Hurricane Michael has made the record books as the fourth strongest hurricane to make landfall in the United States in recorded history. (Hurricanes Labor Day in 1935, Camille in 1969 and Andrew in 1992 rank higher) It took several other records as well: third lowest pressure storm, worst storm on record for the Florida Panhandle, and one of the worst ever in Georgia and Alabama.
Hurricane Michael left destruction in its wake, destroying entire towns and effectively removing them from the map. It’s been a full week and many residents are only now being allowed back to survey the damage to their homes.
Recovery and rebuilding from Hurricane Michael will be extremely long, expensive and difficult. We will continue to update this page as more information comes in.
What's on this page
Damage assessment continues as residents survey the damage, work with their insurance companies and begin to work with contractors.
Resources for Survivors of Hurricane Michael
Join our Bear Hugger Adopt a Family Program™
One of the most powerful things we can do for people in the aftermath of disaster is let them know we care and they are not alone. That’s what this program is designed to do.
Our Bear Hugger Adopt a Family Program allows families to adopt other families in need after a disaster. Many times people want to donate to someone specific, someone they feel like they know, someone they can get specific items for.
Below you can register as a family in need or a family who can help. Please register below to be paired with your Bear Hugger family today.
What to do After a Disaster
Emergency Food and Water After a Disaster
If you need emergency food and water after a disaster, find an open emergency shelter or listen to local radio or TV for other disaster feeding sites. You can also check with local agencies for food assistance.
If you’re in your home, follow guidelines for food safety after a power outage or flood.
For specific food safety guidelines after a flood visit the USA.gov website and get specific action steps to keep you and your family safe.
Returning Home After a Disaster
We know you may be tempted, but whatever you do, do NOT attempt to return to your property until your local officials have given the all clear. Though it may feel like it takes forever to get permission to go back, know that local officials want to get you in there just as soon as they are sure that it is safe.
After disasters there are often downed power lines that are hidden under debris, unstable buildings that can fall at any moment, or other hazards you may not be aware of.
Once home, remember disposal is going to be a huge consideration. Keep an eye out for items that will need special forms of disposal. Follow your area’s guidelines for disposing of damaged property.
If your family heirlooms or treasures have been damaged, there are a number of resources for saving them online.
Disaster Relief Assistance
There are several places to look for disaster relief assistance. In addition to your local government you can check the following links:
- Find out if you qualify for disaster relief by using the address lookup on DisasterAssistance.gov.
- You can also access DisasterAssistance.gov through the FEMA Mobile App.
- Visit FEMA's Individual Disaster Assistance page or read its Help After a Disaster (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) publication.
- Call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585)
- To get help in person, find a Disaster Recovery Center near you with the Disaster Recovery Center locator
Tax Relief After a Disaster
Find out if you qualify for disaster relief on your federal taxes.
If you have a complaint about disaster relief assistance, contact the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General’s Office at 1-800-323-8603.