As a member of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) family we strongly encourage you and your business to stay informed and get plan during the state’s Hurricane season (June 1 – November 30).  The FRLA and VISIT FLORIDA actively participate and assist the State Emergency Response Team during emergency events as a member of ESF 18. The purpose of Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 is to coordinate local, state and federal agency actions that will provide immediate and short-term assistance for the needs of business, industry and economic stabilization. For weather alert updates, visitors and residents may stay informed via the weather advisory located on the VISIT FLORIDA homepage.



The FLVBEOC Business Disaster Toolkit provides businesses with valuable information regarding preparedness, response, and recovery issues. Click here to learn how to prepare your business BEFORE a disaster strikes, help keep your workplace and employees safe DURING and what businesses should do AFTER to recover and rebuild.

A disaster of any size could have an impact on your business. Taking the steps to build a business disaster plan and encourage your employees to create a family emergency plan can reduce the impact on your business. It is important to consider how a disaster could affect your employees, customers and workplace. Go to to build your customized business disaster plan and encourage your employees to build a customized family emergency plan.




Protect Your Business From Price Gouging

As the entire state of Florida is under a declared state of emergency, Florida’s price gouging law applies statewide. State law prohibits extreme increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, ice, gas, hotels, lumber and water during this declared state of emergency.  Specifically, F.S. 501.160 states that during a state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell, lease, offer to sell, or offer for lease essential commodities, dwelling units, or self-storage facilities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the seller can justifying the price by showing increases in its prices or market trends. For more information on price gouging, please click here. Report an instance of price gouging or contractor fraud during a declared state of emergency to the Attorney General’s Office online at or by calling toll-free at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM. Additionally, you may report unlicensed contractors to the Department of Business & Professional Regulation online at or by calling 1-866-532-1440.


Emergency Accommodations Module (EAM)

During declared state of emergencies, The Emergency Accommodations Module is activated by VISIT FLORIDA to assist evacuees, utility workers and other responders with lodging accommodations. Industry partners are encouraged to continue populating their availability information. The information you provide will be showcased under the EAM button on the Florida Now page of When this module is activated, we ask that you continue to update this information at least twice daily until we alert you that the EAM has been deactivated. Find pet-friendly lodging here. Intrastate and interstate animal movement information is available here.




Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC)

Additionally, FLVBEOC has activated the Resource System for businesses to share resources in the aftermath of a Hurricane. Volunteer Florida and other statewide volunteer organizations are in need of securing several donation items to assist survivors after the storm.  The FLVBEOC Resource System is now also being used to provide a centralized location for resource requests from voluntary agencies, and to give businesses in the area who want to help an avenue to assist their neighbors. Resources are both requested and offered through the system. First, please register the business with the FLVBEOC to utilize the resource management system. If your business was impacted by a recent Hurricane, we encourage you to fill out the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) Damage Assessment Tool. The information provided in this survey will be shared among various state and local agencies to expedite implementation of appropriate disaster relief programs for businesses.


Open/Closed Business Status Reporting

The ESF18 State Emergency Response Team is particularly interested in your store’s open/closed status, if a store is partially open or open with reduced resources, what challenges are they facing, if a store is closed, what obstacles do they have to reopening and what is the anticipated timeline of reopening. To provide this information, if you are registered with the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center, and your locations are currently populated, login here and utilize the “Status Update” tool to identify your open/closed status. Businesses may also report this information via email to and via the Private Sector Hotline is 850-410-1403.




renovations-hammer-nail-construction-remodelFlorida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by the Governor of Florida to support small businesses impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm and recovery efforts. The application period is from October 10 through November 11. To complete an application, or for more information on the program, visit For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network state office at 850-898-3489.



sbaU.S. Small Business Administration – Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans

SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. The SBA offers several ways to apply for a disaster loan: online application via SBA’s secure website; visit a recovery center for one-one-one assistance; or download an application here. For information or to request application forms, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is Dec. 16, 2016. The deadline for economic injury applications is July 17, 2017. The federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Matthew includes the following:
  • Counties eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA: Flagler, Putnam, Saint Johns and Volusia in Florida.
  • Adjacent Counties eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Clay, Duval, Lake, Marion, Orange and Seminole in Florida.


FEMA’s Individual Assistance

Visit to apply for assistance online.  If you experience difficulty applying online, you may also call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585 to apply during standard hours of operation (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time), 7 days a week.  You can also check your application status at Survivors have 60-days from the date of a declaration for Individual Assistance to apply for assistance

helping-handFederal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, this program assists individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a federally declared disaster and who do not qualify for regular reemployment assistance benefits. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents and must have been working in or residing specified counties in Florida. The individual must: (1) have become unemployed as a direct result of the disaster or (2) be unable to reach the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster or (3) have been scheduled to begin work and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the disaster or (4) have become the major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of the disaster or (5) be unable to work because of an injury caused directly by the disaster. File a claim online here  or call 1-800-681-8102.



USDA Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Hurricanes

Click here for a list of recommendations to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during severe weather events. In the wake of a Hurricane, there may likely be power outages and flooding.  Both pose a risk to the integrity of food and water.  Food safety requirements should be adhered to post-disaster if you are serving food to the public and to your own family. Be certain refrigerated food has been stored at correct temperatures of 41°F or below. Frozen food should be maintained at 0°F or below. Thawing should be conducted using only correct methods. Food packaging should be intact with no trace of water intrusion or exposure. In addition, if food has been exposed to storm-related water or debris of any type, it should be discarded should not be served. If food is in question remember, when in doubt, throw it out. For information about food safety requirements visit the USDA or Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants, include information about emergency recovery and a boil water notice.


Other Helpful Resources

Florida Division of Emergency Management
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Volunteer Florida