Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

Disaster Preparedness

Federal Disaster Declaration Fact Sheet

State of Georgia
On October 14, 2018, President Donald J. Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Georgia triggering the release of Federal funds to help people and communities recover from Hurricane Michael that began October 9, 2018.  Details of the disaster declaration and assistance programs are as follows:
Declaration Number: FEMA-4400-DR
Incident: Hurricane Michael
Incident Period: October 9, 2018, and continuing
Federal Coordinating Officer: Manny J. Toro, National FCO Program
Individual Assistance (IA): Assistance to individuals and households
IA-Designated Counties:                             
Baker, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Terrell, Thomas, Seminole, and Worth Counties.
Public Assistance (PA):                               
Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities
PA-Designated Counties:                            
Baker, Bleckley, Burke, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Emanuel, Grady, Houston, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Treutlen, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth Counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program at 75 percent federal funding. 
Hazard Mitigation (HM):                 
Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards
HM-Designated Areas:                    
All counties in the State of Georgia are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Individuals in Baker, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Miller, and Seminole Counties can register with FEMA the following ways:
  • Apply online at  
  • Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

USDA: Hurricane Michael Resources and Information - Discover Disaster Assistance Programs - Did you recently suffer loss or damage due to a natural disaster? Learn about USDA disaster assistance programs that might be right for you by completing five simple steps.

FEMA has established resources on with the latest information from FEMA and DHS on Hurricane Michael.

FEMA Mobile App - Download the FEMA mobile app for shelter information, disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips, in English and in Spanish. The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.

There are many additional government resources to help you recover. More information can be found at:

USDA Takes Action

Press Release: USDA Provides Hurricane Michael Victims Needed Relief and Recovery Aid

Press Release: Assistance Available for Hurricane Damaged Ag Land through NRCS

Press Release: USDA Announces Replacement SNAP Benefits in 12 Hurricane-Impacted Florida Counties

Press Release: USDA Approved Additional Food Options to Florida SNAP Participants Impacted by Hurricane Michael

Press Release: USDA Prepared to Respond to Hurricane Michael

Press Release: USDA Provides Hurricane Florence Victims Needed Relief and Recovery Aid

Press Release: USDA Approves North Carolina WIC Flexibilities in Wake of Hurricane Florence

Press Release: USDA Assistance Available for Flood Damaged Ag Land

Press Release: Assistance Available for Flood Damaged Ag Land through NRCS

Press Release: USDA Eases Program Rules for South Carolina SNAP Participants Impacted by Florence

Press Release: USDA Provides North Carolina Children Affected by Hurricane Florence with Access to Free Meals

Press Release: USDA Prepared to Respond to Hurricane Florence

Press Release: USDA Urges Local Residents to Safeguard Food, Pets, Livestock before Hurricane Florence

Press Release: Perdue Announces Florida Citrus Hurricane Recovery Details

Press Release: Perdue Announces Additional Hurricane and Wildfire Recovery Details

Press Release: USDA Brings Key Resources to Individuals and Communities Hit by Recent Hurricanes

FNS Responses to Recent Disasters

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) coordinates with State, local and voluntary organizations to:

  • Provide food for shelters and other mass feeding sites.
  • Distribute food packages directly to households in need in limited situations.
  • Issue Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency oversees the federal crop insurance program that supports the nation’s farmers and ranchers in difficult times. The safety net provided by federal crop insurance and other USDA programs helps keep agricultural producers in business.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers a variety of programs and services to help communities, farmers, ranchers, and businesses that have been hard hit by Hurricanes Florence, Harvey, Maria and other natural disaster events.

Staff in USDA agencies are collecting and analyzing data that will provide an assessment of the impact these hurricanes had on harvested acreage and agricultural commodities.


SBA Expands Disaster Assistance for Businesses and Residents To Additional Georgia Counties and Opens Business Recovery Centers

The U.S. Small Business Administration has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Georgia for businesses and residents affected by Hurricane Michael beginning Oct. 9, 2018.  Additionally, to expand services, SBA is opening a Business Recovery Center in Doughtery County.  A Business Recovery Center is currently open in Decatur County.
The disaster declaration now covers Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Laurens, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Worth counties in Georgia which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.  Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Ben Hill, Berrien, Bleckley, Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Dodge, Dooly, Emanuel, Irwin, Johnson, Macon, Marion, Quitman, Schley, Stewart, Treutlen, Twiggs, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox and Wilkinson in Georgia; Barbour, Henry and Houston in Alabama; and Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson and Leon in Florida.
The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for physical damage and working capital.  SBA representatives at the Centers will provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses with completing the SBA application. 
The Centers are located as indicated below and will operate until further notice:
Crisp County
Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce
Cordele, GA  31010
Opens:   Monday, Oct. 29, at 9 a.m.
Hours:    Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed:  Saturdays and Sundays
Decatur County
Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber
Bainbridge, GA 39817
Hours:    Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed:  Saturdays and Sundays
Dougherty County
Small Business Development Center in Albany
Albany, GA 31701
Opens:  Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:30 a.m.
Hours:  Monday - Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Closed:  Sundays
Grady County
Grady County Agricultural Center
Cairo, GA 39828
Opens: Thursday, Nov. 1 at 9 a.m.
Hours:    Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed:  Saturdays and Sunday
Terrell County
Terrell Chamber of Commerce 
Dawson, GA 39842
Opens:  Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 8:30 a.m. 
Hours:    Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Closed:  Saturdays and Sundays
Due to the severe damages caused by Hurricane Michael, recovery centers may not immediately open in the disaster area.  As a result, disaster survivors may register for federal assistance online at and apply for SBA disaster loan assistance using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362.  Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should also call 800-621-3362.
Disaster survivors don’t have to wait to submit their insurance claim to apply for a SBA disaster loan because we can approve and disburse your loan funds while the claim is pending.  If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan. 
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 2 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers, Business Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 13, 2018.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 15, 2019.