After the Storm: Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts Underway

First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe. The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) is working closely with Governor Scott, State and local officials and industry partners to begin relief efforts. To assist with the recovery process, FRLA has compiled the following resources:

Ask for help. As a part of the FRLA family, we want to make sure you’re safe. Reach out and let us know your status and needs. If you have any questions of FRLA or need additional information on recovery assistance contact for non-emergencies.

Report your status and complete a damage assessment. Report your open/closed business status, complete a business damage assessment survey and request or offer resources. Businesses may also report their status to and via the Private Sector Hotline is 850-410-1403. Get registered here.

Aid those in need. Prior to the storm, FRLA members rapidly responded to urgent requests from the Salvation Army to address an increased need for food at local shelters. Thank you for your support and if you are interested in assisting with recovery efforts contact prior to determine local need.

Learn re-entry requirements. Now that the storm has passed, individuals and businesses seeking to provide essential commodities and services to impacted areas will be allowed re-entry by possessing and presenting specific documentation to local officials. Learn what you need. For up-to-date traffic information, or call 511.

Get help with your insurance claims. FRLA’s Insurance Council is comprised of trusted agency advisors who understand our members’ needs. Check out the list here. The Florida Division of Consumer Services offers assistance to insurance consumers in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma by offering the insurance Consumer Helpline 1-877-693-5236. Learn more.

Secure a low-interest disaster loan. If you are located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. Apply online. For questions call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email

Eligible Florida Counties as of September 11, 2017: 
The disaster declaration covers the counties of Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas and Sarasotain Florida which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Broward, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Pasco and Polk in Florida.

Apply for assistance from FEMA. Use the address lookup to find out if you qualify for financial assistance. Fill out the questionnaire and online aid application or call 1-800-621-3362. To get help in person, find a Disaster Recovery Center near you.

Provide emergency accommodations and have compassion for cancellations.  Lodging operators are strongly encouraged to waive cancellation fees and to not require minimum stays for displaced evacuees, first responders and utility workers. Those seeking available lodging may reserve by brand here and/or find available rooms here. All lodging operators are also encouraged to support the Emergency Lodging Assistance (ELA) program recently activated by FEMA to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma. The ELA is for individuals and families who have been recently displaced by the recent weather events. Sign-up now. Lodging properties may call 1-866-545-9865 for assistance. Individuals or families searching for lodging may contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.

Extend hospitality to pet evacuees. FRLA strongly urges its members, and the industry at large, to consider waiving normal pet restrictions and fees for displaced evacuees seeking shelter. Search for pet-friendly lodging on or

Food safety tips. Power outages and flooding both pose a risk to the integrity of food and water. For a guide to food safety during severe storms, visit the USDA or Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants to learn guidelines for emergency recovery. Monitor local government alerts for boil water notices.

Common employer questions during a hurricane. Check out Hurricane-Related FAQs for Florida employers provided courtesy of JohnsonJackson, LLC.

Report price gouging. As the entire state of Florida is under a declared state of emergency, Florida’s price gouging law applies statewide. Learn how to comply and/or report violations online or via the Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-966-7226.

Donate to the disaster fund. Governor Rick Scott has activated the Florida Disaster Fund to support individuals who are impacted by Hurricane Irma. The Florida Disaster Fund helps provide financial support to Florida’s communities in times of disaster. Contribute online or text DISASTER to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10. For questions contact or call (850)-414-7400.

Share your stories with us. Florida’s hospitality industry must continue to answer the call to help those in need. Reach out to to share how your restaurant, lodging property, attraction and/or business provided assistance before, during and after Hurricane Irma.

For additional updates, visit follow the State Emergency Response Team @FLSERT on Twitter and Facebook.

For a complete list of resources as they become available and a comprehensive guide on how to recover and rebuild, visit FRLA’s Hurricane Resource Center.