Florida Disaster Fund Update – November 7th, 2014

On May 8, 2014, Governor Scott and the Volunteer Florida Foundation activated the Florida Disaster Fund to assist those who were impacted by severe flooding in Florida’s Panhandle.

Volunteer Florida has worked closely with our partners in impacted counties, including representatives from county governments, members of the business community, private citizens, and volunteers from community and faith-based organizations, to identify the needs of families and establish distribution guidelines for the Florida Disaster Fund. FEMA has estimated a gap of $1,887,013 between what FEMA has verified as real property losses and what has actually been disbursed by FEMA. Our goal is to assist local agencies in bridging that unmet needs gap.

To ensure that allocations from the Fund serve their intended purpose, Volunteer Florida developed a standard process, including technical review by Volunteer Florida staff, a detailed review by five recovery and grant-making experts, and subsequent clarification discussions with applicants.

Through the Florida Disaster Fund, the Volunteer Florida Foundation granted $250,000 in funds to the following organizations:

Escambia County:
Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE): $175,000

Santa Rosa County:
United Way Santa Rosa: $39,500

Okaloosa and Walton Counties:
Okaloosa-Walton Long-term Recovery Organization: $35,500

With extensive experience in long-term disaster recovery, these three organizations will support families in their counties with the following services:

  • Provide disaster case management services to families
  • Meet with families to verify losses and develop long-term recovery plans
  • Utilize volunteer teams to provide home construction and repairs

Since the spring flooding, voluntary agencies have provided a total of 43,663 volunteer hours in impacted counties, a value of $984,600.65. These numbers will continue to grow as local agencies recruit additional volunteers and national relief agencies continue to deploy volunteer teams.

We are grateful for the considerable support of those who have donated to the Florida Disaster Fund, including our most recent donor, Walmart, which generously provided $10,000 to the Fund. Volunteer Florida is committed to supporting our local partners throughout the recovery, as they serve families impacted by the 2014 Spring Flood.


Chester W. Spellman
Chief Executive Officer
Volunteer Florida