Hurricane Michael demolished neighborhoods on the Florida Panhandle last Wednesday, pulverizing homes and businesses with its 155 mph winds. However, its victims weren’t limited to coastal areas. There was plenty of damage inland, but it seemed to take a little longer for recovery teams to get there, mainly because of blocked or closed roads.
Power restoration crews were in place prior to landfall in areas expected to receive the worst damage - Bay, Gulf, and Franklin Counties - and were able to being clearing debris quickly. According to its Twitter feed, Salvation Army Florida had a mobile kitchen set up in Panama City (Bay County) by Friday, only two days after landfall. However, people inland in Calhoun and Jackson Counties felt their aid was arriving too slowly, despite more roads opening and detours being established, according to this report.
But on Saturday, October 13, Jackson County Emergency Management stated in a press release that “Relief continues to arrive in Jackson County”, and that “FEMA declared on Friday night that Jackson County was approved for individual FEMA assistance.”
The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Calhoun County residents can also apply for FEMA assistance and a post of the county’s Emergency Management Facebook page said FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams arrived on Saturday to register people.
Several Points of Distribution (PODs) have been set up in Calhoun and Jackson Counties. These are places where victims can go to pick up emergency supplies. The need for a POD is based on lack of infrastructure to support normal distribution of food, water, or other supplies, according to Florida’s State Emergency Response Team (SERT).
Several social media reports today from Florida Governor Rick Scott and SERT, help continues to be trucked and air dropped into coastal and inland areas affected by the hurricane.