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Hurricane Michael Emergency Relief

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Emergency Relief, or ER, program can help State and local agencies fund repairs to Federal-aid eligible roads, bridges, and other infrastructure after a natural disaster such as Hurricane Michael.

The repair work within the right of way of Federal-aid highways is usually eligible to receive ER funds, if the roadway is in an affected county that is included in the Governor's Declaration or Presidential Declaration.

FEMA Website for Hurricane Michael

Florida Website for Governor’s Emergency Declaration

FHWA Florida Division Emergency Relief Website

The decision to seek financial assistance for a disaster event under the FHWA's ER program rests with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Local agencies with damage to Federal-aid highways should make their application for ER reimbursement through FDOT. It is FDOT's responsibility to seek ER funding for the repair of Federal-aid highways, regardless of which jurisdiction.

The ER Process:

Restore Essential Service: State and local highway authorities are empowered to immediately begin emergency repairs to restore essential traffic service and to prevent further damage to Federal-aid highway facilities. Properly documented costs with before and after photos are usually eligible for reimbursement.

Damage Assessments: FDOT in cooperation with FHWA Florida Division engineers, undertakes damage surveys and/or detailed site inspections. This may include local authorities where appropriate. Typically, this involves on-the-ground visits of the damage sites to verify the extent of damage and to determine the cost of repairs eligible for ER funding.

Implementation of Projects: Permanent repairs after a disaster occurrence restores highway to pre-disastrous conditions. Permanent repairs require prior FHWA approval. ER construction contracts are advanced generally in similar fashion as regular Federal-aid highway projects. FDOT generally takes the lead in seeing that projects are advanced in accordance with appropriate Federal and State requirements. The total amount of ER funding provided is based on the Federal share of actual costs incurred by FDOT and local highway authorities to complete eligible repair activities.

The Final ER eligibility and reimbursement will be based on the documentation submitted showing cost, justification and compliance with Federal requirements.

Key Items for Local Authorities:

FDOT Emergency Relief Program

National Weather Service for Hurricane Michael

Identify your Federal-aid highway routes: Create a list of the Federal-aid routes in your county or community. Damage to these routes are potentially eligible for funding under FHWA's ER program. Federal-aid highways generally include interstates, freeways, arterials, and major collector roads. Usually rural minor collectors and local roads are not eligible.

FDOT's Planning Website for Roadway Functional Classification

Federal Requirements: Be familiar with the federal requirements for construction contracts and the roles and responsibilities of State and Local Agencies administering the ER Projects.

FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual

Document emergency repair costs: If you are undertaking emergency repairs to restore essential traffic, minimize damage, or protect remaining facilities, keep good records of the costs incurred. Be sure to take pictures of the damaged area before undertaking any repair work. These will be critical when FDOT or the local agency seek reimbursement under the ER program.

Permanent repair work: Remember, permanent repair work requires prior approval by the FHWA Division Office. ER projects for permanent repairs should be processed following regular Federal-aid procedures. Contracts for both permanent repair work and emergency repairs must incorporate all applicable Federal requirements.

Contact Information:

FHWA Emergency Relief Program CoordinatorMahmmud Yousef-Saleh (407) 867-6433

FHWA Director of Engineering Nick Finch (407) 867-6410

FDOT Emergency Relief Website Link - http://www.fdot.gov/emergencymanagement/

Contact FDOT: http://www.fdot.gov/agencyresources/contactus.shtm

Web Resources: The Emergency Relief process is explained in a series of four videos:

  1. Program Overview and Eligibility
  2. Initial Steps for Requesting ER Funds
  3. Steps for Receiving Reimbursement of ER Expenses
  4. Emergency versus Permanent Repairs

Note: Each video has a printable "Companion Resource" on its page.

Immediate Florida Resources

Florida Division of Emergency Management


Florida 511 (traffic updates)


Alert Florida


FEMA Hurricane Michael


Governor Rick Scott’s Emergency Declaration


Web links to related Emergency Relief:

FHWA's Emergency Relief Program Web site

FHWA Order 5182.1 - Emergency Relief Program Responsibilities

FHWA's Emergency Relief Manual

Emergency Relief questions and answers related to MAP-21

FHWA's Web site covering Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (ERFO)

FHWA's Contract Administration Core Curriculum providing an overview of Federal contracting requirements

FEMA's policy and guidance covering public assistance

FEMA fact sheet on debris removal on Federal-aid Highways

FHWA Truck Size and Weight Contacts in States and Division Offices

To view PDF files, you can use the Adobe® Reader®.


Page last modified on October 11, 2018
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000