On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sending more than $15 million in Community Disaster Loans to governments across the Panhandle as the region continues to recover from Hurricane Michael which hit the area in October 2018.
DeSantis said FEMA is sending the loans to the city governments of Mexico Beach, Panama City and Parker as well as the Bay County School District and the Calhoun-Liberty Hospital Association. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) helped FEMA with the loans.
“Since day one of my administration, we have used every resource at our disposal to ensure Northwest Florida completely rebuilds from Hurricane Michael,” said DeSantis. “I’m proud that we have been able to work with FEMA to secure these additional funds that will provide much needed relief to local communities who are working hard to rebuild. For the many families who are still recovering from this storm, I can assure you that we are working every day to make sure you and your community recovers.”
“This year at FDEM, we’ve paid out the most hurricane recovery funding in the Division’s history,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “These loans, when combined with the nearly $450 million we’ve paid out to Northwest Florida, are helping to create more resilient communities in the wake of this devastating storm. Thanks to our strong partnership with FEMA and Governor DeSantis’ leadership, these communities now have another resource they can use to rebuild.”
“Community Disaster Loans provide funding to help local communities who have been impacted by a major disaster and incurred significant revenue loss. These funds help communities provide services such as government employee payroll and benefits, insurance payments and vendor payments,” the governor’s office noted.
Panama City and the Bay County School District are both getting $5 million each. The Calhoun-Liberty Hospital Association, Inc., will get a loan of $2.9 million while Mexico City is penciled in for $1.3 million and Parker is set to receive a loan of $1.1 million.
“To qualify for a Community Disaster Loan, applicants must be located in a presidentially declared disaster area and have substantial revenue loss. FEMA will provide technical assistance to all applicants through the program process,” the governor’s office noted.