Officials Plead With Public To Help Because Hurricane Sally Federal Individual Assistance Not Approved

September 25, 2020

Escambia County Commission Chairman Steven Barry and Senator Doug Broxson both say they are highly disappointed that a federal disaster declaration does not include any help for individuals and families.

“If John Doe makes an application to FEMA and he is denied, that’s one thing. If he doesn’t have the opportunity to apply for that direct assistance, that’s unfair. We have had a tremendous loss, and that’s unfair to our citizenry to not have the opportunity to apply. The merits of everybody’s situation is going to merit the award, but we have to have the opportunity for our people to apply,” Barry said.

What is called an Individual and Households Program (IHP) declaration that, simply put, helps people, was missing from the federal disaster declaration issued  by President Donald Trump. It provides federal funds for home repairs, temporary housing, and additional programs for individuals and businesses.

“This is a different storm; it’s gotten different response from FEMA,” Broxson said. “Frankly, I’m very disappointed with that. We checked all the boxes, and there’s a narrative out that jutt it was not a big enough storm to get the attention of nation that would appall them about what we saw last week.”

The country launched an effort Wednesday on to ask the public for help in the plea for individual assistance. Residents are still asked to gather several photos that show their damage, write a short email (up to 200 words) telling their story about Hurricane Sally damage, include the physical address of the damage and send the email to

By 5:30 p.m. Thursday, 516 residents had submitted their photographs and damage information, Barry said.

Barry and Broxson both expressed possible reasons the individual assistance declaration has not yet come down the pipe from Washington.

“We’ve been told that the folks that were in town and and doing assessments on the federal level didn’t see as much damage as they might have thought that they were going to see or maybe that they’ve seen in the past,” Barry said. “I would dare sare that had a lot to do with whether it’s a COVID issue, or the amount of boots that were on the ground here or the amount of time that was spent here.”

“There’s a tremendous amount of damage; I know it,” he continued. “I know my colleagues know it.”We’ve had two board meetings this week, and each of us to a person have limited the damage and the hurt that’s in our communities. So we know it exists. We know as a board and as a county that we deserve individual assistance.”

Broxson said FEMA would normally have a team of 300-400 people on the ground for a storm survey, but they did not due to COVID-19.

“To be very blunt with you, we’ve checked every box that we’ve always checked, and we’ve gotten a different response. That’s very disappointing, and hopefully we are going to see something happen more robust next week,” Broxson said. “Historically, I’ve never seen them not writing checks at this point. Very disappointing, and that’s after having the director here this weekend….You can’t see from 1,000 feet what is inside someone’s living room or the fact they’ve lost everything.”

“I can’t implore to the citizenry how important that aspect is,” Barry added. “Having been in office for a little while now and serving through the floods of 2014 the individual assistance part is what that’s what’s going to put money in the citizens household. I mean, that’s where it’s going to be direct financial assistance to our residents that have been been damaged, that have been harmed. So I don’t think the impact of that can be overstated.”


32 Responses to “Officials Plead With Public To Help Because Hurricane Sally Federal Individual Assistance Not Approved”

  1. Barbara Scott on October 1st, 2020 7:13 pm

    This is crazy there is so much damage everywhere including my house. I’m off Gulf Beach Hwy, let them tour over here the damage is very bad. I had more damage from this hurricane than I did from Ivan. Please do something to get them to reconsider this.

  2. Eileen Pettigrew on September 30th, 2020 12:41 pm

    I can say I’m hurt by this! We don’t have money to get repairs done we are struggling to just make it all work! We have went without power for 2 weeks now and I’m just now getting it back! I went through hurricane Katrina and this storm had nothing on her! And was able to get help! The system has failed us again:(

  3. Meeka on September 28th, 2020 1:25 pm

    Anytime the news has to ask the public to send pleas to the President, you know something is terribly wrong!btw I did send in my pictures. Just waiting with the rest to see if anything happens before the elections

  4. Meeka on September 28th, 2020 1:22 pm

    Sad there’s no D-Snap without an individual declaration! The Governor needs to change that ASAP! I’m literally having a hard time trying to feed my three kids!

  5. Meeka on September 28th, 2020 1:20 pm

    Vote him out, We can’t afford for this to “ever” happen again! We have children, he doesn’t care! We have to come together so we can survive….He is trying to kill us slowly.

  6. John Doe on September 28th, 2020 11:29 am

    blair, this donkey agrees with you

  7. Dean on September 28th, 2020 7:51 am

    Folks I’m truly sympathetic to those who have suffered as a result of this hurricane, the pandemic and 4 years of a nutcase in the Whitehouse. But I have to tell the truth. The Calvary is not coming…not from the fed for sure cause Trump is only about Trump in case you haven’t noticed. Also sorrowfully there is a substantial portion of the people in this two county area who are part of the Trump cult. They follow the notion that helping their neighbor is not only disgraceful but denotes catering to weakness of people. They could care less if your family suffered a covid illness cause they refused to simply wear a mask in public. They could care less that you lost your job due to the pandemic and in fact don’t even want you to get enough unemployment to provide for your basic necessities. They could care less that you are having to school your kids at home just to keep them safe because a failed national leadership has resulted in this pandemic ravaging this nation. They could care less that your house was flooded from the hurricane and the insurance companies that have been financially raping Florida citizens for years now continue to underpay and deny claims so as to continue their good government sanctioned record profits. It’s a sad time for sure but we’re going to have to change all this with our votes…and do so despite that 1/3 of the American population that screws even themselves in the name of their cult leaders Trump and DeSantis. All you have is your vote. USE IT!

  8. Blair on September 28th, 2020 3:37 am

    Well damn,
    Some of the insurance and finance experts commenting on this post seem to be 100% positive that folks purchased insurance they couldn’t afford or intentionally didn’t buy enough insurance. I’m sure if these fine folks would have been able to see the future and known a pandemic was coming and that everyone in the house was gonna lose their jobs and that the price of food was gonna increase and to top it all off there was gonna be a major hurricane maybe they would’ve done things differently. Then of course over 400 people in Escambia County have been hospitalized and over 300 have died due to covid 19. Which I’m sure put some folks in dire financial situations. I’m guessing you know it all’s that can apparently see the future have an opinion on that as well. Then we have Brian talking about other taxpayers money. If we’ve got enough money to give out. financial aid to God knows how many different countries in this world then there is no excuse for not having enough money to help Americans when they need it.
    Unfortunately we can’t see the future. Just like you smart donkeys don’t know the circumstances of each and every individual that needs help. In times like thes. Sometimes you should just shut your pie hole.. I mean that in the most respectful way possible…

  9. Brian on September 25th, 2020 9:16 pm

    Not being able to afford your deductible is equivalent to being functionally uninsured. Not other taxpayer’s responsibility. Buy a less modest home where 2% of the value is a deductible you can afford.

  10. David on September 25th, 2020 7:04 pm

    I am very happy
    Myself and my family members are alive

  11. Chuck on September 25th, 2020 4:54 pm

    I feel for everyone who has been affected by Sally. That being said, since I’ve moved here 13 years ago, I’ve been proud of the citizens when it comes to natural disasters. Most people here pull up their britches, suck it up and don’t cry for help. They help each other and don’t rely on the government in NW Florida. The folks posting that they’ll hear us at the ballot box, already knew who they were voting for. I know that i want 4 more years, I can’t imagine what will happen to our country if Camilla gets in office!

  12. Nurse on September 25th, 2020 2:03 pm

    Citizen. For your information. Spell check on my iPhone automatically automatically adds the period. I don’t need a grammar lesson from you. I’m typing this under duress. We are in a disaster. And need help. You are missing the point. If I had internet. I could do a better job. Typing for you. But my home is. Flooded and destroyed. Sorry I made your head spin. So step into my shoes for a while. Actions speak louder. Than words. And good grammar

  13. Dan on September 25th, 2020 1:51 pm

    I’ve seen several ppl talk about ppl complaining about the lack of Individual Assistance with the disaster declaration insinuating that these ppl complaining don’t have insurance or are/were underinsured… while there are no doubt ppl complaining looking for a free handout and those that have/had no insurance/underinsured, that’s simply not everyone. I own a modest home in a decent neighborhood that is not in a flood zone and I am well insured through USAA. I’ve never made a claim on my homeowner policy in the 11 yrs I’ve lived here since retiring from the military. The problem in case you aren’t aware is Florida is a Hurricane deductible state, meaning before you can get any repairs done to your home, if it’s damaged from a Hurricane you must meet the deductible for Hurricane. The Hurricane deductible was written into law after Hurricane Katrina when the insurance companies were on the hook for billions in damages as a way to protect insurance companies, not the customer. The Hurricane deductible is anywhere between 2-4% of your homes value. In my case that means before the insurance will pay I am required to pay $4620. If my total damages are $5000, then I’m still paying $4620 up front. I am a single dad raising two small children so while I have always paid all my bills on time I don’t have an extra $4620 in savings to cough up. I consider myself fortunate in that my home didn’t flood(bc that’s another type of insurance) so my damages were wind damages. I’m waiting on my adjuster to inspect so I don’t know what costs I’m looking at yet but it’s certainly in the thousands. I don’t understand how or why Escambia AL received the Individual assistance when we were hit just as hard. I’m not touching on the politics bc it’s pointless and shouldn’t be a part of disaster assistance. Before you rant that the ppl that are complaining stop making generalizations and assumptions about insurance coverage. FEMA doesn’t rubber stamp assistance even with the Individual Assistance tag, each case is reviewed on merits. Sure there will always be fraud and ppl looking for free money but that’s not everyone. Hopefully they will reconsider especially in an election year.

  14. Ensley on September 25th, 2020 1:17 pm

    This is exactly why we, as individual citizens, cannot and must not rely on the government for every aspect of our lives. This is why we purchase insurance for our homes and cars. There are citizens that are less fortunate, but that is where we, as a community, should step in, not the government.

  15. Tom on September 25th, 2020 12:46 pm

    I keep getting disappointed with every decision this administration makes, but now it affects myself and my loved ones. This is an election year and my disappointment will be heard at the ballot box.

  16. John on September 25th, 2020 12:30 pm

    Of course the leftist bloggers are gonna get on here and do what they do best to make this an even longer day. Don’t get mad at the federal government when it’s your local government that is the problem. Why was was a barge tied up next to a bridge during rough seas coming in? Worry about your local government not knowing how to manage a budget. Why is Escambia County one of the highest rated counties when it comes to violent crime? Fix the problems here at home. Yes, I had to throw stuff away out of my refrigerator too. Enough with the Trump bashing. I didn’t let it ruin my life because Obama was president. TV rots your brain plain and simple. Let’s put our political differences aside and get through it.

  17. Don on September 25th, 2020 12:29 pm

    OK Matt Need you Buddy call the Pres

  18. Citizen on September 25th, 2020 11:41 am

    Nurse…you really can’t call anyone incompetent. I’m sorry, but you typing a period at the end of almost every word, while calling someone incompetent, is very amusing. I am in agreement with you, however, that we need help that we aren’t getting, but reading your comments on these articles makes my head spin.

  19. Rick Tims on September 25th, 2020 11:34 am

    Funny how yall think the Federal government is supposed to help you LOL If other disasters happen before yours, IE. Fires in California, the bank account is sucked dry.

    This should be a warning to all of citizens that a massive centralized federal government is not the answer to YOUR problems. You want big government? Go to France. Government ruins just about everything it touches. This is why you need to remember this during the election… less government intervention is good.

  20. David on September 25th, 2020 10:28 am

    This is voting year, lets send a message
    Send hearing aids 1st so the message will not fall on deaf ears

  21. Rufus Lowgun on September 25th, 2020 10:11 am

    I am not convinced that Trump even knows that a we had a hurricane come through. Things that don’t affect him directly tend to escape his notice. He’s been that way for at least the last 40 years that he’s been in the public eye.

  22. DJuan on September 25th, 2020 9:58 am


  23. DJuan on September 25th, 2020 9:58 am

    So much for influence peddling by our lawmakers. Absolutely crazy.
    They go out of there way to support POTUS. Left our folks high and not dry! If POTUS can’t help in hard times, don’t come politicking this way.

  24. Angry on September 25th, 2020 9:36 am

    I’m disabled. I have a tree on my roof and a hole with rain coming I to my house. I’m on a fixed income. I lost all of my food due to power outage. I’ve been offered no help at all. There are many here in bad shape as well. Don’t blame it on some flu because that’s just a political ploy for the election. Blame it on the poor job our government is doing. Only half a million people were affected so that’s not enough. We will remember come election day.

  25. Nurse on September 25th, 2020 9:22 am

    It. Didn’t have to be. This bad. Remember. In. November. Alabama has been issued the. Disaster. Declaration before. Florida. President. Bush. Issued the declaration. The next day after. Ivan hit. Total. Incompetence. Dasantis. Gaetz. Broxson. Do the jobs you where elected to do. Waive the Garcon bridge tolls until the three. Mile bridge is repaired. Earthquakes. Pandemic. And hurricanes. People are. Hurting. I’m tired. Of the incompetence. And being. Lied. To. We having to beg. For. Help. This is a. Disgrace. Please vote November 3

  26. Struggling on September 25th, 2020 9:06 am

    I don’t understand how Escambia County AL was approved yet Escambia County FL was declined for individual assistance….

  27. BT on September 25th, 2020 8:53 am

    What’s the point of Matt Gaetz crawling so far up Donald Trump’s butt? If that’s not going to help the citizens, why do people keep voting for him?

  28. cdpjr on September 25th, 2020 8:39 am

    You are correct. I have been cutting trees and fixing roofs almost daily. Everywhere I go there is damage to houses, sheds, barns and vehicles due to trees and water damage. Someone has dropped the ball on this at the federal level and needs to come back and pick it up.
    I have friends and family that can’t afford to fix the damage due to high deductibles or no insurance at all on older homes. I don’t know what they are going to do without some help. I’ll do what I can.

  29. A Alex on September 25th, 2020 8:30 am

    When a house is likely to flood a second time and does IT SHOULD NOT BE REBUILT
    this includes the beach front as well as the ones in BRISTOL PARK, ETC.

  30. Brian on September 25th, 2020 8:12 am

    If FEMA paid for every house that flooded or had wind damage, that would be called Universal Homeowners Insurance, kind of like ObamaCare. If you are uninsured, or underinsured, you own that risk, not the taxpayers. Remember that FEMA does not magically grow money on trees, that money comes from your neighbor’s paycheck they sweat for. If you are buying 65″ tvs, iPhones, and vacations instead of paying for the proper insurance, then you do not deserve a dime from FEMA, aka taxpayers. Take the donations graciously, but do not be angry at FEMA if you are one of these people that have misplaced financial priorities.

  31. Jamie Hullenbaugh on September 25th, 2020 8:02 am

    REMEMBER, your fridge was full of food before the power went out. Now people have to start from scratch and that is a financial hardship for them. In order to get D snap for the most vulnerable in the community, remind FEMA that individual help has to be activated to help them!

  32. fisherman on September 25th, 2020 6:29 am

    Just wow.alot of people had there homes damaged in one way or another.roof damage.and that can lead to other problems.alot of people lost food.they was having a hard time due to covid.they dont have the extra means to replace food or even pay to have a tree tooken off their roof.the people of pensacola are good people.they have came up to the plate to help in the time of need.they are not beggers.but fema needs to reconsider this.

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