FWC Employee Disaster Relief Fund Criteria

This is the updated document "FWC Employee Disaster Relief Fund Criteria" revised as of December 2016.

Guiding Principles

  • The primary mission of the FWC Employee Disaster Relief fund is to provide immediate cash assistance to FWC employees in the wake of a natural disaster or a house fire. 
  • The fund may also assist affected employees with utilities, rent or house payments in certain situations.
  • The goal is to help FWC families in need without creating a mini-bureaucracy.
  • Nothing contained in these criteria shall be construed to delay the expeditious payment of funds to FWC families in need. Urgency is of the essence.
  • The funds collected shall be spent in accordance with these criteria. 

1)  Name of the Fund

This is to be called the "FWC Employee Disaster Relief Fund," hereinafter referred to as "EDRF." 

2)  Purpose of the Fund

  • The purpose of the EDRF is to provide emergency assistance to FWC employees/individuals in the event of a house fire or a natural disaster such as hurricane, tornado, flood, or wildfire.
  • Funds are intended for immediate need of basic life essentials such as food, clothing and shelter.
  • The EDRF assistance is not intended to replace other forms of disaster relief. Rather, this is to provide immediate assistance before other forms of aid (such as assistance by the American Red Cross or the Federal Emergency Management Agency) become available.

3)  Eligibility

In order to receive financial assistance from the EDRF, all of the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • The affected person(s) must be an FWC employee, or in case of a fatality, an individual/family member who lived with the employee.
  • The affected person(s) must either have suffered a loss of habitation by total destruction or by damage which renders a structure uninhabitable, or be without life sustaining necessities such as food, water, medicines or medical services.

4)  Administration

  • The EDRF will be overseen by the EDRF Board. The EDRF Board is comprised of the FWC Chief of Staff, the FWC Commission Assistant and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF) Chief Financial Officer.
  • Regional Directors (RD’s) shall be responsible for all decisions on requests for primary assistance.
  • The EDRF Board shall be responsible for all decisions on requests for supplemental assistance.
  • The EDRF Board shall be responsible for revisions to the EDRF criteria.
  • The FWFF shall serve as the repository of all donated funds to the EDRF.

5)  Types of Assistance

  • Primary Assistance funds will be limited to $300 per employee/individual and can be disbursed in two ways after approval of the appropriate RD:
    • Direct cash payments may be made to eligible employees/individuals.
    • Reimbursement to eligible employees/individuals upon the submission of receipt of purchase of emergency item(s).
  • Supplemental Assistance funds may be disbursed if sufficient funds exist.
    • Supplemental Assistance will be granted in cases where the employee/individual cannot pay his/her bill(s) due to loss of work time or have exhausted all of their monetary assets to pay for other emergencies (home repair, food, shelter, or medical services), and when failure to pay these bills would result in loss of essential shelter or transportation.

RD’s will submit recommendations for supplemental assistance to the EDRF Board for review. The EDRF Board will make every effort to ensure that primary assistance needs are met before authorizing supplemental assistance. 

6)  Process for Requesting Funds (for Primary and Supplemental Assistance)

Requests for funding assistance must be directed to the appropriate RD. If the RD is unable to process requests for assistance, these requests should be submitted to the EDRF Board.

  • RD’s shall forward any request for supplemental assistance to the EDRF Board.
  • Requests may be made directly by affected employee/individual or a supervisor of the affected employee as long as the affected employee/individual has indicated a desire to use the funds. Requests will be accepted via any means practical including phone call, email, or other available means.
  • An RD, upon becoming aware of an employee/individual in need, may offer funds for assistance.
  • For cases where the threat of a natural disaster is imminent (i.e., a strong hurricane is forecast to strike a region within 24-36 hours), the RD should perform the following in advance:
    • Visit an ATM to obtain immediate cash funds from the EDRF bank account via the Visa debit card provided to them by the FWFF. The RD is authorized to withdraw up to $3,000, (maximum of $300 per employee/individual) enough to provide primary assistance to ten employees/individuals.
    • Any portion of such advance funds that is not expended by the RD shall be returned to the FWFF CFO in the form of a money order or check.

 History: Est.: 9/1/2004; Revised: 12/29/2005; 6/14/2006; 6/30/2008; 12/16/2016

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