Resources for Food Retailers Preparing for and Responding to Hurricane Irma Sep 05, 2017 By: Hannah Walker, Senior Director, Technology and Nutrition Policy, Food Marketing Institute 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: FNS Disaster Assistance page FEMA Hurricane Irma page FEMA Private Sector Irma Dashboard Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Irma Page Florida Resources: Florida Division of Emergency Management website Florida Emergency Management Operation Centers by county Florida Governor Executive Order Declaring State of Emergency Florida DOT Size and Weight Waiver for the State Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Commercial Vehicle Registration, Hours of Service, Waiver of Fees etc Emergency Order Florida Retail Federation - For information on reentry passes and the priority list for power as well as assistance with SNAP and WIC, contact Samantha Padgett or Melissa Ramba The State of Florida has an approved hot foods waiver through September 30th. USDA Approves D-SNAP for Florida Disaster Counties ACCESS Florida Food, Medical Assistance and Cash Food For Florida (FFF) 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: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/disaster-assistance 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: South Carolina Emergency Management Division South Carolina Retail Merchants Association - For information on reentry passes and the priority list for power as well as assistance with SNAP and WIC, contact Lisa Sweatman or Lindsey Kueffner. North Carolina Resources: North Carolina Retail Merchants Association - For information on reentry passes and the priority list for power as well as assistance with SNAP and WIC, contact Elizabeth Robinson or Jessica Edwin. Alabama Resources: Alabama Grocers Association - for resources, contact Ellie Taylor The Alabama Grocers Association dispersed the following information on September 8, 2017: 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: The West Virginia Department of Transportation has waived weight restrictions for Hurricane Irma Relief U.S. Virgin Island Resources: U.S. Virgin Islands were approved for a hot foods waiver through November 17, 2017. 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: Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida Treasure Coast Food Bank Feeding Northeast Florida Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Feeding South Florida America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Inc. Feeding Tampa Bay Assisting With Relief for Children: Miami Diaper Bank Diaper Bank of Central Florida Disaster Relief: The American Red Cross is accepting donations to aid disaster relief from Hurricane Irma. United Way has created the United Way Irma Recovery Fund to support local communities in the Southeast United States and Caribbean affected by Hurricane Irma. Americares Hurricane Relief Fund leverages its relationships with pharmaceutical companies donating product to provide medical supplies and aid in response to emergencies. Religious Organizations: Episcopal Relief and Development: Hurricane Relief Fund helps vulnerable communities devastated after Hurricane Irma and other major storms. The Salvation Army - To make a financial donation to support the hurricane relief efforts, please go to www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800- SAL-ARMY or text STORM to 51555. Catholic Charities USA has a domestic relief agency which will provide aid to Hurricane victims regardless of their religion or background. It offers online donations and the opportunity to donate by texting CCUSADISASTER to 71777. Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief organization that responds to disasters. They have staff in Florida and St. Martin.