AFTER THE STORM: Be safe and beware of scammers
Clean up after the storm is usually the hardest part. We want to offer some tips on how to make things easier.
Always make safety your number one priority. Hurricane Matthew knocked down a lot of trees and power lines, so please be careful as you clean up in the next few days.
- Never touch a fallen power line, and do not drive through standing water if power lines are in the water.
- If a power line falls on your car while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line.
- Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup.
- Some trees may still be unstable. Use caution when working around trees that may be compromised.
- Try to not work alone. If you have to work alone, inform someone you know that you will be working on clearing debris.
Beware of people trying to make a quick buck. It could save you a bunch of headaches and a lot of money. Before hiring a contractor, ensure they are certified with the State of Florida. To find out call Volusia County's Contractor Licensing Office at 386-736-5957, option 2. People may also visit Volusia's Connect Live site at connectlivepermits.org and click the contractor tab. State-certified or registered contractors may also be found by clicking on the “Verify a license tab” at www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr. Unlicensed activity can also be reported at that link.
The City of DeLand will waive all permitting fees associated with repairs due to damage from Hurricane Matthew.
Emergency repair work may begin prior to the issuance of a building permit as long as it is obtained within 48 hours of initiating the work. Additionally, make sure to take photographs of damage for insurance claim purposes. The Building Division may be contacted at 386-626-7006/7007/7008 or 7009.
Additionally, tree removal and replacement will be temporarily suspended due to the state of emergency. The removal of severely wind-damaged trees may be completed without the need for a permit or replacement. For all other removals, please contact Forestry Superintendent Mariellen Calabro at 386-626-7178 or the Building Division at 386-626-7006.
The public is cautioned to hire only Florida-licensed contractors to undertake any repair of damaged homes. The City of DeLand anticipates unlicensed contractors may attempt to perform work in our area which may result in work being done that does not meet Florida Business Code standards.
The City of DeLand debris removal contractors will begin debris removal on city-maintained roads in response to Hurricane Matthew beginning this week.
The city contractors are currently prioritizing debris removal based on areas where Hurricane Matthew has generated storm debris to the extent that these areas can be safely accessed to perform debris removal. Residents of impacted areas that can safely do so are asked to place any storm-generated debris on the public right-of-way. Please try not to block the roadway itself.
The public right-of-way is the area of residential property that extends from the street to the sidewalk, ditch, utility pole or easement. Residents are urged to ensure set-out debris is only vegetative and not mixed with any other types of debris or garbage:
VEGETATIVE DEBRIS - (whole trees, tree stumps, tree branches, tree trunks and other leafy material)
Only loose vegetative debris will be collected by the contractors. Normal trash collection, including yard waste times, will occur as scheduled this week.
Do not place debris near a water meter vault, fire hydrant or any other above-ground utility. Only debris placed on the public right-of-way will be eligible for collection until further notice.
The city contractors will make multiple passes through the impacted areas. If residents cannot safely set out debris at this time, or if contractors cannot safely enter impacted areas, additional debris removal passes will be scheduled in the near future.
The city urges all residents to make personal safety a top priority, and only set out debris if it is safe to do so at this time.
For more information, contact the city's debris pickup hotline at 888-721-4372.
BUSINESS DAMAGE ASSESSMENT
|The State’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) is assessing the ongoing damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Officials are determining the extent of damage and what financial assistance will be made available. Small businesses who have incurred losses are encouraged to complete the Business Damage Assessment Survey on The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center website at www.flvbeoc.org. This is not an application for disaster assistance. The survey will help the State Emergency
Response Team (SERT) determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses, including activation of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program and federal assistance, and help expedite implementation.
As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18, the Florida SBDC Network is here to help businesses impacted by Hurricane Matthew recover.
Ensuring Florida is Open for Business
When disaster strikes, Florida businesses can find the education, training, and assistance needed to survive through the Florida SBDC Network’s (FSBDCN) Business Continuation Services. Our professionally certified business consultants provide consulting training at little to no cost to help you minimize losses and increase survivability when affected by natural and man-made disasters. They can also help prepare a comprehensive Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plan at no cost.
Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program
In the event of a disaster, the Governor of Florida has the option to activate the Emergency Bridge Loan Program by Executive Order. The purpose of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program is to provide a source of expedient cash flow to Florida small businesses impacted by a disaster. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.
If the program is activated, the application and full instructions for completing and submitting an Emergency Bridge Loan request as well as other disaster recovery resources can be at www.floridadisasterloan.org. Applicants may contact the Florida SBDC Network for no-cost assistance with completing the application. Once the application is completed, applicants should contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3489for submission instructions.
Please Note: This program provides a short-term loan of State of Florida public funds, not a grant, with the expectation that repayment will be made out of receipts from other sources of longer term disaster recovery assistance.
RESIDENTS WITH DAMAGED HOMES
Residents with damage to their home should file a claim with their insurance company. Those who received significant damage from Hurricane Matthew are advised to call Volusia County’s Citizens Information Center at 866-345-0345.
COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVE IN DISASTERS (COAD)
COAD is coordinating volunteers and donations through the Emergency Operations Center. For more information, call the Citizens Information Center at 866-345-0345. COAD is a multi-agency group that assists local governments in organizing and deploying volunteers and resources in response to the unmet needs of local disaster survivors. Membership is open to individuals, faith-based groups, government agencies, civic clubs, volunteer organizations, social service agencies, business people and emergency management personnel.
Here are some important links that will have the most up-to-date information: