Department of Florida

Hurricane Preparation

RELIEF EFFORTS UNDERWAY: Relief Efforts will be underway at The American Legion Department of Florida. We are expecting a semi-trailer of goods tomorrow (From Indianapolis, IN) to arrive in the early afternoon hours. We are also expecting another truck mid-week next week (From a Post in Maine). A few volunteers would be especially helpful to transfer some of the supplies from the trailer to our department trailer to send a portion South/West. The remainder will be sent out as the Commander requests and upon request to him by Posts/Districts conducting relief efforts in their areas.

The Commander has also requested donations be accepted at Department Headquarters. In order to make this happen, volunteers would be needed to take the donations upon arrival. Truck deliveries and collecting donations will also need to be followed up by transporting the donated items to affected areas. Further information will be forthcoming on establishing a collection site. If you would like to volunteer for any of the other areas, please contact Commander Shuga, commander@floridalegion.org, for additional information.

If your post is functional and centrally located, please consider establishing your post as a distribution point for some of the supplies we have coming in. It shouldn’t be a heavy burden on any one post as we would anticipate the supplies would move rather quickly and we don’t have a steady stream established. As of now we are only receiving one truck this week and another one next week.

If you are looking to donate or to provide interested parties information on donating, please contact Commander Shuga, commander@floridalegion.org, for more information.

Thank you for your service, together we will make a difference.

NOTE: DEPARTMENT SUFFERED AN ELECTRICAL ISSUE AS A RESULT OF THE STORM AND WE HAVE NO ANTICIPATED DATE OF GETTING THE ISSUE CORRECTED. WE WILL BE WORKING EMPLOYEES FROM HOME AND POSSIBLY A FEW OTHER OPTIONS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS UNTIL WE ARE FULLY RECOVERED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

Disaster Preparedness

L-R: Willie Leonard, Bill Hoppner and Commander Steve Shuga


The American Legion, Department of Florida is busy preparing for Hurricane Season, especially with the looming threat of Hurricane Irma.  The Florida Department Disaster Preparedness Chairman, Bill Hoppner, joined us this past Tuesday to help us check generators and inventory spare items. He asks that all Disaster Preparedness Chairman (Post, District and Area) contact their next higher echelon to provide contact information and ascertain information about other efforts taking place in their communities.   If you have any questions or concerns, you may email Department Disaster Preparedness Chairman, Bill Hoppner at disasterprep@legionmail.org.

If you have not yet prepared for hurricane season, we urge you to do so immediately. Time is running out. Here are a few important tips:

Before a Hurricane

  • Monitor the situation closely; invest in a good weather band radio; signup for local alerts.
  • Know where to go if you’re ordered to evacuate; know your local hurricane evacuation routes; follow your local emergency management agency; know the location of local shelters.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan; fully charge cellphones and other mobile devices.
  • Prepare your home: trim back any trees or branches that could potentially fall; secure loose rain gutters and downspouts; reinforce windows and doors; clear your yard of any loose items, lawn furniture, propane tanks, etc that could become projectiles.
  • Stock up on non-perishable foods and water; special items for infants, elderly and disabled; keep extra ice to keep food cool longer; batteries, flashlights, outdoor grill supplies.
  • Pack a “Go Bag”, in case you must leave in a hurry, with clothes, important medications, hygiene items, important identification documents, insurance policies, other important legal certificates, extra cash and a first aid kit.
  • Take before photos of the inside and outside of your home for insurance purposes.

After a Hurricane

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters, 6” of moving water can knock you down, 1’ of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Take photos of any damage to your property for insurance.

National Emergency Fund

National Emergency Fund

Even if Hurricane Irma makes a shift to the East, Florida could still see significant damage, especially our Southern areas. The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund provides direct financial assistance to Legion Family members and posts impacted by natural disasters. To date, they have distributed more than $8 million in aid to people in desperate need. A full 100 percent of donations to the National Emergency Fund are turned into grants for individuals, families, and posts impacted by natural disasters. Donations are not used to cover administrative or promotional costs.

Assistance through The National Emergency Fund is available to Legionnaires, Sons of The American legion members and Legion Posts. Applicants must have been displaced from their primary residence due to a declared natural disaster and must provide receipts of out-of-pocket expenses. The fund is not meant to replace or repair items, only to meet most immediate needs, such as: temporary housing, food, water, clothing, diapers, etc. For complete details, to apply or to donate, please visit  www.legion.org/emergency.

The American Legion, Department of Florida strongly urges you to get prepared now. Please visit our Facebook page, facebook.com/floridalegion, and let us know what you are doing to prepare and any other important information.  Be prepared, be safe.