REPLACEMENT SNAP BENEFITS
Are you a Floridian enrolled in Food Stamps (SNAP/EBT)?
If food you bought spoiled as a result of a Hurricane Dorian power outage or other direct impact of the storm, you can request replacement benefits. You have ten days from when you lost food to apply.
You can apply through your MyACCESS account, calling DCF at 1-866-762-2237, faxing 1-866-886-4342, or by visiting your local office. You will be asked to fill out a Food Assistance Replacement Authorization form (available from DCF or at the link below).
Disaster Food Stamps (D-SNAP) have not been authorized as of Friday, Sept. 6.
Community Emergency Operation Centers (CEOCs)
What are CEOCs? Florida faces many challenges in protecting residents from threats of climate change, particularly in our most vulnerable communities. The Florida Disaster Preparedness Plan (FDPP) is a long-term strategy for building disaster and community resilience using a collaborative process in vulnerable neighborhoods served by Community Emergency Operation Centers (CEOCs). CEOCs are command centers and/or headquarters that store supplies and services needed to prepare and recovery from natural disasters. CEOCs were activated on August 29, contact the point person for on-going volunteer opportunities to support Bahamas relief efforts.
Circle of Brotherhood
5120 NW 24th Ave
Miami, FL 33142
Old Dillard Museum
1009 NW 4th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
If you have special mobility needs and require assistance with evacuation in Miami-Dade, call 3-1-1.
INFORMATION & ADVOCACY FOR IMMIGRANTS
The Florida Immigrant Hotline is open and available to answer questions: 1-888-600-5762. The hotline is open all year for non-hurricane related issues.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, 1-866-9NO-SCAM (966-7226). You can also download the free NO SCAM app from the attorney general’s office.
INFORMATION for renters & MANUFACTURED HOME OWNERS
Content below was prepared for Hurricane Irma and provided courtesy of Legal Services of Greater Miami. Spanish & Haitian Creole translations provided by Coquí Language Collective. To apply for legal help online, visit legalservicesmiami.org and click “Get Help” or call 305-576-0080.
The apartment I live in is needs repairs after the hurricane. What should I do? First, contact your landlord to notify her about the repairs that are needed. Take photos and videos of damage so you can document what happened. If repairs cannot be made quickly or the landlord refuses to make repairs, you should send the landlord a letter which lists what needs to be fixed and tells the landlord that you will not pay the next month’s rent if the landlord doesn’t make repairs within 7 days. This demand must be in writing. You can’t do it during a phone call. You can mail a letter, send an email or send a text. Make sure you keep a copy of whatever you send.
What if the landlord does not make repairs? If you gave written notice to your landlord described in question one, do not pay your rent to the landlord. But, you must save your rent. If you sent the written notice, you will have a defense to an eviction for non-payment of rent. You will be required to deposit the rent with the court if the landlord files an eviction. If you don’t save your rent, you will likely be evicted and you won’t get a hearing or speak to a judge.
Can I make the repairs myself and deduct it from the rent? No. You can only do this if your landlord agrees to it, either in the lease or in a separate agreement. If your landlord tells you can use the rent to pay for repairs, make sure you get the agreement it in writing. An email or text from the landlord confirming the agreement will protect you later.
My place is unlivable after the hurricane. What can I do? If you have somewhere else to go, you can tell the landlord that the place is unlivable and you are moving out. Do this in writing and take photos. You won’t be responsible for any more rent under the lease. If only part of your home is unlivable, you have the right to move everything out of that part of your home and reduce your rent for that part of the home.
I have no power. Do I have to pay rent? Yes. In most cases, the loss of power after a hurricane requires FPL to fix lines and restore power. If you think the landlord caused the power outage or there are structural issues at the building preventing power from being restored, you should consult with a lawyer.
I couldn’t work during the storm and didn’t get paid. I don’t have the money for next month’s rent. What should I do? First, you should talk to your landlord and see if she’d be willing to work with you and give you time to catch up on your rent. If not, you should contact the HAND program at 1-877-994-4357 to see if you qualify for rental assistance (in Miami-Dade County only). Unfortunately, the loss of income caused by a hurricane, is not a defense to an eviction for non-payment of rent. If you have received any eviction papers, you should contact Legal Services for advice.
All my stuff was destroyed when the roof fell in on the place I rent - what help can I get? If you don’t have renter’s insurance and you aren’t covered by your landlord’s insurance policy, you may be able to get Individual and Household Program (IHP) money from FEMA to replace necessary items of personal property such as clothing, household items, furnishings and appliances.
My landlord told me to move out the next day because he wants the apartment for his daughter who lost her house in the hurricane, and told me if I wasn’t out, he’d change the locks - do I have to move? Florida law does not allow a landlord to lock you out or turn off the utilities or use any “self help” to get you to leave. The landlord must file an eviction action in court and, then you only have to move out after the judge orders you to be evicted by the Sheriff. Before filing an eviction, the landlord must first give you some type of written notice telling you to move. If you get any eviction papers, you can should contact Legal Services for advice. If the landlord locks you out or tries to force you out, call the police and contact Legal Services. You may have a claim for damages equal to three times the monthly rent.
WHERE CAN I DONATE TO RELIEF EFFORTS?
After previous storms, impacted communities made demands for an equitable recovery. Here is what they prioritized:
Miami is the most unequal place in the United States. Our neighborhoods were underwater long before hurricanes make landfall. Unequal conditions before a storm all but guarantee an unequal recovery, but it doesn’t have to be this way. We can and should recover in a way that responds to the unnatural disasters that put our communities in a constant state of emergency.
This is a call for a recovery that serves ALL Floridians. We need:
Lights, Food and Water
Equity in Relief and Recovery
A Moratorium on Evictions
A Moratorium on Deportations & Detainers
A Moratorium on Firings
and a Say in our Futures