua County.

8-28-2023 Update: As of 8:00 AM EDT, Idalia is located about 375 miles southwest of Key West, Florida and is now moving northward near 7 mph. A northward motion is expected through tonight, followed by a fast north-northeast motion on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Idalia is forecast to pass near or over western Cuba tonight, over the extreme southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday, and reach the Gulf Coast of Florida on Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph. Idalia is forecast to become a hurricane later today and a major hurricane over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico by early Wednesday. Computer models indicate Idalia will continue to strengthen as it moves over the warm waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, before making landfall along the Florida Big Bend or Nature Coast Wednesday morning. Wind and Storm Surge Watches are in effect along the Florida Gulf Coast, and these will likely be upgraded to Warnings later today.

8-26-2023 Update: The National Hurricane Center has issued the first advisory for Tropical Depression Ten, located near the Yucatan Channel. Tropical Depression Ten is currently located about 65 miles northeast of Cozumel, Mexico and is nearly stationary. A slow, generally northward, motion is expected to begin on Monday. On the forecast track, the center will move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Monday. Maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph, and gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical Depression Ten is likely to become a tropical storm on Sunday.

8-25-2023 Update: An area of low pressure over the northwestern Caribbean Sea continues to produce showers and thunderstorms. Satellite imagery indicates that the disturbance is gradually becoming better organized, with increasing thunderstorm activity and a better-defined center of circulation. Environmental conditions appear conducive for further development over the next several days, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this weekend or early next week as it moves generally northward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The system is being monitored as it emerges over the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours: Medium 40%
  • Formation chance through 7 days: High 80%

Florida Division of Emergency Management Encourages Floridians to Participate in Florida’s Disaster Sales Tax Holiday

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) encouraged Floridians to purchase disaster preparedness items during Florida’s  Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday beginning August 26 through September 8. Floridians are expected to save an estimated $144 million on the purchase of tax-free items - more than five times the amount of savings when compared to the $25.6 million Floridians saved during the 2022 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

House Bill 7063, the largest tax relief plan in Florida’s history, was signed into law by Governor DeSantis extending the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday from a single 14-day holiday to two separate 14-day holidays. This year, common household supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels and soap are also included in the list of items eligible to be purchased tax-free.

The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and lasts until November 30. A full list of eligible tax-free items is available here. Floridians can find a full disaster supply kit checklist here.

If You're Halfway Full, You're Halfway There

Halfway Full Halfway There - Remember to keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half-full during hurricane season to avoid long lines at gas stations and gas shortages prior to a storm. If you are ordered to evacuate, consider staying with nearby friends or family who live outside the excuation zone or in a house that can withstand hurricane-force winds and rain. Evacuations typically don't have to be hundreds of miles - having at least half a tank of gas ensures you can evacuate the necessary tens of miles to a safe sheltering location when a storm threatens your community. Floridadisaster.org/planprepare

Residents and visitors should keep their gas tanks at least half full during hurricane season to ensure they have enough fuel to evacuate as soon as possible without worrying about long lines at gas stations and to avoid gas shortages prior to a storm.

For Floridians with electric vehicles, it’s recommended that the battery be maintained between 50% - 80% capacity at all times, depending on the type of vehicle and what the vehicle’s manual recommends. This does not require charging every night but will still ensure that individuals and families have enough charge in their vehicles to evacuate safely and quickly when needed.

Disaster Preparedness Tip - Vehicle Emergency Supply Kit - Supply kits should include: Spare Tire, jumper cables, flashlight and extra batteries, reflective triangles, map, first aid kit, reflective vest, car phone charger, flares, blanket, rain poncho. Ready.gov/car

Additionally, individuals should always keep an emergency kit in their vehicles in case a storm threatens the area and causes hazardous driving conditions. Vehicle emergency supply kits can include items such as jumper cables, a spare tire, a flashlight with extra batteries, reflective triangles, a first aid kit, electronic device chargers, blankets, and rain ponchos. More information can be found at Ready.gov/Car.

If you are ordered to evacuate, your safest and easiest option may be to stay with friends or family who live outside the evacuation zone or in a stronger house. Evacuations do not have to be hundreds of miles away – they can typically be tens of miles inland to a location that can withstand hurricane-force winds and rain. Check with nearby friends and family now and have a plan in place for what to do if you are ordered to evacuate.

Remember to always monitor local news and listen to alerts from local authorities if a storm threatens your community. The greatest threat to life from a hurricane is storm surge flooding. If you are in an ordered evacuation zone, low-lying flood area or in a mobile home, you should follow all evacuation orders. You can learn more about evacuation zones at FloridaDisaster.org/Know.

Resource Links

Disaster Assistance

Individuals impacted by Hurricane Ian and live in one of the counties listed below should register with FEMA for assistance by calling 800-621-3362 or visit www.disasterassistance.gov.

Declared Counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Putnam, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia.