Hurricane Irma barreled through Florida Sunday, causing massive damage, flooding and power outages across the state. The storm hit just one week after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Texas.
Officials urged about 6.3 million people in the state to evacuate before Irma made landfall, and at least four deaths were linked to the storm, published reports indicated. As Irma moved up Florida’s western coast, it weakened into a tropical storm. Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are now in its path.
FLRA offers tips on what to do next
With business owners starting to assess damages, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association offered suggestions and resources that restaurant operators can tap into for the latest information and assistance during recovery:
- Register your business with FLVBEOC. Register to report your open/closed business status, complete a business-damage assessment survey, or request or offer resources. Businesses can also report their status to email@example.com or call the Private Sector Hotline at 850-410-1403.
- Know before you go. For up-to-date traffic information, visit FL511.com or call 511. Use GasBuddy to find gas stations with fuel.
- Learn re-entry requirements. Governor Scott has issued an Executive Order that rescinds all weight and driver restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies are brought quickly to Florida. After the storm, individuals and businesses seeking to provide essential commodities and services to impacted areas can re-enter the state by possessing and presenting specific documentation to local officials. Here’s what you need.
- Follow power outages. FPL customers can use the FPL Power Tracker map, and report or track outage information at www.FPL.com/outage or call 1-800-468-8243.
- Food safety tips. Power outages and flooding both pose a risk to the integrity of food and water. Visit the Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants to learn guidelines for emergency recovery.
- Free WiFi access. Comcast has opened more than 137,000 free Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout the state for individuals in need, including non-Xfinity customers, to help residents and emergency personnel stay connected. Find a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots here.
- 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 complyand/or report violations online or via the Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-966-7226.
- Filing insurance claims. Florida’s 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.
For additional information and continued updates, visit FRLA’s Hurricane Resource Center for a comprehensive guide of tips on how to recover and rebuild.
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