NORTHWEST FLORIDA – Oct. 10, 2018 – Warm Gulf of Mexico waters fed Hurricane Michael as it grew overnight Tuesday to a strong Category 4 hurricane before slamming the Panhandle and leaving a trail of damaged homes and businesses in its wake.

More than 375,000 in Panhandle communities were warned to evacuate, and many will soon return to see the condition of their homes.

"We're Floridians – we know that disasters can happen at any time," says Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen. "We want our Panhandle Realtor family to know that our hearts go out to them, and we're here to help. The Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) was created for emergencies such as this one. Please let us know what we can do."

Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund

"Realtors help Realtors," says Hansen. "It's as simple as that. Generous members contribute to Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund because they understand that we're a team and we face risks together. And Realtors affected by a disaster should ask for help."

Hansen encourages any Realtor, their real estate employees, Realtor board/associations or board/association staff members to apply for Disaster Relief Fund aid. To qualify, Realtors and others begin the process by filling out an official Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund request form – either the form for individual assistance or the form for brokerage assistance.

"Many Realtors outside Northwest Florida wish to help, and donations to the Disaster Relief Fund are gratefully accepted from them too," says Hansen.

Anyone may donate to Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund by credit card online through a secure connection.The tax-deductible donation may also be made by check payable to "Florida Realtors Disaster Fund." Mail checks to: Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund, attention Dave Garrison, PO Box 725025, Orlando, FL 32782-5025.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®