Hurricane Michael Update 11/8

Bay County Emergency Operations

Hurricane Michael Nov. 8 Update

Thursday, November 08, 2018

ESF 14 – Public Information RecoverBayCounty.com

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

· The Bay County Medical Examiner is reporting 21 casualties in Bay County.

· The 211 Citizen Hotline continues to receive non-emergency calls. For out-of-state callers, please dial (850) 248-6099.

· Please visit recoverbaycounty.com for recovery information.

· No curfew is in place at this time.

· On Friday, Nov. 8 the National Weather Service calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Light and variable wind becoming southwest 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Recover Bay County – By the Numbers

Feeding Assistance

Salvation Army: 367,242 total meals

Red Cross Meals: 458,698 total meals

36 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV’s) doing mobile feeding with the Red Cross.

Total sheltered: 445

Debris Management: An estimated more than 1 million cubic yards of debris have been removed in the unincorporated areas of Bay County.

Bay County Rescinds Burn Ban

On Thursday, Bay County lifted the ban on outdoor burning in unincorporated areas initiated after Hurricane Michael.

“In light of recent rain events, the prohibition on outdoor burning for county residents has been rescinded,” Bay County Chief of Emergency Services Mark Bowen said. “We remind the public to be cautious when conducting outdoor burning activities as we are still in a very dangerous situation.”

Outdoor burning is regulated by the Florida Forest Service (FFS). Current state restrictions on burning include a requirement to obtain permits for piles larger than eight feet in diameter and limit the pile to yard waste.

Yard waste is any vegetative debris such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs, palm fronds, etc. Residents must meet the required setbacks and the debris must fit in an eight-foot diameter pile or non-combustible container.

Outdoor burning of yard waste is allowed after 8 a.m. All fires must be extinguished one hour before sunset.

It is illegal to burn household garbage including paper products, treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticide, paint and aerosol containers.

Outdoor Burning Tips

• Clear an area down to bare soil around the pile to prevent the fire from spreading

• Cover a non-combustible container with wire mesh to keep sparks from flying out and

starting new fires

Please don’t burn within:

• 25 feet of forests

• 50 feet of paved public roads

• 25 feet of your house

• 150 feet of other occupied buildings

To obtain a burn authorization or for questions regarding outdoor burning, contact the Florida Forest Service Chipola Forestry Center at 850-373-1801.

City of Parker Update

Debris removal has increased, totaling almost 100,000 cubic yards picked up through Nov. 7. Residents are reminded to separate debris piles to allow the trucks faster pickup. Trucks don't have time to stop for small piles, so combine into singe larger piles if possible.

Last day to apply for Blue Roof program is this Sunday, Nov. 11. Anyone not having registered with FEMA is encouraged to do so. You only have a few more days to sign up.

For homeowners intending to rebuild, the city has extended the time to six months for campers, RVs, Pods, etc to be placed on the property while rebuilding occurs. The city will remain flexible should you find additional time may be needed.

Thanks to all the wonderful volunteer organizations who do so much in support of our citizens in this extraordinary time of need. Please support them financially if you can.

USDA Disaster Assistance Workshops Set for Hurricane Michael Recovery

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is hosting disaster assistance and hurricane recovery workshops in Liberty, Gulf, Wakulla and Bay counties. These events are free and open to the public.

Representatives from USDA will present information on the various disaster assistance programs and resources available for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

Workshop topics include emergency assistance for livestock and crop-related expenses and losses; financial assistance programs to help with farm and farmland damage; deadlines for applying for disaster assistance programs and programs to help with restoration and rehabilitation of farm and ranch land.

Liberty County

Nov. 13, 2 to 4 p.m.

Veterans Memorial Civic Center - Recreation Room

10405 NW Theo Jacobs Way

Bristol, FL 32321

Gulf County

Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Honeyville Community Center

240 Honeyville Park Drive

Wewahitchka, FL 32465

Wakulla County (for Franklin, Taylor, and Wakulla County producers)

Nov. 14, 6 to 8 p.m.

UF IFAS Wakulla County Extension

84 Cedar Ave.

Crawfordville, FL 32327

Bay County

Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Bay County Government Center

840 W 11th St., Panama City, FL 32401

For more information, contact the Florida USDA FSA State Office at 352-379-4500. Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this meeting, should contact Lauren Moore at 352-379-4552 or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 by Nov. 9, 2018.

Free well testing for private well owners ends next week

After Thursday, November 15 Noon drop-off normal $35 testing fees will apply.

The free well testing for private well owners is ending next week. Thursday, November 8, Environmental Health will be moving back to their location, 225 McKenzie Avenue, Panama City. They will reopen there on Friday, November 9. Free testing kits can be picked up from Environmental Health Friday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 13 through Thursday, November 15 from 9 am – 4 pm. DOH-Bay is closed on Monday, November 12 in observance of Veterans Day.

Water samples must be returned to DOH-Bay within 24 hours after sampling. Samples taken on Wednesday or Thursday must be brought to the DOH-Bay office by noon Thursday. The normal fee for testing is $35. This fee will apply for all samples dropped off after Thursday, November 15.

FEMA Fact Sheet on How to Avoid – and Where to Report – Potential Fraud After a Disaster

In the wake of a disaster, it is wise to be aware of potential frauds and scams. Such events can attract criminals and con artists.

If you believe you are the victim of a contracting scam or price gouging or other fraudulent activity, contact local law enforcement and report it to the Florida Office of the Attorney General on the Fraud Hotline at 866-966-7226, the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, email: disaster@leo.gov or contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Here is a list of possible scams that may be attempted in counties affected by Hurricane Michael:

Telephone calls

If you get a call informing you that you are eligible for a FEMA disaster assistance program, do not provide any personal information. Do not give out personal information or bank account information over the telephone. If you are contacted by someone you believe is a scammer, contact your local law enforcement agency.

FEMA “Certified”

Sometimes persons may drive around a devastated neighborhood with a “FEMA Certified Contractor” sign on their vehicle. FEMA neither certifies nor endorses any private-sector contractor. (Individuals and government entities should be extremely cautious when hiring contractors after any disaster.)

If someone claiming to be a contractor does contact you and stating they represent FEMA or that FEMA gave them your name, you should get as much information as you can about the contractor and report them to your local law enforcement agency.

An inspector comes to your home without a FEMA photo ID

Do not let someone into your home who claims to be a FEMA inspector but does not have a FEMA photo ID. Always ask to see a FEMA photo ID badge. A FEMA shirt or jacket is not proof of identity. All FEMA representatives, including our contracted inspectors, will have a laminated photo ID. If unsure, call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.

Someone comes to your home to conduct an inspection but asks for money before starting

Federal and state workers do not ask for—or accept—money. FEMA representatives will never charge for disaster assistance, home inspections or for help filling out applications. Stay alert for false promises to speed up the insurance, disaster assistance or building permit process.

Charitable giving

A list of reputable charities that are approved by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance is available at www.give.org. The Alliance advises “not responding to unsolicited emails, watching out for pushy telemarketers and looking out for fake charities that sound real by using similar names.”

For more information about avoiding charitable giving scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts

Rental listings

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has information on how rental listing scams work. For instance, scammers know that finding the right apartment or vacation rental can be hard work, and a seemingly good deal is hard to pass up. Learn more at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0079-rental-listing-scams.

Damaged vehicles

Another fraud which may occur after a disaster, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), is the sale of a hurricane-damaged vehicle advertised as a good-conditioned used car. The NCIB operates the online VINCheck program which allows car buyers to see whether a vehicle has ever been declared as “salvage” or a total loss by an NICB member that participates in the program. Insurers representing about 88 percent of the personal auto insurance market provide their salvage data to the program. You can access VINCheck at www.nicb.org/how-we-help/vincheck.

Utility repairs

Utility customers, especially electric power customers, should be on the lookout for scams in person, over the phone and online. Sometimes they pretend to be a company employee and ask for immediate payment by credit card, pre-paid debit card or gift card, and threaten to turn off service to your home or business. Never give credit card information over the phone unless you are certain of the identity of the caller. When in doubt, give your utility company a call.

Rumor control

To dispel some of the false rumors circulating on the internet and social media, FEMA has a dedicated web page to address some of the most common themes. To get the most accurate information from trusted sources visit our rumor control page for Hurricane Michael at www.fema.gov/hurricane-michael-rumor-control.

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