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Supplies, aid for Hurricane Michael victims keep coming as more supply chain routes reopen

Hurricane Michael relief donation center in Calhoun County, Florida. (Photo: Calhoun County EMA Facebook)

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.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his 17 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.
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