Hurricane Season 2020: Live Updates

38 minutes ago

Oct. 28

Santa Rosa County bridges

From Santa Rosa County:

Bridges only close when law enforcement records sustained winds (not gusts) of 39 mph or higher. Bridges do not close in advance, they do not all close at the same time and some may not close at all. 

If the Navarre Beach Causeway is closed, residents may still evacuate the island. Motorists are encouraged to stay off the roadways between 7 p.m. today and 1 a.m. Thursday.

Whiting Field ready for Zeta

From Naval Air Station Whiting Field:

Naval Air Station Whiting Field will be setting Condition of Readiness 1 (COR 1) today by 2:00 p.m. due to Hurricane Zeta. COR 1 means that conditions exist for possible destructive force winds (50 mph or greater) within 12 hours. Only mission essential personnel will be on the base after 2 pm.  The NAS Whiting Field commissary and Navy Exchange will be closed until further notice, and Morale Welfare and Recreation activities are curtailed.  The East Gate is closed until further notice. All aircraft at NAS Whiting Field have been flown out of the area or are safely hangered on base. 

Normal operations will be resumed as soon as possible. 

FEMA offices to close

FEMA Mobile Registration Centers in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties will temporarily close today and Thursday, as a precautionary measure due to the Tropical Storm Warning in the area for Hurricane Zeta.

The centers will reopen when weather conditions permit. 

NAS Pensacola ready for Zeta

From Pensacola Naval Air Station:

Due to potential inclement weather from Hurricane Zeta, Naval Air Station Pensacola will be in Condition of Readiness (COR) I as of Wednesday, Oct. 28. To limit traffic on the installation and for everyone’s safety, only mission essential personnel will be required to report for duty after 1 p.m. today until further notice.   COR I is set when a tropical storm or hurricane is anticipated in the Gulf Coast Region within 12 hours.  No personnel evacuations have been ordered at this time.

ECAT to suspend service

Due to Escambia County being under a Tropical Storm Warning for Hurricane Zeta, ECAT (Escambia County Area Transit) will suspend all bus and UWF trolley service beginning at 3 p.m. today.

ECAT will resume service when it is safe to do so.

Riders may call 850-595-3228 or visit for additional information.

Oct. 27

Santa Rosa  and Okaloosa Schools Remain Open Wednesday

For more information on Santa Rosa Schools click here.

For more information on Okaloosa Schools click here.

Early Voting In Santa Rosa Modified For Hurricane Zeta

All six early voting sites in Santa Rosa County will be open Wed., Oct. 28, 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. The sites will close at 3 p.m. to be secured for the incoming storm.

Early voting locations will resume voting at 11 a.m. on Thurs., Oct. 29 to allow for damage assessment. Voting will continue until 7 p.m. On Fri., Oct. 30 and Sat., Oct. 31, early voting will resume normal hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit

Okaloosa Early Voting Sites To Close In Preparation For Zeta

Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux has announced that all Early Voting sites in Okaloosa County will close early on Wednesday, October 28 in preparation of tropical storm conditions associated with Hurricane Zeta. Out of an abundance of caution early voting sites will close at 5 p.m. on October 28  and reopen at 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 29 to accommodate any potential impact from the storm. For more information, visit

Woodlands Medical Specialists To Close

Woodlands Medical Specialists, 4724 North Davis Highway, Pensacola, will close at 1 p.m. Wednesday in response to Zeta.

The office plans to reopen with regular business hours on Thursday.

FEMA Centers To Close

FEMA Mobile Registration Centers in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties will close temporarily at 6 p.m. today as a precautionary measure for Hurricane Zeta. The centers will reopen when weather conditions permit. 

Okaloosa Area Of Gulf Islands NPS Closed 

Santa Rosa to open shelter

From Santa Rosa County:

Oct. 27, 2 p.m. -Santa Rosa County is under a tropical storm warning and surge warning. The National Weather Service of Mobile is forecasting Zeta to impact Santa Rosa County beginning Wednesday evening with occasional gusts of tropical storm force winds, storm surge of two to four feet, rain, and possible tornadoes. Conditions are projected to improve rapidly early Thursday morning. 

  • There are currently no evacuation orders, however the county will open a shelter on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Milton Community Center, 5629 Byrom St., for those who do not feel safe in their homes. The shelter will be a general population/special needs/pet friendly facility and will close at 7 a.m. Thurs. Residents utilizing the shelter will need to provide their own bedding - cots will not be available.
  • All county offices will be open for regular hours Wed. and Thurs.
  • Santa Rosa County Schools will be open Wed. and Thurs. If there are any unexpected changes at the 5 p.m. briefing, the school district will notify parents immediately. All Wednesday evening extracurricular activities will be canceled or rescheduled.
  • The First Judicial Circuit courts in Santa Rosa County will close at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The county contracted debris hauler is operating sunup to sundown and pickup should not be impacted.
  • The COVID testing locations at Milton Community Center will be open as usual on Wed. and Fri., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The COVID testing location at St. Sylvester's Catholic Church will be open Thurs. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., then the south end testing site will relocate to Tiger Point Community Center beginning Thurs., Nov. 5 through the end of the year.
  • FEMA's Mobile Registration Intake Centers will be closed Wed. in preparation for the storm. No post-storm reopening date or time has been set.
  • The county's emergency operations center will activate at Level II for Zeta at 8 a.m. Wed. along with the citizen information center lines, 850-983-INFO (4636).

Early Dismissal At Escambia County Schools Wednesday

Escambia students at each educational level, (elementary, middle and high school) will be released an hour earlier than their typical dismissal on Wednesday, October 28 to insure completion of all bus routes prior to the arrival of inclement weather.

Superintendent Thomas states “All Escambia County (FL) schools will dismiss an hour early, and after school activities have been canceled for Wednesday, October 28, The district will continue to monitor Hurricane Zeta, working along with the EOC, as the safety and welfare of our students and staff is paramount.”

Updates and announcements regarding attendance on Thursday, October 29, 2020 will be provided on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, and communicated via local media, through School Messenger calls, as well as on the school district website.

Ala. Nonprofits, houses of worship can get FEMA help

Alabama private nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship and other faith-based organizations, may be eligible to apply for federal assistance to help recover from damage suffered from Hurricane Sally. 

For more information about assistance for houses of worship, visit Public Assistance Fact Sheet: Private Nonprofit Houses of Worship For the latest information on Hurricane Sally, visit

Oct. 26

Escambia County Update

Escambia County is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Zeta and is encouraging residents to take precautions as needed through Wednesday, Oct. 28. Due to forecasted wind and rain, FEMA will close Escambia County mobile registration intake centers sites that help with individual assistance on Tuesday, Oct. 27. 

Sand is available at the following locations:

  • Baars Field Athletic Park - 13001 Sorrento Road
  • Pensacola Brent Athletic Park - 4711 N. W St.,
  • Pensacola Don Sutton Park - 2320 Crabtree Church Road
  • Molino Equestrian Center - 7750 Mobile Highway
  • Pensacola Escambia County Road Department - 601 Highway 297-A
  • Pensacola Ferry Pass Middle School - 8355 Yancey Lane, Pensacola. Sand will be on the northwest corner of school property on Parazine Street
  • John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Park - 555 E. Nine Mile Road
  • Pensacola Travis M. Nelson Park - 4541 County Road 4, Pensacola

To read the entire release, click here.

Gulf Islands National Seashore Closing Ahead Of Zeta

Zeta May Bring Wind, Heavy Rain

Santa Rosa County Emergency Management officials continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Zeta.

While potential impacts are still too early to determine, residents are reminded to follow the National Weather Service and local media outlets for the most recent weather updates.

The National Weather Service of Mobile is forecasting potential local impacts from Tropical Storm Zeta to include dangerous surf, strong winds, coastal flooding, heavy rain and possible tornadoes. Most of the impacts will occur Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night.

Details regarding the area of greatest risks and impacts will be refined as confidence increases.

Escambia lifts burn ban

The Escambia County Interim Fire Chief, in consultation with Escambia County Emergency Management and the Florida Forest Service, will lift the burn ban for the remainder of the county, effective immediately.

Sandbags Available In Okaloosa County

Milton completes debris pickup

The City of Milton's contractor collected 14,067 cubic yards of vegetative debris, and 748 cubic yards of building debris over a 33-day operational period.

Any remaining debris, whether vegetative, damaged building materials, or white goods is now the responsibility of the property owner to dispose of properly. Please follow the regular City Sanitation rules for trash and yard waste.

The total cost for the collection of hurricane debris is $252,763.55. The City will seek federal and state assistance for a portion of these costs.

The City would like to thank our citizens, businesses, and property owners for their assistance in completing this large undertaking. It is only with your hard work that we were able to complete this clean-up so quickly.

For more information, please contact the City at 850-983-5400. 

FEMA Issues Public Notice

A public notice is now available that addresses the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) intention to reimburse eligible applicants for costs to repair or replace facilities damaged by Hurricane Sally in Florida, under disaster declaration DR-4564-FL. The notice is now posted on FEMA’s Florida disaster declaration website at and the Florida Division of Emergency Management website at

Under the disaster declaration, Bay, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties were designated for Individual Assistance. Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties were designated for Public Assistance Categories A-G. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is available statewide. The notice describes proposed activities that may affect historic properties and activities and critical actions that may affect wetlands and floodplains.

For routine activities, this will be the only public notice provided. Interested persons may obtain information about these actions or a specific project by writing to U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency – Region IV - EHP, 3005 Chamblee Tucker Rd, Atlanta, GA 30341-4112 or emailing Comments should be sent in writing to Stephanie Everfield, Regional Environmental Officer, c/o Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Office, at the above address within 15 days of the date of this notice.

Oct. 23

FEMA Assistance Won’t Affect Income Tax, Social Security, Other Benefits

If you live in Baldwin, Escambia or Mobile county and have registered with FEMA for federal disaster assistance, you are in no danger of losing other federal benefits to which you are entitled.

FEMA disaster grants are not taxable income. Accepting a FEMA grant will not affect your Social Security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other federal welfare and entitlement programs.

The deadline to register with FEMA is Nov. 19, 2020.

For the latest information on Hurricane Sally, visit

FDOT’s October 22 Updates on the Pensacola Bay Bridge 

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin J. Thibault has directed Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) to further extend the toll suspension for the Garcon Point Bridge. Tolls are now suspended on the Garcon Point Bridge until 6 a.m. Friday, November 13, 2020.

The extension allows the Garcon Point Bridge to continue serving as a temporary detour route while the Pensacola Bay Bridge is being repaired from damage sustained during Hurricane Sally.

As demolition efforts progress on the Pensacola Bay Bridge, FDOT is advancing material fabrication in preparation for reconstruction efforts to begin.

Multiple concrete piles, the vertical support structure that’s used to hold up the bridge; piers, the raised structure that sits in a body of water to support the bridge; and beams, the linear structural member designed to span from one support to another will be required to repair the Pensacola Bay Bridge. To date:

Fifty-one concrete piles are on-hand at the precast yard.

Thirty-six prestressed beams have been cast.

Thirty-three concrete piles have been ordered from another facility in Tampa to facilitate the expedited schedule. 

Additional beams will be cast based on the final analysis of some of the damaged areas.

Replacement piers will begin casting by mid-November 2020. 

FDOT has mobilized three bridge contractors on site to expedite demolition and design including:

Debris from two spans has been cleared along with the complete removal of one damaged span of the bridge as crews continue to carefully remove damaged portions from additional spans to minimize impacts to the existing structure. One barge remains under the bridge. To date, 17 of the 27 barges have been removed from the area.

Design is underway for the permanent repairs and reestablishment of four lanes of traffic on the bridge with a focus on substructure repairs which includes the piers. Modified pier design has been reviewed and approved by FDOT, which uses six new piles instead of four piles in the existing footing.

FDOT has been continuously working to improve the traffic flow along the Pensacola Bay Bridge detour routes. The following efforts have reduced the average commute time by 25 percent:

Installed a new temporary traffic signal at the I-10 westbound ramps at State Road (S.R.) 281

Delineators have been installed to provide a free flow southbound movement from the I-10 eastbound ramp onto southbound S.R. 281

Additional temporary traffic cameras have been installed that have significantly improved travel time.

The Pensacola Bay Bridge has a targeted re-opening date of early March 2021. Once repairs are complete, all four lanes will be open with no load restrictions and at the same condition as expected for new construction. As each repair method is developed, FDOT will be conducting reviews to ensure the contractor is hitting all milestones in the established schedule. 

Details on the detour routes, including graphics, FAQs, and regular updates can be found online at

Oct. 22

Escambia County Recovery at a Glance

Since the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Sally, Escambia County residents have received approximately $43.3 million in total federal funds. 

Individual Assistance: 

  • 2,806 homeowners and renters have been approved for more than $11.7 million in federal grants through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. This includes:
  • More than $9.4 million in Housing Assistance grants for housing repair costs, home replacement and rental payments.
  • More than $2.3 million in Other Needs Assistance grants to replace essential household items and for other critical disaster-related costs.
  • 1,956 homeowners and renters were approved for rental assistance.
  • 3,456 survivors have not provided FEMA with the necessary information from their insurance settlements to complete their disaster assistance registration.

National Flood Insurance Program:

  • 2,344 flood insurance claims have been filed. An estimated $21.4 million has been paid in claims.

U.S. Small Business Administration:

  • More than $10.2 million has been approved in low-interest disaster loans for 267 homeowners, renters and businesses. 

Public Assistance: 

  • Escambia County was approved for assistance to local governments and private nonprofits for debris removal, emergency protective measures and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities on Sept. 23.
  • 12 requests for Public Assistance have been received, and 11 have been approved.

Mobile Registration Intake Centers:

A Mobile Registration Intake Center (MRIC) is staffed with FEMA personnel who can assist Hurricane Sally survivors with registration and answer questions about disaster-assistance programs. Centers in Escambia County are open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Marie Young Wedgewood Community Center, 6405 Wagner Rd., Pensacola, FL 32505
  • Lexington Terrace Community Center, 700 S. Old Corry Rd., Pensacola, FL 32507
  • Escambia County Equestrian Center, 7750 Mobile Highway, Pensacola, FL 32526

Oct. 19

Escambia debris update

As of Sunday, Escambia County has collected approximately 2,154,022 cubic yards of debris throughout the county, which equals 337 football fields with debris stacked 3 feet high.

Contractors will make multiple passes over the next couple months, and Escambia County will announce when the final pass will be. To help expedite the process, separate your debris for service. Vegetative debris like tree limbs need to be separate from construction and demolition materials like drywall and carpet. Keep debris away from storm drains, low power lines, utilities and mailboxes.  

Curbside Residential Debris Pickup Instructions

Escambia County residents, that can safely do so, are asked to place any storm-generated debris on the public right of way (the area of residential property that extends from the street to the sidewalk, ditch, utility pole or easement).

Commercial-generated waste will not be accepted.

Businesses should contact their waste collection service provider or a debris removal contractor. Business and commercial material is not eligible to be removed curbside by Escambia County.

Nonprofits are allowed to place debris on public right of way for pickup.

Debris that was generated by Hurricane Sally should be placed and sorted on the area immediately adjoining the road in front of your home. The county has divided its jurisdiction into three zones and contracted with three separate companies to accomplish the debris removal in 90 days.

Residents are urged to separate the debris as follows:

  • Vegetative Debris - whole trees and large limbs should be cut into lengths of four feet or less, tree stumps, tree branches, tree trunks and other leafy material
  • Construction and Demolition Debris - damaged components of buildings and structures such lumber and wood, wall board, glass, metal, roofing materials, tile, furnishings and fixtures
  • Appliances and White Goods - refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, ovens, ranges, washing machines, clothes dryers and water heaters
  • Electronic Waste - computers, televisions, office electronic equipment, etc.
  • Household Hazardous Waste - materials that are ignitable, reactive, toxic or corrosive such as paints, cleaners, pesticides, etc.
  • Only loose debris will be collected; bagged debris should not be placed on the public right of way. Make every attempt to avoid stacking debris below low hanging power or utility lines. Only debris placed on the public right of way will be eligible for collection until further notice.

Do not place debris within four feet of:

  • Mailboxes
  • Water meters
  • Fire hydrants, or any other above-ground utility

Escambia County contractors will make multiple passes through neighborhoods and along county right-of-way for debris removal. If your debris is not removed during the first pass please be patient. The crews will make additional passes along your road. In addition, the county will notify residents well in advance of the last day to place debris on the right-of-way for county contractor collection. Debris will be picked up on private roads, and the county is working on getting FEMA approval for contractors to access gated communities. 

The county contractors have dedicated pieces of equipment for different debris streams (vegetation, C&D and stumps). Please understand that if vegetation is collected and C&D or stumps are left behind, they are not “missed,” but rather assigned to different trucks dedicated to that debris stream. Contractors cannot commingle debris streams in a single truck load.

If you need assistance with debris cleanup, mucking, tarp installation and mold remediation, please contact Crisis Cleanup at 1-800-451-1954.

View information about City of Pensacola sanitation and debris pickup here.

View information about Emerald Coast Utilities Authority sanitation service here.  

Drop Off Instructions for Residential Vegetative Debris Drop Off Sites

In addition to curbside removal of debris for residents, residential drop off sites are accepting vegetative debris generated by Hurricane Sally. This is for private, residential use only, NO COMMERCIAL DEBRIS. Hurricane Sally debris drop off sites are open for Escambia County residents only and will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 a.m., until further notice. Residents need to bring ID and proof of residency.

View a map of drop off locations here or see below:

  • Baars Field, 13020 Sorrento Road (behind the Sheriff's substation)
  • Escambia County Equestrian Center, 7750 Mobile Highway
  • John R. Jones Athletic Complex, 555 E. Nine Mile Road
  • Lexington Terrace, 900 S. Old Corry Field Road
  • Oak Grove Convenience Center, 745 County Road 99
  • Park East, Via De Luna Pensacola Beach
  • Brent Athletic Park - 4711 N. W St., Pensacola

The county is still under a burn ban.

For more information on where to drop off debris, visit

ECAT Begins Bridge Detour

ECAT will begin the Route 61- Bridge Detour, which modifies the original Route 61 to Pensacola Beach. The Route 61- Bridge Detour will consolidate temporary Route 20 that was created to help transport passengers between Escambia County and the City of Gulf Breeze. ECAT bus fares remain suspended. 

Please see the detailed schedule which starts from the ECAT Transfer Center, located at 1515 W. Fairfield Drive, at 6 a.m. and ends at Palm Beach Club, located on Pensacola Beach, with the last stop at 8:50 p.m. The route from Pensacola Beach starts at Pensacola Beach Club at 6:05 a.m. and ends at the Pensacola Bay Center at 8:20 p.m. Buses will stop at Tiger Point Community Center, Gulf Breeze Hospital, the Boardwalk, and the Palm Beach Club. The route is approximately 43 miles, and riders should expect a trip that is approximately an hour, depending on traffic. 

Oct. 16

Santa Rosa debris pickup progress is online

County residents can now check the status of Hurricane Sally debris removal online at The GIS dashboard features a current work zone map, cumulative total of debris removed and tally of days remaining in the contract. The information is updated daily after 11 a.m.
Residents who do not wish to wait for the debris haulers to remove their vegetative debris may take it to Central Landfill, 6337 Da Lisa Rd. in Milton at no cost, Mon. through Sat., 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., until further notice. Treated lumber is not vegetative debris. 
Report any debris blocking drainage infrastructure or roads, via the citizen work request form, by calling 850-626-0191 or emailing
Santa Rosa County requires all homeowners associations representing private or gated subdivisions or roads execute a right of entry and hold harmless form before debris can be removed from those premises. The right of entry/hold harmless form can be found at and must be completed by an authorized representative and emailed to For questions, contact the county attorney's office, 850-983-1857.
The City of Gulf Breeze and City of Milton have their own debris hauler contracts; visit their websites for more information.

Oct. 15

FEMA: Hurricane Sally Recovery Update


Applicants for FEMA assistance will receive a letter from FEMA by mail or email. It is important to read it carefully because it will include the amount of any assistance FEMA may provide to you and information on the appropriate use of disaster assistance funds. You may need to submit additional information for FEMA to continue to process your application.

If you have questions about the letter, go online to or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY).

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Sally. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties. Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by Nov. 6, 2020.

To file a DUA claim go to or call 800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET (6:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CT) to assist claimants. For DUA claim information, call 833-FL-APPLY (833-352-7759) and choose the speak to an agent option. Visit to find information on how to apply for DUA and Frequently Asked Questions. 

Mobile Registration Intake Centers

If you need help registering or want information about disaster assistance, you can visit a Mobile Registration Intake Center at these locations: 

Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, Pensacola, FL 32507
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Brownsville Community Center, 3200 W. DeSoto St., Pensacola, FL 32505
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Escambia County Extension Service, 3740 Stefani Rd., Cantonment, FL 32533
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th St, Panama City, FL 32401
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Northwest Florida Fairgrounds, 1958 Lewis Turner Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pensacola State College, South Santa Rosa Center, 5075 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pensacola State College, 5988 U.S. 90, Milton, FL 32583
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Gene Hurley Park, 965 Gene Hurley Road, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Days of operation: Oct. 13-Oct. 17

Freeport Regional Sports Complex
563 Hammock Trail East, Freeport, FL 32439
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Days of operation: Oct. 18-Oct. 22

Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast
427 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Days of operation: Oct. 23-Oct 28

By the numbers (10/14/2020)

  • 3,023 individuals and households approved for $12.9 million in FEMA assistance, including:
  • $10.7 million approved for housing assistance
  • $2.2 million approved for other disaster-related needs
  • 5,607 home inspections completed
  • $3.6 million in SBA loans approved
  • 4,252 claims filed with the National Flood Insurance Program; $19.2 million paid

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at Or they may email for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

SBA is operating a Business Recovery Center at East Pensacola Heights Clubhouse, 3208 E. Gonzalez St., Pensacola, FL 32503. Business owners can meet with SBA representatives and get help with low-interest disaster loans. Hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

For additional information about SBA disaster loans, the loan application process, or for help completing the SBA application, visit SBA’s secure website at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call 800-877-8339.


Florida 211
The call goes to local helpline call centers that have crisis counselors for disaster recovery and can provide information on access to local resources such as housing, food and health care. Dial: 211

Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Consumer Services has resources for consumers seeking to file insurance complaints.

For mental health resources after a disaster, visit:

Oct. 12

FEMA Center Opens in Milton

FEMA has opened a mobile registration center for Hurricane Sally survivors in Milton. 

The center, called a Mobile Registration Intake Center (MRIC), is staffed with FEMA personnel who can assist with registration and answer questions about disaster-assistance programs. Center location:

Pensacola State College, 5988 U.S. 90, Milton, FL 32583. Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Other centers are operating in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties. Disaster survivors can get help registering at any of the centers. Other locations:


Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th St, Panama City, FL 32401.Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.


Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, Pensacola, FL 32507

Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Brownsville Community Center, 3200 W. DeSoto St., Pensacola, FL 32505

Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Escambia County Extension Service, 3740 Stefani Rd., Cantonment, FL 32533

Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.


Northwest Florida Fairgrounds, 1958 Lewis Turner Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.


Pensacola State College, South Santa Rosa Center, 5075 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563

Hours: Daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

The centers operate under COVID-19 protocols to ensure visitors and FEMA personnel are safe. Distancing and face coverings are required.

Disaster Survivors: Be Aware of Fraud And Identity Theft 

FEMA reminds survivors:

  •   FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) never charge for registration, home inspections, grants, disaster-loan applications or anything else.
  •   If you have registered and want to verify any correspondence from FEMA, call at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
  •   If you suspect fraud, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, the Florida Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at 866-966-7226 or report it your local police department.
  •   FEMA also recommends you monitor your credit report for any accounts or changes you do not recognize. If you discover someone is using your information, you will need to take additional steps, including filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission through its website:

For more information about Hurricane Sally recovery in Florida, visit the FEMA disaster webpage at or the Florida Division of Emergency Management webpage at

Disaster loans to help Florida renters

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to help Florida renters repair or replace disaster-damaged personal property, including automobiles. Renters may be eligible for up to $40,000, depending on their losses. The application deadline is Dec. 1, 2020. 

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at Or they may email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For additional information about SBA disaster loans, the loan application process, or for help completing the SBA application, visit SBA’s secure website at

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339. 

For more information about Hurricane Sally recovery in Florida, visit the FEMA disaster webpage at

Residents with damage should first register with FEMA at (short-term grants) and then apply to SBA for a disaster loan at

It’s important to know that low-interest federal disaster loans are for HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS, plus businesses of all sizes, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, small aquaculture businesses, and small agricultural cooperatives impacted by Hurricane Sally. All can apply for their uncompensated losses – i.e. their insurance wasn’t enough to complete their repairs or they didn’t have insurance.

People do not have to wait for their insurance settlement to apply for a loan. They can get money from SBA to start their repairs and then assign their insurance settlement to pay down their loan.

It’s free to apply and the interest rates are very low. Please see the attached information for details.

SBA disaster loans cover things insurance often does not, such as debris removal, decks, fencing, sheds, etc.

Terms are up to 30 years to make the payments affordable, and no collateral is required for loans of $25,000 or less.

There is no pre-payment penalty.

Santa Rosa County Eligible for Additional FEMA Public Assistance

From FEMA:

Santa Rosa County is now eligible for additional FEMA Public Assistance grants for recovery from Hurricane Sally.

On Sept. 30, 2020, the major disaster declaration was amended to include reimbursement for all categories of Public Assistance, including debris removal and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities such as roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and parks. Previously, the county had been approved for emergency protective measures.

Escambia County previously was approved for all categories of Public Assistance. Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Walton and Washington counties were approved for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance.