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    HURRICANE MICHAEL HELP

    A legal aid hotline is available for Hurricane Michael survivors in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney: 1-866-550-2929. English and Spanish voicemail recordings give instructions for callers to leave a message requesting storm-related legal assistance, and to provide their name, phone number, county of residence and a description of their legal problems. Florida lawyers have volunteered to provide free legal help such as: 

    • Securing FEMA and other benefits; 
    • Making life, medical and property insurance claims; 
    • Dealing with home repair contractors; 
    • Replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the hurricane; 
    • Helping with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures; 
    • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems or landlord/tenant issues.

    More legal information is available here.

    Legal Assistance Consumer Guide: The Florida Bar’s “Mass Disaster” consumer guide provides information for consumers on whom to contact for legal assistance and how to protect their legal rights in the event of a mass disaster: linked here.

    Florida Free Legal Answers: An online advice clinic to match low-income Floridians with licensed attorneys who can answer basic legal questions at www.florida.freelegalanswers.org. A temporary increase of the qualifying cap will allow more Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael to post questions and receive answers from attorney volunteers through this Florida Bar/ABA program.

    Legal Aid Assistance: Resources and volunteer opportunities for legal aid and pro bono attorneys and information to help Floridians seeking civil legal aid are listed at https://thefloridabarfoundation.org/storm-aid. The Florida Bar Foundation created the Florida Hurricane Legal Aid Fund for civil legal assistance for Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael and any subsequent hurricanes that make landfall in Florida.

    Unethical Conduct: Those who feel they have been unfairly treated by a lawyer should contact The Florida Bar’s Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) at 1-866-352-0707. Only Florida Bar members who are eligible to practice can give legal advice and provide legal services.

    Price Gouging: Attorney General Pam Bondi activated Florida’s price gouging hotline for all consumers in Florida at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226). Problems with insurance companies can be directed to the Attorney General’s office by calling 1-866-966-7226 or by calling the Florida Department of Financial Services at 1-800-342-2762.

    FEMA: People who have sustained property damage as a result of the severe storms and flooding are urged to register with FEMA, as they may be eligible for federal and state disaster assistance. People can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or web-enabled device at m.fema.gov. Applicants also may call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Flood survivors are also encouraged to call the FEMA hotline to report their damage. For more information on Florida’s recovery: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4399

    Low-interest disaster loans: Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for eligible applicants. SBA helps businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or damaged personal property. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries.

    For more information, contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting SBA’s website at disasterloan.sba.gov. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

    Beware of Fraud: Both FEMA and the Florida Attorney General’s Office are warning Florida residents of the risk of fraud and common scams in the wake of the severe weather. Common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid. Floridians are urged to ask questions and to require identification when someone claims to represent a government agency.

    Survivors should also keep in mind that state and federal workers never ask for or accept money, and always carry identification badges with a photograph. There is no fee required to apply for or to receive disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or the state. Additionally, no state or federal government disaster assistance agency will call to ask for your financial account information. Unless you place a call to the agency yourself, you should not provide personal information over the phone, as it can lead to identity theft. Those who suspect fraud can call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 (toll free). Complaints may also be made to the Florida Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Hotline at 866-966-7226.

    For citizens with continuing needs following Hurricane Michael, 2-1-1 Big Bend can provided much needs referral services to local human services agencies. Calls are free, confidential and anonymous. Trained hotline counselors are available to listen and provide emotional support, crisis counseling, suicide prevention and information.

    Want to help?

    Items most needed are:

    • Non perishable food: peanut butter, bread, crackers, granola bars, breakfast bars, pop-top cans of foods for easy opening, etc. 
    • Water: bottled and gallons (gallons are preferred as many have no running water)
    • Hygiene products: soap, body wash, sanitary items, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
    • Diapers and wipes
    • Disposable products: paper plates, cups, forks, spoons
    • Feminine products
    • Batteries and flashlights
    • Pet food and supplies

     

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    Volunteers needed: The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in collaboration with Catholic Charities of NW Florida are seeking volunteers to help distribute food and supplies. This is not a religious activity — the location is serving as a distribution site.  Needed are 50 volunteers seven days a week for several months. Watch Fr. Luke Farabaugh's video

    ***

    The Workmans of Aerial Tallahassee have collaborated with @JesseTaylorCreative to design a T-shirt, with 100 percent of the proceeds from sales going to local Mexico Beach/Port St. Joe based non-profits, directed specifically to their Hurricane Michael relief funds. Shirts are $25-$28 and can be ordered at NeverForgottenCoast.com.

    Donate

    The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Charity Fund has started a GoFundMe for Hurricane Michael Relief. Donate online or mail donations to FCSO Charity Fund, 270 SR 65, Eastpoint, FL, 32328. 

    **

    Donate to the Seminole Emergency Relief Fund and the Seminole Emergency Relief Fund - Panama City to directly benefit FSU students, faculty and staff in need.

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    Second Harvest of the Big Bend: Each dollar you donate provides four meals. Donate here.

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    The Feeding Florida statewide network unites 12 Feeding America member food banks — all of which are coming together to support Florida's Panhandle. Donate to Feeding Florida.

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    The Humane Society of the United States is is deployed in Florida, working with local officials to transport and care for animals. Donate to the Emergency Animal Rescue Fund.

    **

    To donate, to the American Red Cross go to www.redcross.org, call 800-RED CROSS or text the word MICHAEL to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from the hurricane.

    Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Michael relief efforts by choosing that option when donating at www.redcross.org or when calling 800-RED CROSS.

    The best way to ensure a donation will go to a specific disaster, write the specific disaster name in the memo line of the check. The Red Cross also recommends completing and mailing the donation form on www.redcross.org with the check.

    **

    The Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving, an organization that connects donors to vetted local charities after a disaster, launched the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund. It will meet survivors' immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, the fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local organizations.

    Donate at www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-michael-relief-fund. The organization guarantees donations will be used for Hurricane Michael response.

    **

    The Florida Disaster Fund is taking donations to assist the victims of Hurricane Michael. You can text DISASTER to 20222 to provide a one-time $10 donation or Disaster25 to 20222 for a $25 donation to Hurricane Michael relief effort.

    **

    The Southeastern USA Animal Rescue Relief organization also is collecting donations as it prepares to assist with the rescue and recovery of pets left behind in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Donate for disaster relief efforts here.

    **

    Farm Share, a 27-year-old food nonprofit, continues to deploy semi-trucks with resources towards the Panhandle and North Florida to assist those in need. Donations for Farm Share’s Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts may be made on-line at farmshare.org or by contacting Gussie Flynn at 305-246-3276

    **

    To donate to other charities or to find out if a charity is legitimate, go to www.charitynavigator.org.

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    There are many organizations and faith-based groups that have active disaster programs and need volunteers. Go to www.volunteerflorida.org to find out how you can help.

    **

    Another way to help is to donate blood. OneBlood is a non-profit organization that is located in almost all counties in Florida and in the southern regions of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

    Search for their blood drives to help victims of Hurricane Michael.

    ELDER HELPLINE

    If you are seeking assistance for an older adult, and calling from Florida, please call 1-800-96-ELDER. Outside of Florida, visit the Florida Aging and Disability Resource Center webpage to select the office that covers the county you are seeking help in. The Aging and Disability Resource Center will help you identify organizations that can best meet the needs of you and your family.

    FLORIDA LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM


    The mission of the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is to improve the quality of life for all Florida long-term care residents by advocating for and protecting their health, safety, welfare and rights. To file a complaint about a long-term care facility or a list of other resources to assist, visit http://ombudsman.myflorida.com/Complaint.php.

    ELDER ABUSE

    Data suggests that one in 10 older adults in the United States experience physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Elder abuse violates older adults’ fundamental rights to be safe and free from violence. In low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of violence is the greatest, the prevalence of elder abuse is likely higher. With the global population of adults older than 60 expected to double to 1.2 billion by 2025, the number of older adults will exceed the number of children for the first time in history. Despite the growing magnitude of elder abuse, it has been an underappreciated public health problem.

    How To Report Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
    Phone: Call Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). This toll free number is available 24/7. TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf): 1-800-453-5145

    Fax: To make a report via fax, please send a detailed written report with your name and contact telephone to 1-800-914-0004. Download the Florida Abuse Hotline’s fax reporting form.

    Online: Go to www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/abuse/report.shtml

    LONG-DISTANCE CAREGIVER SAFETY TIPS

    • Meet your parents’ neighbors and friends. Exchange contact information and ask them to check on your parent when/if appropriate. Ask neighbors to call you if they see mail or newspapers piling up or any unusual activity.
    • Gather a list of emergency services, eldercare and related contacts in the community. A list of professionals you can call upon to check on a family member should you not be able to connect with neighbors or friends.
    • Do a safety evaluation of the home. Are the locks on doors and windows in good working order? Know who has access to a spare key. Make sure there adequate lighting on the outside of the house. Motion detector lights for ‘dark corners’ of the property are often a good idea.
    • Consider a personal emergency response system. These types of devices can help in a variety of different situations, including home invasion or fire.
    • Set up a ‘check-in’ time. You can set up a time for your parent to call, text, email or utilize any number of caregiver apps to connect daily.
    • Families may want to install cameras or motion detectors in the home so family members can check on parents or loved ones any time of the day. There are a number of smart devices on the market to choose from.

     

    FOOD INSECURITY AND SENIORS

     

    ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

    Alzheimer's Association - Alzheimer's Association Statistics
    Alzheimer's Caregiver Support
    Alzheimer's & Dementia Resource Center
    Alzheimer's Disease Education & Referral Center (ADEAR)
    Alzheimer's Foundation of America

    Florida Department of Elder Affairs Dementia Care & Cure Initiative

    Memory Disorder Clinics Florida

     

    MEDICARE RESOURCES

    Medicare.gov - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Resources (CMS)

    SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and your local Area Agency on Aging. Specially trained volunteers can assist you with your Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance questions by providing one-on-one counseling and information. SHINE services are free, unbiased, and confidential.

    Get Answers to Your Medicare Questions with Medicare Interactive (MI), your one-stop source for information about health care rights, options and benefits.

    Finding the Best Combination of Prescription Savings for You Access to Benefits Coalition helps seniors who qualify find ways to save money on their medications. This online service is fast, free and confidential.

    Prescription Drug Assistance Programs:

     

     AGING RESOURCES

    AARP Florida Florida Dept. of Elder Affairs (DOEA)

    --DOEA State Plan 2017-2020
    National Council on Aging (NCOA)
    AARP National Office Florida Geriatric Care Managers Association (NOW Aging Life Care Association, Florida Chapter) National Family Caregiver Support Program Online
    Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/AoA)   Florida Geriatrics Society National Hispanic Council On Aging (NHCoA)
    Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Florida Health Care Association National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
     Aging Resource Centers of Florida  Florida Hospice & Palliative Care Association  National Institute of Mental Health
     
    Alliance for Aging Research
    Florida Life Care Residents Association (FLICRA) National Institutes of Health
     
    ALS Association
    Florida Literacy Coalition National Institute on Aging
    American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    American Cancer Society  Florida Power & Light - Energy Saving Resources and Community Resources
    National Osteoporosis Foundation
    American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center  National Senior Citizens Law Center
     American Heart Association Florida State Government Information Online
     
    National Stroke Association
     American Medical Association (AMA)  Florida State Guardianship Association (FSGA)  NetWellness - Consumer Health Information
    American Nurses Association  Gerontological Society of America (GSA)  Older Women's League
     American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc.   Harvard Health Pharmaceutical and Medical Abbreviations Dictionary
    American Society on Aging (ASA)   Health Services Advisory Group - collaborates with patients, caregivers, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, to improve healthcare Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Florida
     American Therapeutic Recreation Association  Hospice Foundation of America Retirement Research Foundation
     American Occupational Therapy Association Institute on Aging Senior Friendship/Senior Crisis Intervention Hotline
     
    Senior Living Map (housing)
    Arthritis Foundation  Internet Literacy Program
    Senior Mobility 
     Assisted Living Federation of America (Now Argentum)  LeadingAge Silver Alert Florida
    Attorney General/Consumer Protection   --LGBT Older Adults Housing

    --LGBT Senior Living
    Social Security Administration
     Benefits Checkup Website  Meals on Wheels Association of America Southern Gerontological Society

     Caregiver Action Network Medical Newswire Statewide Public Guardianship Office
    Caregiving Online Mesothelioma Information Today's Caregiver Magazine
    CarFit National Alliance for Caregiving USA.Gov Senior Citizens Resources 
    ElderCare Locator  National Association for Health & Fitness (NAHF)  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    ElderWeb  National Association for Hispanic Elderly - Associacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Family Caregiver Alliance National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) U.S. Department of Labor
    Florida Adult Day Services Association (FADSA) National Association of Nutrition & Aging Services Programs (NANASP)  Veterans Benefits Administration
     Florida Alliance for Assistive Services & Technology (FAAST)  National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Florida Chapter WebMD Health Information Online 
     Florida Association of Aging Services Providers (FASP) National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (Formerly NASUA)  
    Florida Association of Area Agencies on Aging (F4A) or Florida Association of Aging Resource & Disability Centers National Caucus & Center on Black Aged  
    Florida Bar Elder Law Section (ELS) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health  
    Florida Commission on Human Relations National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)  
    Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling   National Center on Physical Activity & Disability (NCPAD)  
    Florida Dept. of Children & Families, Adult Services  National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare  



    OTHER RESOURCES:

    AgeLine - A searchable electronic database containing detailed summaries of publications about older adults and aging, including books, journal and magazine articles, and research reports.

    THE NET IMPACT OF RETIREES ON FLORIDA’S STATE AND LOCAL BUDGETS REPORT 5-16-2013

     


    DISCLAIMER
    The links on this page are provided as an educational resource for persons researching aging issues. The presence of the link on this page is not an indication that Florida Council on Aging has endorsed any particular position(s) that may be found among them.

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