Tornado Relief Information
It goes without saying that the tornado affected us all in many ways. We want to take this opportunity to thank our first responders for their vigilant efforts in delivering immediate aid in response to our community’s devastation. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and resources to help their neighbors in the clean-up process. For those of you who have reached out to inquire what you can do to help Gaylord in its time of need, thank you as well. Currently, volunteer and donation inquiries are being directed to the Otsego County United Way and the Otsego Community Foundation. To support these institutions and other resources, the Gaylord Area Chamber is hosting the Tornado Relief Information page. As the Chamber is made aware of additional resources, we will update the relief reference page. We encourage you to contact us with any updates you are made aware of. Our community has already demonstrated incredible strength as we have come together to address what appeared to be insurmountable. Continue to lean on one another as we persevere through this together. For together we are Gaylord Strong.
If you are aware of additional resources that are not listed here please contact Marketing & Event Specialist, Sarah Harding
989-732-6333 or Sarah@GaylordChamber.com
Case Managers Working to Help Hundreds of Individuals Impacted by Tornado
One full time Disaster Case Manager (DCM) and two part time DCM’s are actively working to provide support and resources for Gaylord residents impacted by the May 20 tornado. The case management team and construction manager will work under the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) via a grant funded by the Otsego Community Foundation (OCF). The three case managers will work out of the Otsego County United Way (OCUW) office at 116 E. 5th St., Gaylord.
If you are a survivor and need to schedule an appointment with a DCM, please call the OCUW at 989.732.8929 and press 1.
For more information, click here.
Otsego County United Way
A message from the Otsego County United Way:
"Our community has faced unimaginable loss. OCUW is responding to immediate basic needs. However, one of our affordable housing complexes has been destroyed. United Way is still responding to the needs of the pandemic. People are currently suffering from high gas prices and expensive food prices, and now we have many who are displaced from their homes. Our response to this loss will not be a sprint; it is a marathon. We have volunteers working to clean the physical debris. Your donation, however, will help us to sustain our neighbors with emergency response long after the physical debris is cleared."
To Donate to the Otsego County United Way, Click Here.
To Register to Volunteer with the Otsego County United Way, Click Here.
Get help paying bills, finding food, and locating other resources near you. Call 211 now for confidential help from a caring expert.
Otsego Community Foundation
A Message from the Otsego Community Foundation:
Gaylord is known for its sense of community, especially when faced with hardships. Let's work together to pick up the pieces from the tornado. In the days and weeks to come our neighbors and businesses will need our help in many ways. The Tornado Response Fund will to help ensure the basics are met, gaps are filled, and resources available to pick up the pieces and rebuild our community brick by brick.
To Give Online, Click Here.
To Give by Check Mail:
Otsego Community Foundation
Memo: Tornado Response Fund
PO Box 344
Gaylord, MI 49734
Otsego County Economic Alliance
A Message from the Otsego County Economic Alliance:
On behalf of our business partners, Otsego County Economic Alliance, Inc. has, and will, continue to outreach and communicate to the State and Federal government conveying the horrific impact sustained by our businesses as a result of the tornado in order to obtain any governmental assistance available through the designated State of Emergency declared by Governor Whitmer. OCEA is available to assist our businesses in any way so please contact us if we can help – whether that’s getting the word out about what you need or connecting you to resources.
North Country Community Mental Health
Website: www.norcocmh.orgAccess to Services: 877-470-7130Otsego County Office: 989-732-6292Crisis Line: 877-470-4668
A Message from North Country CMH:North Country Community Mental Health is open and continues to be available for our clients in Otsego County. Our hearts go out to all who have been effected by the devastating tornado. If you are in need of mental health services or are in crisis, please contact us at any of the phone numbers below. We recommend following the Otsego County United Way for updates on available resources.
A Message from Michigan Realtors:
In response to the unforeseen burdens that these residents are forced to face, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation has $100,000 available for individuals and families directly affected by the May 20th Tornado and reside within the State of Emergency Zone as declared by Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer. Financial assistance will be provided to cover one month’s rent or mortgage payment for qualified applicants in an amount of up to $1,000 per household until the available funds are fully allocated.
US Small Business Association
Michigan businesses and residents affected by the tornado on May 20 may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced today.
Administrator Guzman made the loans available in response to a letter from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer dated July 8, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA. The declaration covers Otsego County and the adjacent counties of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Kalkaska, Montmorency and Oscoda in Michigan.
To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 14 in Otsego County. The DLOC’s address and hours are in the release.
Ms. Laurie Dana will serve as the Public Affairs Lead for MI 17522. Please contact her if you have questions, (202) 945-7572 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the below links for additional information:
City of Gaylord
A Message from the City of Gaylord:
Property owners who have damage caused by the tornado on 05/20/22 should contact their insurance companies prior to removing any structural damages to buildings. Insurance companies will want to inspect the damages in their unaltered state. Loose CONSTRUCTION debris in yards can be taken to the Otsego County Fairgrounds parking lot. Loose VEGETATION debris can be taken to the Gaylord Department of Public Works. A third curbside option is pictured here.
The Gaylord Police Department would also like to caution property owners about contractors. Contractors and repairs are a necessary part of the rebuilding process, but occasionally contractors defraud property owners in disasters. Please use caution and good judgement when entering into a financial agreement with any contractors offering their services.
The Salvation Army
Location: 919 S. Otsego Ave. Gaylord, MI. 49735
Otsego County Housing Committee
A Message from Otsego County Housing Commitee:
The Otsego County Housing Committee is able to provide emergency roofing, septic system, water well, furnace and water heater repairs to single-family dwellings in Otsego County. Currently, we provide a mortgage to those that qualify based on guidelines with gross income at or below 80% area median income, with an affordable monthly payment at a 0% interest rate. A complete list of program guidelines & requirements is available at: www.otsegocountymi.gov/331/housing-committee
Otsego County Building Department
May 25, 2022
Attention residents of Otsego County and the City of Gaylord
In response to potential damage caused to your home or business from the recent tornado:
The Building Department cannot conduct a structural analysis of any commercial or residential property in order to authorize occupancy, or grant permission to access the property. The Building Department does not have this authority. Please contact your insurance company to make arrangements for getting the necessary inspections in order to safely return to your property. Concerning repairs to your home or business, before engaging any contractor to perform restoration work on your property, it is recommended that you contact your insurance company. They may have a list of preferred contractors they recommend. This is for your protection and to avoid scams or fraud. Respectfully, Land Use Services Department
A Message from 211:
Are you a tornado survivor? Do you still need storm cleanup or have repairs done on your home? Please call 211 and let them know you would like to be entered into the Crisis Clean Up Database. We may be able to coordinate help to assist you. If you need help calling 211 please call the United Way 989.732.8929 and we can sit with you when you make the call.
Fourge Coworking Space
Location: 125 E Main St. Gaylord, MI. 49735
A Message from Fourge Coworking Space:
Remote workers in the area who lost their homes also lost their offices. Others may be without internet temporarily. We are offering free coworking space day passes for any remote workers in the area who are having issues with internet access. If you need a quiet space to work, stop by or send us a note.
Otsego Family Vision
Address: 1000 S. Wisconsin Ave. Gaylord, MI. 49735
A Message from Otsego Family Vision:
If you know someone who was affected by Friday's tornado, we would like to help. If your glasses were lost or broken we will get you glasses and an eye exam if needed at no charge. We may require proof of address. We are so humbled and proud to be part of this amazing community!
Horizon Bank Offers Special Loan Programs for Tornado Disaster Relief.
Location: 521 W. Main St.
Gaylord, MI. 49735
State of Michigan
Replacement Food Assistance Benefits, State Emergency Relief Available to Gaylord Area Residents Impacted by Tornado
LANSING, Mich. – Residents of the Gaylord area who were affected by last week’s tornado may be eligible for replacement food assistance or State Emergency relief, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced.
“We are marshalling resources and energy across state government to help Michiganders in Gaylord recover and rebuild from last week’s tornado,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “We are helping families put food on the table and we will continue working with other state departments and federal partners to ensure families and small businesses have what they need. Michiganders are tough and we have been tested, but we will get through this together.”
Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Otsego County after a tornado on Friday, May 20, caused extensive damage.
“MDHHS is prepared to help Gaylord-area residents who suffered losses due to this terrible storm,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “No one should have to worry about having food for their families or living in an unsafe home because of damages from the tornado.”
Food Assistance Program
MDHHS may be able to replace lost food that had been purchased with Food Assistance Program benefits received through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Replacement food is only available to those already receiving food assistance benefits.
Any Food Assistance Program recipient who had food spoil due to a verified power outage or lost to storm damage can contact their caseworker to request replacement food benefits. The deadline for requesting replacement benefits is 10 days after the date of the storm or the power outage at the household. Pandemic EBT benefits to families with children who were learning remotely due to COVID-19 cannot be replaced.
State Emergency Relief Program
For low-income residents who suffered significant damage to their homes,
the State Emergency Relief program provides immediate help to anyone facing conditions of extreme hardship or for emergencies that threaten health and safety. It is available to eligible residents that need help with home repairs necessary to correct unsafe conditions and restore essential services.
Applicants must be the owner or purchaser of the home and meet other eligibility requirements to qualify. To apply, visit www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or contact a local MDHHS office.