[Tallahassee, Fla] The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has issued the following statement from Carol Dover, CEO/President, regarding Hurricane Michael:
“As Floridians brace for Hurricane Michael, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has begun work to help members, residents and visitors alike prepare for the storm and its aftermath. Members of FRLA staff have taken our ESF-18 seat at the state Emergency Operations Center where we will work with the Florida Retail Association and the Department of Economic Opportunity to help coordinate lodging and food needs for emergency responders and evacuees.
“We have encouraged members to prioritize safety in a variety of ways beyond basic storm preparation. FRLA has encouraged members to waive cancellation fees as the storm approaches. Our primary goal is always the safety of visitors, and we want to keep them out of harm’s way. Additionally, we have urged all members to extend hospitality to pets by relaxing any pet restrictions they may have. Many people are reluctant to leave their feathered and furred friends behind, and some will refuse to leave unless they can bring their pets with them. We hope that relaxed restrictions and pet-friendly accommodations will help motivate those in the path of the storm to heed evacuation warnings. To assist after the storm, FRLA has asked our members to register with FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which provides short-term lodging assistance to evacuees who cannot return home immediately following a disaster.
“FRLA will continue to monitor the storm and stands ready to assist members, residents and visitors however we can before, during and after Hurricane Michael. Members should visit FRLA’s hurricane resource page for information regarding what to do before, during and after the storm.”