Okaloosa/Walton Long Term Recovery Organization
Okaloosa and Walton Co. Organizations Active in Disasters & Long Term Recovery

Leaking Roofs . . . . Sagging Foundations . . . . Ceiling Damage . . . Ruined Walls . . . Mold & Mildew Damage . . . . Children and Elderly at Risk . . . . Road Entry Erosion . . . . A/C Failure . . . . Structual Damage by Flooding . . . . Ceiling Fans Shorted . . . . Please Help! . . .

Click for Defuniak Springs, Florida Forecast


Our Mission

Ways to Help


Our Partners

Download Our Brochure

For More Info

Dial 211
Email Us

The Flooding event of 2013 was aided greatly by Ben Tarpley and Josh Hopp, who has been a major contributing factor to the needs of those in need in Walton County. Josh is still in the field helping finishing the work of 2013 and beginning the work of 2014. Ben has retired and give us sincere thanks to his aid in our time of need.

Ben is traveling, fulfilling another personal quest. You can follow him at Where is Ben? as he hikes across America to raise awareness and funds for charitable organizations.

Special Announcement:

The Okaloosa/Walton Long Term Recovery program has come to an end as of April, 2016. The many teams and individuals that have served those in need may have gone, but their spirit lives on in the results of the many construction projects completed. We know those who have been helped are very appreciative. Those who have served on the board of the LTRO cannot thank enough the many volunteers from around the area and country that sacrificed thousands of hours in labor and even in their own financial support. A program of this nature cannot exist without those willing to give so that other may live.

The combined services to both counties have effectively ceased at this time, but Randy McDaniels of Okaloosa County has volunteered to chair the continuation of the OWLTRO as needed in any upcoming disasters. If you have even the slightest interest to serve in some way, please do not hesitate to step forward by calling 211 and providing your contact information.

The board of directors wishes all, both clients and volunteers the very best blessings and appreciation. May God bless you all and keep you safe.

Sincerely, OWLTRO - Board of directors

What We Do:

We Join Together Faith Based Organizations, Civic Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations, For Profit Organizations, Businesses and Individuals to assist those not able to provide basic repair needs suffered in times of disaster. We are a central gathering and dispatch. We organize all potential means of aid to our neighbors through the Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO).

We help people in their own recovery after a disaster strikes. We provide long-term case management needed to stabilize and create a self-sufficient environment. We give a hand up, not a hand out.

Why We Are Needed:

There is no one else to help. FEMA is only helping to pay for road and bridge repairs. There will be no FEMA assistance to individuals in these cases.

Presentation of What and Why (PDF File)

Who Do We Help:

The disabled, the elderly, families with small children and the very poor.

How We Do This:

First, no one profits from this. No one is paid a salary, income, or stipend. We volunteer our time, efforts, and resources as a team when and where they are needed in Walton County. We are unique to Walton County. Each member of the LTRO brings their own special resources to assist those in need. Case managers ensure that people who cannot afford to pay for repairs are helped.

A team of volunteers works to bring resources together to provide the needed material, labor, equipment, supplies, talent, whatever is required to address the repair. Everyone is invited to volunteer, everyone has a talent, an ability, a means to assist those in need. Not a lot of time is asked, and only what anyone feels moved to contribute is suggested. There are no set guidelines. There is no pressure or continuing obligation.

Why You Are Important:

When disaster strikes everyone suffers, but for those unable to make even basic repairs it can be heartbreaking. We bring hope and peace back into the lives of those troubled by circumstances beyond their control.

Walton County Volunteers and the LTRO working together cannot be defeated by any disaster. Together we all win. Participating does not require any special expertise or knowledge, just a desire to help.

We invite you to join in our efforts and learn how you can be part of this need.

Homeowners needing assistance in Walton County:

Dial 211 or 850-892-4357 or Email Us

We look forward to those joining. We look forward to assisting all those we can.


If you received a grant from FEMA for home repairs and feel the funds are insufficient to complete the repairs. Homeowners have 60 days from the time of receiving their award to appeal to FEMA for a reassessment.

If you would like to contact FEMA directly, you may call toll free at 800-621-3362.

You may also go to the FEMA Website - Click Here.

You may find more information online at DisasterAssistance.gov
or on a smartphone at m.fema.gov.

Here are some FEMA stats:
Region wide 14,000 FEMA applicants

Region wide 7,101 received FEMA assistance

The total amount of FEMA applicants for Walton Co. and Okaloosa Co: 492(Walton)+1421(Okaloosa)= 1913 total applicants.

The total amount of FEMA applicants without homeowners insurance and owns their home in Okaloosa and Walton Counties: 201

The total amount of FEMA applicants who received assistance Walton and Okaloosa: 1046

The total amount of FEMA applicants who did not receive any assistance in these counties: 822

If you would like to donate, please click the Donate button to the left.

If you can open Power Point Presentations, here is a brief slide show on the degree of damages some people suffered.

Here is a map file of the areas hit by the 2014 flooding.

For any group wishing to apply for upto a $10,000 Disaster Grant from Cathoic Charites, you may download the report form here.

Click here to download PDF file of instructions. Then come back here to use the links to apply on-line.

Residential Property on-line reporting forms

Business Prperty on-line reporting forms

Read more below to see a link to some pictures of the damages and the volunteers that come in to help.

Flood Cleaning Kits If you are in need of a cleaning kit from the April 2014 flood incident, call the Walton County Emergency Management Office at 850-892-8065.

Since November, 2013: (265) volunteers arrived to work from outside of Walton County, Accumulating (8,633) hours!

As of May 2014, work continues to be done helping to restore properties and lives in Walton County suffered from the storms and flooding of 2013. More than 126 families or individuals have been aided. Please consider being part of this and future needs. This is our community, our county, and our neighbors. Read more about what the LTRO does in Walton County.

Update: Disaster has no set schedule and April, 2014 flooding is a perfect example of such. Here we are, still recovering from last year's flooding from heavy rains, only to be hit once again, and worse than last year. Work will continue for some time to come. Many volunteers have come in to help. For an idea of how far away these helping hands have come, see this current list. Please consider donating to help those in need, right here in Walton County.

Here is just a sampling of flooding damage and the challenges volunteers face. They come prepared to work and work they do. No time is wasted trying to get people back into their homes and feeling more secure.

211 Information First
Terra N. Free
Administrative Clerk
C.O.P.E Center
3686 US Highway 331
DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435
Phone: (850)-892-8045 ext. 255
Fax: (850)-892-8039
In Walton Co. Dial 211 or 892-4357

Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida
Robby Youd

Catholic Charities of Florida Disaster Response
Gabe Tischler, Emergency Management Specialist
Catholic Charities of Florida, Inc.
201 West Park Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Office: (850) 205-6821

Hammers & Hearts
Ben Tarpley, Founder
We thank them for helping in the 2013 Flooding Event
Josh Hipp, Director of Operations

Operation Get It Done
Michelle, A Registered Nurse, Founder
Josh Hipp, Director of Local Operations

Emergency Management of Walton County, Florida
Al Ford, Russell Beaty

United Way of Walton County
Ken Hinrichs, President/CEO

Red Cross
Amy Eden, Disaster Program Manager
4100 S Ferdon BLVD #B4
Crestview, FL 32536

Salvation Army
Chris Welch
425 Mary Esther Cut-Off
Fort Walton Beach, FL

Created by DJ Stafford

All Rights reserved