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The U.S. Census is a once in a decade count outlined in the Constitution designed to count everyone once.
It is utilized to make sure we have accurate representation in congress. Right now, there $675 billion in federal funds distributed based on the demographics represented in the census.
In addition, the numbers help us make business and policy decisions, fund how we build schools and hospitals, and make sure the right emergency management in place so everyone is safe in an emergency.
Absolutely. Your information is protected by federal law and sealed for 72 years.
The census counts everyone once and only once based on where you are living on April 1, 2020.
This decade is the first time the census will utilize the internet. People can respond and participate online, but can also mail or telephone their information, like done in the past.
We want to make sure everyone does this correctly.
If you are a snowbird or if you have two homes and live one part in one area and part of the year in another area, it is where you are 50 percent, plus one-night of the time.
If you are a student, it is where you live the majority of the time or where you live on April 1, 2020.
Everyone in your household counts. If you do have roommates, you will want to have a conversation with them so that when the census postcard is mailed to you, your household can decide to complete it as a household, or you can each decide to file separately. Please do whatever is easiest for your situation.
The Census takes place on April 1, 2020. There is a window of opportunity to respond from mid-March through mid-April 2020.
This is where the door-to-door census taker will stop by your house and ask you to fill out the census. They can also help you fill it out if you need help.
Also, please keep in mind that Census Takers, who are federal employees, may stop by to ask you some questions to verify they have a complete list of addresses for the actual census.
REMEMBER: Census workers will never ask you about your social security number or bank account information!
The federal Census Bureau utilizes local residents to assist with the Census. You can apply to be a federal Census Bureau employee to assist locally with the 2020 Census at www.2020census.gov.
Anyone who is a trusted voice in the community can help us spread the word about the importance of the 2020 Census.
Perhaps you are an organizer of a group or have contact with a special population, like a faith-based group, a book club, community association, or a children's group, you can be a local census ambassador. Email email@example.com for more information.
Please become a part of the effort to ensure “The Keys Count."
Monroe County and Municipal Parks and Beach Information
State of Florida Unemployment Information
In addition, UWCK is facilitating information and assistance for residents who are trying to enroll in state and federal programs. The current needs far exceed the response capacity of our local programs, so qualifying residents are encouraged to seek state and federal assistance ensuring our local resources will go further. For Keys residents needing the Florida Reemployment program, UWCK has compiled “Links and Tips for Unemployment Assistance”, found at KeysUnitedWay.org/COVID-19ApplicationAssistance. Social service agencies may also refer clients who need help completing the paper version of the Florida Reemployment application by emailing ApplicationAssistance@KeysUnitedWay.org.
Salvation Army Helpline 844-458-HELP (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Monroe WIC Offering Assistance to Families in Monroe County
The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County’s WIC (Special Supplemental Food Program for Women Infants and Children) offers food/nutrition/breastfeeding assistance to low-income pregnant women or families with infants or children under the age of 5 years who reside in Monroe County. Those individuals/families who meet these criteria and are experiencing a loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis are encouraged to sign up for WIC to help with food costs. Families that meet these criteria and are currently receiving unemployment or Medicaid benefits automatically qualify financially for WIC benefits. Others will need to provide proof of income and/or explain income loss to qualify.
For more information or to apply: Key West area—call 305-676-3852 and Upper Keys call 305-676-3933. (During the COVID-19 Pandemic, all applications will be done by phone and necessary documents can be faxed or emailed, please do not come to the WIC office).
"Grab & go" lunches at the Frederick Douglass Gym in Key West and at Bernstein Park on Stock Island until schools re-open. Food Pantries including the SOS Foundation and the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition. Food pantries will remain open and many will begin distributing pre-assembled bags of food via a drive-through or walk-up model. Food inventories remain of concern assuming the need for food will spike in the coming days and weeks.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) will waive work requirements for individuals participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.DCF and the Department of Economic Opportunity have partnered to apply good cause statewide for TANF and SNAP recipients normally subject to participate in mandatory work requirements as a condition to receive program benefits effective immediately. The temporary relief of mandatory work requirements will alleviate any undue burden during this public health emergency on individuals normally required to participate in these programs with no disruptions to the receipt of cash and/or food assistance benefits.To check the status of your benefits, report changes, receive information faster by opting-in to receive electronic notifications, and upload documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, log into your MyACCESS account at https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/. If you have questions about your benefits and the temporary relief of work requirements during this time, please contact the Department of Children and Families customer center at 850-300-4DCF or visit the website at https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/.If you have trouble understanding English or need help communicating with the Department of Children and Families, Economic Self-Sufficiency Program, please call 850-300-4323.If you are an individual with a disability and need help with the application process or other ACCESS services, please find the region point of contact listed at the following website: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/individual-with-disability/auxiliary-aids-plan.shtml.For a link to the Department of Health’s press release, visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2020/03/032020-2058-covid19.pr.html
Testing, Hospitals, Urgent Care Centers, and other options
COVID-19 Assistance Links
Yes, more information can be found here.
Essential Services, Salons and Restaurant Rules can be found here.
The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners has voted make facial coverings mandatory throughout Monroe County, effective immediately.
Facial coverings over the nose and mouth must be worn in business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead. The ordinance applies to employees and customers. The ordinance contains exceptions when face coverings may be removed while seated to eat and drink in a restaurant or bar and while exercising in a gym if at least six feet away from other people. The City of Key West and other municipalities may adopt ordinances with different requirements.
A covering over the nose and mouth may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth, silk, or linen covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief, or other similar cloth covering. Medical and surgical face masks, such as "N95" masks, should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment. Children 6 years old or younger are not required to wear a mask.
Emergency Management office is responsible for making plans that would help all the county residents, businesses, services and government offices be best prepared for a disaster. They also respond to disasters by staffing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) when a hurricane or other disaster threatens.
Mitigation is the cornerstone of emergency management. It's the continuing effort to lessen the impact disasters have on people and property. Mitigation is defined as "sustained action that reduces or eliminates long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects."
Through effective mitigation practices we can ensure that fewer people and communities become victims of natural disasters. Mitigation can take many forms. It can involve such actions as:
Yes. Since Monroe County is within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) of the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, the Emergency Management Department must have a radiological preparedness plan to ensure for residents safety should an incident at the power plant occur. In addition to the Plan, the Emergency Management exercises and trains on regular basis, all county emergency responders whom who be called upon to respond in case of radiological emergency. This is being conducted in close coordination with Miami-Dade Emergency Management, Florida Power & Light, State Emergency Management and Department of Health.
"StormReady" is a national voluntary program, administered through your local National Weather Service office, that gives communities the skills and education needed to cope with and manage potential weather-related disasters, before and during the event. The program encourages communities to take a new pro-active approach. This nationwide preparedness program uses a grassroots effort to help communities develop plans to improve local hazardous weather operations and public awareness for all types of local severe weather threats. In other words, StormReady is aimed at arming America's communities with the communication and safety skills necessary to save lives and property.
Local jurisdictions have the authority to declare, by resolution, a local state of emergency pursuant to Section 252.38(3)(a)5., Florida Statutes. A local state of emergency directive can be initiated by a county at any time, but in most cases, it should be declared prior to requesting response or recovery assistance from the state. Declaring a local state of emergency informs state decision makers that an emergency situation exists beyond the response or recovery capabilities of the local jurisdiction.
The enactment of such a directive will enable counties to:
If there is a real radiological emergency, our Radiological Emergency Preparation (REP) Emergency Operations Center would be activated, and the REP Hotline is 305-853-1919, or you can call the Monroe County Information Hotline number at 800-955-5504.
You may also call our main numbers 305-289-6018 and 305-289-6019.
All county shelters are also pet friendly shelters.
Yes. If you choose not to register with the special needs program, you may stay in a general public shelter.
A hurricane warning means that a hurricane is expected to strike your area in 24 hours or less.
A hurricane watch means that a hurricane may threaten your area.
A Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) is a local government plan in the United States, typically at county level, that is designed to reduce or eliminate risks to people and property from natural and man-made hazards. Mitigation strategies are supported by state government and federal programs, in line with the Disaster Mitigation Act.
Re-entry sticker may be obtained at Monroe County Sheriff Office Sub-stations, or Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices. You will need proof of residency must be provided (drivers license, utility bill, deed, etc.)
Call FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY) 800-462-7585 (for the hearing impaired).
Many Parks and Government Centers
Marathon Government Center
Monroe County Fire Rescue (MCFR) is funded by property taxes. However, if you are transported either by air or ground to a hospital, you and your insurance provider are charged a user fee to offset a portion of the costs to provide this service, which helps reduce the overall cost to residents. Rates are applied depending on the level of care required to treat and transport a patient to the hospital. Basic Life Support (BLS) is the lowest level of care administered; typically for a stable patient that does not require sophisticated paramedic level care. Advanced Life Support (ALS) involves a higher level of medical care. Depending on the patient’s condition, this may require IV medications, cardiac monitoring, airway management, etc. State law requires us to transport patients who call 911 to the closest appropriate hospital. Trauma Alert patients: All patients meeting Trauma Alert criteria are transported to the appropriate center in Miami.
These rates were approved by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners.
Monroe County does not have any local ordinances or statutes to provide for self-pay discounts. Our patients can call 305-289-6010 to utilize the option of a payment plan. It is important that payment arrangements are made within 90 days of receiving a bill. Delinquent accounts, which are those accounts with no activity for 90 days, are sent to a collections agency.
Monroe County Fire Rescue (MCFR) will accept a payment from an insurance company and then bill the balance to the patient. We are required to accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare rates. We follow all laws and statutes related to billing, and statutory adjustments are made to the accounts. The patient is then billed for the co-insurance, co-payments, and/or patient responsibility per their individual policy.
Our billing department sends three statements to the patient at the address of record requesting either insurance information or payment. If the patient does not respond within 90 days, the account will be sent to the collection agency for further pursuit of payment. If we do not have a good address for the patient, and the billing department is not able to find a good address, the patient will be sent to collections after 90 days.
Monroe County Fire Rescue follows Medicare guidelines and Medicare requires that anyone transported to a hospital by an ambulance service, sign an authorization and responsibility form. Since we don’t always know who is a Medicare patient and who isn't, we ask all of our patients who are awake and alert to sign the form for our records.
At the time that our paramedics provided emergency care to your child, it’s possible that information about you, the parent or guardian, wasn't available or received. Simply call the in house billing department at 305-289-6010, and explain the situation and that you would like your name added to the account as the parent or guardian.
Contact the in the house billing department at 305-289-6010 to let them know of your loss. You will be asked to send them a death certificate as proof of your loved one’s passing. We will be happy to re-address the bill to the person in charge of wrapping up the affairs of the estate.
You can assist the paramedics that respond to your emergency by having a complete list of your medical problems, medications, and allergies to medications readily available. Keep this information in your automobile as well; you never know where you will be when an emergency happens! If you have pets, it is a good idea to place them in a secure area or room so that they are not startled by the arrival of our paramedics.
In addition, if you or a loved one has a Florida Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNRO), please ensure that it is available upon the paramedics’ arrival. You can present a copy of the DNRO, but a copy must be printed on yellow paper in order for it to be considered valid.
Upon arrival at the hospital, your care will be transferred over to the nursing staff at the hospital facility. Depending on the volume of patients at the hospital, it is possible that you may be sent to the waiting room if you are stable enough - even though you arrived by ambulance. Please remember that the hospitals treat patients utilizing a triage system. This means that the most severely sick or injured patients are seen first.
Monroe County Fire Rescue does not have a "Lost and Found." Patient belongings are left in the emergency department room with the patient at the time of transfer. Make sure that you only take items that are absolutely necessary with you to the hospital. Remember that the hospitals see large volumes of people each day and it is very easy for items to be lost or accidentally disposed of. Never take your valuables to the hospital with you.
No, the application period is currently closed. News of future openings will be announced in this space. For more information, please email Caitlin Bourassa, call 305-289-6004, or submit inquiries to: Monroe County Fire Rescue Headquarters Attention: Operations 490 63rd Street Ocean Marathon, FL 33050 Fax: 305-289-6336
Usually in late spring / early summer of each year.
Applications are usually accepted in spring / early summer and the testing process takes place over the summer. Interviews usually happen in August / September to create the eligibility list which will be in effect for 12 months. Candidates that are placed on the eligibility list will be considered for positions as and when they become vacant.
An eligible candidate must be Florida Fire Certified (Firefighter II); a Florida licensed paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and have Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) certification showing 16 hours of training. Please check the actual job posting for details of additional requirements.
Yes. There is a 4-step process to qualify applicants to be placed on the Monroe County Fire Rescue (MCFR) eligibility list.
Please email Caitlin Bourassa or call her at 305-289-6004 to discuss your employment application.
Contact the Fire Station you wish to volunteer at for information. You can also email the Volunteer Coordinator, Nina Stuart, or call her at 305-289-6010.
Monroe County Fire Rescue does not recharge fire extinguishers. There are several fire extinguisher companies in the county that provide this service. You can locate these companies by searching locally for "fire extinguisher service."
Records of every fire Monroe County Fire Rescue responds to are sent to our Fire Rescue Headquarters. Copies of the reports can be obtained by calling the Fire Marshal's Office at 305-289-6005, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Monroe County Fire Marshal office can provide information regarding the distance between your home and the nearest fire station and fire hydrant. Contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 305-289-6005, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email email@example.com.
The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) maintains fire hydrants and can be contacted at 305-743-5409.
If you would like to schedule a visit to the fire station you can contact Monroe County Fire Rescue Headquarters at 305-289-6005.
Fireworks permits must be obtained from the fire marshal at Monroe County Fire Rescue 30 days prior to the event. Permits from other agencies may also be required. Contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 305-289-6005 and complete the Fireworks Permit Application (PDF).
To obtain a burn permit or information on open burns, contact the Department of Forestry at 305-872-9010
These items can be disposed of free of charge at Monroe County’s three household hazardous waste collections centers during the following days and times:
For more information, call 305-295-4314.
Classes are generally only open to those affiliated with a fire station in Monroe County. Visit the Volunteer page for details on how to get involved as a volunteer.
You can email Charlie Mather, Battalion Chief of Training, or call 305-289-6004 for details of upcoming training. Emails will be distributed to notify people when new courses are scheduled.
A statement is sent out to every patient transported by Trauma Star along with an application for the Monroe County Resident Trauma Star Fee Waiver (PDF). This must be completed and returned to us to write off any out-of-pocket expenses for qualifying Monroe County residents.
A qualifying resident is either a property owner (or member of their immediate household) who is current in paying property taxes in Monroe County, including the Trauma Star tax, or a person (or member of their immediate household) who rents property subject to the Trauma Star tax. We also require a copy of your Florida drivers license showing your address in Monroe County, valid for the date of transportation.
Please send your Monroe County Resident Trauma Star Fee Waiver Application Form (PDF) and proof of your Monroe County residency in the form of copies of property taxes for property owners or, for renters, copies of your long-term lease and/or utility bills plus a copy of your Monroe County drivers license to the address on the bottom of the application form.
No, you only need to apply for the Trauma Star Fee Waiver after you have been transported by Trauma Star and have received a billing statement. An application form should be included with your statement or you can download the Trauma Star Fee Waiver Application (PDF).
There is a base rate of $12,000 for a Trauma Star transport, with an additional $100 per mile calculated from origin to destination. The average billed amount is about $20,000 to $23,000 per trip -- which is less than half of the amount usually charged by the previous private air transport company that operated in the Keys prior to 2017.
Volunteers have the opportunity to complete a variety of State certified courses free of charge including:
Each volunteer station also has an annual budget for training.
Yes, eligible volunteers receive monthly reimbursements and there is a Length Of Service Award Plan (LOSAP) that provides benefits to eligible volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services volunteers. Volunteers can also feel proud that they are serving their communities and making the Florida Keys a safer place to be.
Call for availability.
The following car rental agencies are available at the airport:
Typically 7 days including Holidays, weekends, and the day of posting.
The runway remains open until winds reach 40 knots; however, each airline may have their own policy regarding delaying or canceling flights. Contact them directly for information.
For items left in the terminal buildings or other areas of the airport, please contact the Monroe County Sheriff’s airport office at 305-292-4625. For items that were lost during TSA checkpoint screenings, call 866-289-9673.
Visit the Transportation Security Administration website for current information on restricted materials.
Only government agencies are invited to submit presentations for broadcast. They should be submitted in PowerPoint and can be emailed to MCTV. You can also copy your presentation to a thumb drive and send it to MCTV, Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave.Suite 211, Key West, FL 33040
No, but some state parks allow overnight camping in Monroe County.
To reserve a county meeting room, please call Facilities Maintenance at 305-292-4431.
To contact Mosquito Control, please call 305-292-7191.
The pros and cons depend on each individual project and the property owner's financial situation. There may be other types of financing available and the County does not guarantee the PACE program is the best financing option. You might want to discuss options with your financial adviser.
Here are a couple general advantages and disadvantages to consider when making your decision:
PACE is a special assessment, commonly referred to as a PACE assessment, for an improvement tied to the property. Should a transfer of property ownership occur, the PACE assessment obligation stays with the property, not the property owner. Therefore, if you sell the property the new homeowner could then take over the balance of the assessment; however, the seller's lender or the buyer's lender (Mortgage Company) may require pay off the remaining outstanding balance of the assessment before the property can be refinanced or sold. This is particularly true for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages.
Important considerations include:
Currently, PACE financing has an average range of 6-8% interest rate with additional associated fees. Typically, the cost of the project is repaid over a period of 15 to 20 years as an annual payment on the property tax bill; however, other payment lengths are available. Interest rates and fees for the project are set by the PACE Provider at the time that Financing Document/Agreement are finalized with the property owner. More information can be found on the PACE Providers' websites.
PACE Qualifying Improvements shall mean those improvements to real property provided for in Section 163.08(2)(b), Florida Statutes, including, but not limited to, energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, and wind resistance improvements. To qualify, projects must be permanent improvements for example new roofs, air conditioning units, impact windows, and solar panels. For questions regarding specific qualifying improvements, contact the individual PACE Providers.
To ensure the greatest energy and insurance savings for your project, before you sign an agreement, make sure you understand what projects would have the greatest energy and insurance savings. That means you may want to call your property insurance company to ask about rebates for particular home improvement items. It could also mean completing a home energy survey or home energy audit. The Department of Energy is a resource to learn more about energy saving products and services.
When you are requesting project bids from contractors, ask them to provide energy savings estimates for the products/materials. Look for ENERGY STAR® labeled products/materials.
There is no short-term deadline in which to apply. The amount of funding available is significant. There are multiple PACE Providers and Approved Contractors from which to choose for a project. You should not feel rushed to enter into a financial agreement by any provider or contractor.
Be a diligent, smart consumer and take time to research the program and any financing options available to you. Seek more than one project quote requesting written estimates that include a detailed scope of work with itemized cost estimates (e.g. materials, labor, permits, taxes, fees).
There are potential individual limits for the amount of financing available to your property due to the consumer protections found in the County PACE ordinance. For residential properties, PACE Providers must ensure the following:
In general, condominiums are eligible. Due to the complexities associated with condominium ownership, assessment payments, rules of the condominium associations, and physical unit design, it is best to contact the PACE Providers directly to research eligibility and process. For properties subject to HOA restrictions, it is the responsibility of the Property Owner to obtain authorization that the requested Eligible Products meet all the HOA requirements, as applicable. For specific project eligibility, contact the individual PACE Providers.
PACE is designed to allow the repayment to stay with the property; however, accelerated repayment could be a condition of title transfer, at the discretion of the seller, buyer and lender. When a property owner sells or refinances their property, state statute authorizes the assessment to stay with the property; however, the seller's lender or the buyer's lender (Mortgage Company) may require the seller to pay off the remaining outstanding balance of the assessment before the property owner refinances or sells the property. Property owners should consult with their lenders at the time of refinance or sale of the property to determine whether the program assessment will need to be paid in full. In addition, by law, property owners must provide written notice of the assessment to the buyer prior to sale of the property.
The disclosure shall state "QUALIFYING IMPROVEMENTS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY, RENEWABLE ENERGY, OR WIND RESISTANCE.— The property being purchased is located within the jurisdiction of a local government that has placed an assessment on the property pursuant to s. 163.08, Florida Statutes. The assessment is for a qualifying improvement to the property relating to energy efficiency, renewable energy, or wind resistance, and is not based on the value of property. You are encouraged to contact the county property appraiser's office to learn more about this and other assessments that may be provided by law."
Under Florida Law, a PACE assessment (treated like a lien) is recorded on the property to secure the financing and will have a higher priority than most other liens on or rights in your Property, including any mortgage. It is the responsibility of each taxpayer to know when taxes are due, and to pay them before they become delinquent. Failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve a taxpayer of the responsibility for payment, nor is it cause for cancellation of penalties and/or charges if the bill becomes delinquent. Taxes on real property (ad valorem and non-ad valorem) are collected on an annual basis. The Monroe County Property Appraiser (not Monroe County Board of County Commissioners) establishes the value of property and exemptions.
Yes, you are able to pay off the PACE assessment in full. In some cases a mortgage company may require full pay off prior to selling or refinancing the property. There may be a fee associated and/or minimum payment amounts with early payoff.
Please contact your PACE Provider directly to discuss early payoff of your assessment.
Seniors 60 years and older are able to ride MCT free of charge.