Georgia Tourism Hurricane Matthew Resources for Georgia Partners & Businesses

Georgia Tourism
Hurricane Matthew Resources for Georgia Partners & Businesses

Federal Disaster Assistance:
From the US Small Business Administration:
Disaster can strike at any time, and even the most prepared businesses and business owners can be adversely impacted. If your business has been impacted by a disaster, the SBA can help by providing disaster assistance.

Disaster assistance is money provided to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed following a Presidential-declared disaster; and whose losses are not covered by insurance. Loans may be available to businesses that have suffered an economic loss as a result of the disaster. Assistance is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the SBA, the Farm Services Agency (FSA) and state governments.

***NOTE THAT THE FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION HAS NOT CURRENTLY BEEN EXTENDED TO INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES WITHIN GEORGIA (10/11/2016). If you have damage or loss from this disaster, you may complete a FEMA application now even if your county has not been federally declared for Individual Assistance. This will help speed up the process if counties are added to a declaration. Your application will be processed if your county is added to a declaration and FEMA determines you are eligible.

FEMA Disaster Assistance
If you need assistance after a disaster, your first point of contact should be FEMA. Contact FEMA directly to apply for assistance, which includes money for housing and essential expenses, such as food and clothing; and critical personal expenses, such as medication. To learn more about FEMA and how to access assistance, explore the following resources:

Disaster and Economic Injury Loans
The SBA and USDA provide low-interest loans to businesses and individuals to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.
• Home and Property Disaster Loans
Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars, appliances, etc. damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition.
• Disaster Assistance Loans
SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.
• Economic Injury Loans
If your small business or private, nonprofit organization has suffered economic injury, regardless of physical damage, and is located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
• Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Provides funds to eligible small businesses to meet their ordinary and necessary operating expenses that they were unable to meet due to an essential employee being “called-up” to active duty in their role as a military reservist.
• Farm Emergency Loans
Offers emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine.
• The Farm Service Agency also provides a disaster assistance guide for farmers and ranchers for natural disaster losses resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, and pest infestation.
• Employment Assistance
• Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Supplies information on financial assistance for self-employed individuals who have lost their jobs due to federally declared disasters.
• Midwest Flood Recovery Assistance
Covers National Emergency Grants for temporarily employing displaced workers.

Tax Relief Assistance
• Federal Tax Relief for Individuals and Businesses
Lists tips and resources to help individuals and business located in federally declared disaster areas.
• Disaster Losses Kit for Businesses
Provides tax information for claiming unreimbursed casualty losses on property that was destroyed by a natural disaster.

Contacts for Disaster Support:

Disaster Checklists:
• National Parks Service – Checklist for Historic Sites and Properties:
• Tourism Victoria (AU) – Days 2-14 Disaster Response – A checklist for how to react and prepare your business for reopening in the immediate days following a disaster:

Resources for Historic Sites, Museums and Properties:
• Georgia Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) –
• National Park Service, Disaster Planning –
• National Trust for Historic Preservation –
• Advisory Council on Historic Preservation –
• Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation –
• National Center for Preservation Technology & Training –

Filing Flood Insurance:
If you have experienced a flood, you can file your flood insurance claim by following these three steps.

After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you have the following information handy:
• The name of your insurance company
• Your policy number
• A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
• An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, please contact your insurance agent or company again. Find your company’s toll-free phone number.

Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.
Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.
Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.

Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. You’ll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. You’ll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss.

Georgia Tourism Product Development Assistance:

Georgia Tourism products, attractions, sites and businesses that have been directly affected by Hurricane Matthew and need specialized support to reopen are encouraged to reach out to the Georgia Department of Economic Development directly. Each tourism business is unique, so there may be specialized areas of assistance available within your local community.

Georgia Department of Economic Development
Cheryl Hargrove, Georgia Coast Regional Tourism Project Manager:
• P: 912.638.6078
• M: 404.971.1559
Cindy Eidson, Director of Tourism Product Development
• O: 404.962.4844
• C: 404.772.5679
Chris Cannon, Assistant Director of Tourism Product Development
• O: 404.962.4092
• C: 404.693.0757

Georgia Tourism Recovery Support and Promotion:
Georgia Tourism works hard every day to promote your tourism business to our visitors and help build your local tourism economy. In the recovery days of Hurricane Matthew, we want to provide you extra support as you reopen your business and support your local economy and jobs:

Support from the Georgia Visitor Information Centers:
The 12 Georgia Visitor Information Centers actively greet thousands of Georgia visitors every day and provide information on the entire state including booking hotel rooms and providing information on attractions. As your business reopens, let the VICS know so they may pass along your business information to visitors. Find the complete list of Georgia Visitor Information Centers at:

Complimentary Lobby Display at one of Georgia’s 11 Highway Visitor Centers
Tourism communities, attractions and partners along the Georgia Coast that were directly affected by Hurricane Matthew are invited to set up a complimentary display at one of Georgia’s 11 Highway Visitor Centers through the end of 2016 to help rebuild business. Contact the manager of a visitor information center to discuss options for displaying and marketing your tourism business. Find the complete list of Georgia Visitor Information Center Managers at:

Exposure on and Social Media
Communities and businesses are encouraged to submit news releases to be posted on our website and social media. Press releases should provide newsworthy updates for the consumer travel media and offer a story idea that is unique and compelling to your area. All news releases are subject to review and approval. Please email your information including a photo to


-Georgia Department of Economic Development

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