WASHINGTON — The Air Force Aid Society has provided more than $6 million in hurricane disaster and relief assistance to airmen and their families across the Florida Gulf region following the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
Nearly 5,000 active-duty, retirees, guard, and reservists who were stationed in or near the hardest hit areas within the Florida panhandle who applied for emergency assistance, received one-time stabilizing assistance grants through the AFAS Hurricane Relief Program. Grant amounts totaled $750 for single airmen and $1,500 for airmen with families.
“Our response to hurricanes has improved over the years. Annually, we try to work with military bases that are potentially in the path of these violent storms prior to hurricane season,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John D. Hopper, Jr, AFAS CEO. “Practice is critical, but it is difficult to imagine the devastation of taking a direct hit from a near-category five storm. When Hurricane Michael hit and severely damaged Tyndall Air Force Base and the surrounding communities where our airmen live, we activated quickly and scaled up our assistance efforts.”
Through partnerships with the Air Force’s Personnel Center Airman and Family Operations Division, the airman and family readiness centers across 85 Air Force installations, along with other military relief societies, and the American Red Cross, AFAS was able to render essential assistance to displaced Tyndall AFB Airmen and their families.
“The urgency with which this relief was distributed allowed those affected to secure much-needed items such as fuel, food, generators and so much more,” said Julie Mason, Airman and Family Operations Division chief. “For some, it gave them the means to secure a vehicle to haul the remains of their personal property to a safe area. Overall, the aid given to date has helped to meet both the physical and emotional needs of our Air Force community impacted by the storm.”
While recovery efforts are underway, AFAS will continue to address the ongoing needs of airmen in the affected areas through the AFAS Emergency Assistance Program. The A&FRCs continue to be a focal area for rendering ongoing support. Therefore, Airmen in need of assistance should visit A&FRCs at their nearest Air Force installations. In the event that there is no location within close proximity, Airmen can apply for assistance at any nearby military installation. If an Airman is not located within 50 miles of a military installation, they should contact the American Red Cross directly at (877) 272-7337.
If you are interested in donating to help Air Force families impacted by Hurricane Michael, please visit www.afas.org. For the latest information regarding Hurricane Michael and AFAS disaster assistance, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Air Force Aid Society
The Air Force Aid Society is a 4-star Charity Navigator rated private, non-profit organization. Founded in 1942, the AFAS’s mission is to help relieve financial distress of Air Force members and their families and assist them in achieving their educational goals and improving their quality of life by providing proactive programs. In 2017 alone, the AFAS provided over $15 million to more than 45,000 airmen and their families through emergency assistance, educational and community programs. With headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the AFAS administers assistance through airman and family readiness centers around the world and maintains cross-servicing agreements with the Army Emergency Relief, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief, the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance and the American Red Cross to offer emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.