By: Hannah Walker, Senior Director, Technology and Nutrition Policy, Food Marketing Institute
Hurricane Irma September 8, 2017

FMI wants to be a resource for our members that operate in Puerto Rico, Florida and other Southeastern states as they prepare for and later respond to Hurricane Irma. Below is a link to the FNS disaster page, this page includes an interactive map that will share state specific storm response information from the agency including SNAP waivers and other USDA nutrition program alerts. We will continue to update this page and provide additional links as we receive them from state and federal government agencies and others responding to the storm. Please do not hesitate to reach out directly to FMI if we can be of further assistance during this time.

Federal Resources: 

Florida Resources:

Florida SNAP Resources:

  • Florida will issue remaining September benefits to clients statewide on September 7 (rather than via the normal Florida benefit issuance stagger schedule - which runs from the 1st through the 28th of each month).  A change to the issuance schedule within the benefit month does not require a waiver from FNS. Learn more at the USDA Florida Disaster Nutrition Assistance webpage.

Georgia Resources:

  • Georgia Emergency Management Page 
  • Governor Deal’s Executive Order Expanding State of Emergency to an additional 24 counties and mandatory evacuation order
  • Georgia Food Industry Association - For information on reentry passes and the priority list for power as well as assistance with SNAP and WIC, contact Kathy Kuzava.
  • Georgia Retail Association - For information on reentry passes and the priority list for power as well as assistance with SNAP and WIC, contact Thomas Beusse.
  • Georgia will issue remaining September SNAP benefits to clients statewide today - September 10 (rather than via the normal Georgia benefit issuance stagger schedule - which runs from the 5h through the 23rd of each month).  A change to the issuance schedule within the benefit month does not require a waiver from FNS.
    Our disaster webpage is being updated for Irma; for reference this is where information for each affected State will appear:
  • Georgia has been approved to issue mass replacement benefits to current SNAP households in these 69 Hurricane Irma affected counties: 

    Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Banks, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Butts, Camden, Candler, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Dawson, Dooly, Echols, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Glynn, Greene, Habersham, Hall, Hancock, Irwin, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lanier, Lee, Long, Lowndes, Lumpkin, Macon, McIntosh, Mitchell, Monroe, Morgan, Oglethorpe, Peach, Pickens, Pierce, Pulaski, Putnam, Rockdale, Screven, Stewart, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Telfair, Tift, Towns, Turner, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, White, Wilcox, Wilkes, and Worth.  

    As a reminder, mass replacements are automatic SNAP benefit replacements to current SNAP clients that are issued to cover food purchased with the month’s benefits (in this case September) and then lost in the disaster.  The replacement amounts can vary based on the time the client originally received the benefits, the timing of the disaster, and the kind of disaster.  For example, if an area lost power, then the extent of the food loss is likely to be limited to perishables.  If households in an area experienced flooding/structural damage, then the food lost is likely perishable and non-perishable.  Under normal circumstances, a household may contact the local office and put in a written claim for food lost in a disaster.  While that’s still an option, this mass replacement process allows for automatic replacement based on what has occurred in the community. 

    In this instance, households in the approved Georgia counties above will automatically receive replacement of 45% of the September benefit.

South Carolina Resources:

North Carolina Resources: 

Alabama Resources: 

While we all wait and see where Hurricane Irma decides to make her path, we wanted to go ahead and give you some vital information to prepare. 

First of all the Governor signed a proclamation on September 6th declaring that all vehicles of legal size and weight transporting emergency related materials, supplies, goods and services in direct response to Hurricane Harvey or in preparation for, or response to, Hurricane Irma are hereby authorized to bypass all Alabama Department of Transportation weigh station facilities until 30 days from the date of this proclamation, unless the State of Emergency is sooner terminated.  To view the entire Proclamation, please click here

Second, Byars | Wright has sent us a two page document on advance planning for Hurricanes. This document covers information on Disaster Recovery Plan as well as reviewing your insurance plan. To read this information, please download the Byars | Wright document

Last but not least, if you need to contact your local EMA, please use the list attached for all the contact information for each county.

Again, we do not anticipate Irma effecting Alabama directly, however we will continue to watch the storm track through the weekend. Please look for an update in your market minute on Tuesday.


West Virginia Resources:

U.S. Virgin Island Resources:

Donation Options:

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) maintains a list of reputable organizations operating in affected areas. Here is their Hurricane Irma volunteer page.

Food Relief:

Assisting With Relief for Children:

Disaster Relief:

Religious Organizations: