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HomeNewsworthyPress ReleaseGovernor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery

Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery

Club 14 Fitness

Press Release

Governor’s Press Office

10-11-22

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Fort Myers to give updates on recovery efforts and announce that temporary repairs to the Sanibel Causeway will allow a one-time convoy of power restoration equipment, supplies and crews temporary access to Sanibel Island for power restoration efforts. Once crews are on the island, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will resume repairs to restore access to the island for residents, which is expected to be complete by the end of this month. Full remarks can be found here.

There are currently 19,362 reported power outages. In Lee and Collier counties, there are only 1,000 accounts on the mainland that remain without power that can receive it. More than 42,000 linemen have already restored power to over 2.6 million accounts across the state, representing over 99% of accounts restored since the peak.

Yesterday, Governor DeSantis announced that $2.5 million in loans have been awarded to 55 businesses through the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian. Additionally, $126 million will be going to 24 communities across the Panhandle that are continuing to rebuild and strengthen after Hurricane Michael made landfall 4 years ago.

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised nearly $40 million since activation. To read more info, click here. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.

Additionally, the First Lady has worked with the State Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator, Sara Newhouse, to compile a webpage of resources to help first responders navigate resources for mental health needs post hurricane. To visit the site, click here. Mental health resources for individuals and communities are available at MyFLFamilies.com/HurricaneIan. Floridians’ health and well-being are a top priority, and the Department of Children and Families is reminding individuals that they are not alone. All Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian can find someone to talk to today through the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 800-985-5990.

Safe and found persons can be reported safe at http://safe.fl.gov.

Additional programs that have been put into place to aid communities include the activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the initiation of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Operation Blue Roof, and FDOT’s diligent work to construct temporary bridges into areas that are cut off from motorists. First Lady Casey DeSantis, Volunteer Florida and Tervis have created a design with Florida imagery for a new tumbler product. With every sale of this tumbler, all proceeds will go to the Florida Disaster Fund. Products are available for purchase on the Tervis website HERE and will soon be available in stores for purchase.

State response efforts include:

Search and Rescue

  • There have been 2,500 rescues made to date.
  • There are more than 1,000 team members performing search and rescue.
  • DCF has created a First Responder Support Line (407-823-1657) that all first responders throughout the impacted areas can contact. This line combines current resources into a single point of contact that will connect first responders with mental health professionals.
  • The State Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator created a survey to assess the need for mental health services for Hurricane Ian first responders.
  • Following Governor DeSantis’ authorization, Joint Task Force Florida has 4,351 personnel activated and is executing missions in response to Hurricane Ian. The Florida National Guard has supported a total of 246 missions.
  • Task Force engineering resources have been deployed to assist with route clearance in Pine Island and Charlotte County. The FLNG has cleared 51.5 miles to date in the impacted area. Guardsmen continue to assist law enforcement with roving patrols, security, traffic control and curfew enforcement missions.

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

  • At the request of Governor DeSantis, FDEM worked with federal partners to secure an additional 30 days of 100% federal cost share for Public Assistance Category A (debris removal) and Category B (emergency protective measures) for Hurricane Ian recovery efforts. More information can be found here.
  • Counties eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance include Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia. Impacted residents can apply at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • FDEM has worked with FEMA to activate the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program for impacted residents in counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance, excluding Palm Beach County. FDEM will continue to work with FEMA to determine additional unmet needs for Palm Beach County residents. Individuals can apply for disaster assistance and may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home.
  • The Crisis Cleanup Line, 800-451-1954, which provides debris removal services to impacted residents, has completed more than 1,000 requests to date.
  • In coordination with federal and state partners, more than 100 pets have been rescued through air operations from the Barrier Islands.
  • Under State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, members of the Forward SERT have deployed to Southwest Florida to coordinate recovery efforts on scene.
  • More than 13.7 million MREs and 49.2 million bottles of water have been distributed so far. PODs open today include:
  • DeSoto County
    • Nocatee Elementary School 
      • 4846 SW Shores
      • Arcadia, FL 34266
  • Lee County
    • Old Bonita Springs Library 
      • 26876 Pine Ave.
      • Bonita Springs, FL 34135
    • Cape Coral Leonard Street
      • 4820 Leonard Street
      • Cape Coral, FL 33904
    • Estero High School Ballfield Park
      • 9100 Williams Road
      • Estero, FL 33928
    • North Fort Myers Rec Center
      • 2000 N. Recreation Park Way
      • North Fort Myers, FL 33903
    • Fleamasters Fleamarket
      • 4135 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
      • Fort Myers, FL 33916
    • Veterans Park Rec Center 
      • 55 Homestead Road S.
      • Lehigh Acres, FL 33938
  • FDEM is working with feeding partners to operate kitchens for impacted and displaced residents. More than 44,200 hot meals were served on Sunday, October 9, and more than 1.9 million hot meals have been served since volunteer kitchens opened.
  • FDEM is coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct infrastructure assessments of water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, and assisted living facilities.
  • Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), more than 1,800 personnel from 26 states have deployed to Florida to assist in response and recovery efforts.
  • FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Ian. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
  • FDEM has opened an additional fuel depot on Pine Island for a total of 13 fuel depots across Central and Southwest Florida to provide fuel for first responders. A public, mobile fuel depot is open at the Wa-Ke Hatchee Recreation Center and Park in Harlem Heights to provide fuel for vehicles and gas cans for generators to impacted residents.
  • FDEM has received more than 5,800 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled. Over 4,780 of these requests are currently being processed and are either in route or being mobilized. This includes the coordination of resources such as: trucks of food and water, generators and tarps.
  • FDEM is mobilizing pet food and supplies for displaced pets, including: rabies vaccines, dry and canned dog food, dry and canned cat food, cat litter, disposable pet bowls and disposable leashes.
  • FDEM is deploying the following resources for distribution to impacted areas:
    • 4 barges are aiding in the delivery of commodities in Lee County to Pine Island and Sanibel Island. Fuel has been deployed to Pine Island via the Pine Island bridge that was completed in record speed.
    • 2 Bobtails and 1 Humvee are staged and ready to depart to North Captiva Island.
    • Coordinating to set up 4 barges to aid in the delivery of commodities in Lee County to Pine Island and Sanibel Island.
    • Trailers for restrooms, showers, laundry, sleeping and sanitation to ensure the care of first responders in the field.
    • More than 4,000 gallons of diesel to Lee County to power water plants that provide water to nearby hospitals.
    • Drone teams to assess flooded areas.
    • 500 traffic barrels to Charlotte County to safely modify traffic patterns.
    • More than 500 generators for traffic signals and other traffic needs.
    • 2 full-service mechanical shops.
    • 500,000 tarps.
    • 375 kits for parents of infants and toddlers with critical supplies that will last for 10 days each.
    • Coordinating the provision of meals for first responders staged in Orange County.
  • FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate recovery actions and needed resources.

Power

  • There are currently 19,362 people without power.
  • Over 2.6 million accounts (99% of total outages) have already been restored across Florida.
  • For a full report on current outages, click here.
  • 42,000 linemen from utilities across the state were deployed and have been working to restore power.
  • 325 Florida Highway Patrol are transporting utility crews.

Health and Human Services

  • DOH County Health Departments have been deployed to all Disaster Recovery Centers to provide services and resources. This includes Women and Infant Care, Vital Statistics, and other public health services. Costs for any vital statistics, such as birth and death certificates, have been waived.
  • DOH’s Division of Children’s Medical Services’ Early Steps and Newborn Screening programs has sent additional supplies to Ft. Myers. Supplies include hand sanitizer, silicone bibs, thermometers, baby spoons, and cooling towels. This will be package in Moms and Babies’ waterproof bags and distributed to individuals in need.
  • This week, Hope Heroes are being deployed affected counties throughout Florida, including Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hardee, Lee, Osceola, and Seminole. To become a Hope Hero, visit helpcreatehope.com.
  • Visits are being conducted at all health care facilities in counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. AHCA has completed 576 assessments at facilities in Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Seminole, Volusia.
  • 102 clients have received weather-related Emergency Home Assistance for the Elder Program funds to assist with individuals experiencing a home energy emergency in the affected areas.
  • As of 7 a.m., 4 special needs shelters remain open, serving 110 clients, caregivers, and staff. Shelters are being phased out as clients return to their homes or identify long term housing solutions. The special needs shelters are in located in Lee, Osceola, Sarasota, and Volusia counties.
  • DOH’s Children’s Medical Services Plan and partners have setup 4 locations (one in DeSoto, Sarasota and Orange counties, and two locations in Lee County) for individuals to receive free hygiene and infant supplies, in addition to other essentials. All sites are open to the public.
  • DeSoto County – First Christian Church located at 34 El Verano Ave., Arcadia, Florida 34266. Hours of operation are Noon to 6 p.m.
  • Lee County – Family Initiative located at 734 SW 4th St., Cape Coral, Florida 33991. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Lee County – Sunshine Fort Myers located at 4901 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33905. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sarasota County – Sarasota Christian Church located at 2923 Ashton Road, Sarasota, FL 34231. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Boil Water Notices have been issued for 105 areas, over 20 counties, following the impacts from Hurricane Ian. DOH continues to monitor and maintain a comprehensive statewide list of notices for residents to access online.
  • DOH in Lee County Women Infants and Children (WIC) program’s is providing in-person services at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Lakes Regional Library, with another DRC setup at JPD-Victoria will open today. Additional WIC services are providing remote services through the call center. Residence can call the WIC office at (239) 344-2000 for more information on enrollment and services. 
  • In response to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, DOH is working with partners and communities to extend available waivers for Florida’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program. This waiver allows for flexibility to expedite the delivery of assistance to eligible families who have registered with FEMA in impacted counties.
  • In response to DOH’s request, USDA has authorized waivers through November 25, 2022, to allow flexibilities in the Child and Adult Care Food Program to support access to meals provided to children  at participating sites, such as providing grab-and-go meals.
  • As of today, 100% of operating long-term care facilities have a generator on-site. The Generator Status Map for long-term care facilities is available here.
  • 10 APD-licensed group homes remain evacuated.
  • APD has developed a list of available group home bed vacancies within APD-licensed group homes to accommodate those who need temporary relocation. APD will be assisting with relocating clients.
  • APD has deployed staff to the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Sarasota. Additional staff is ready to deploy as other DRCs come online.
  • Senior Resource Alliance in Central Florida is conducting Mental Health First Aid Training for providers and caregivers this week to be able to appropriately respond to the mental health needs of seniors in disaster recovery.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs anticipates reopening their Naples and Port Charlotte VA clinics for face-to-face appointments on Wednesday, Oct. 12. 
  • The Lee County VA Healthcare Center and Daytona Beach VA Multispecialty Clinic are returning to normal outpatient appointments on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
  • FDVA Veterans’ Claims Examiners are connecting Florida Veterans with earned benefits and services at Disaster Recovery Centers in the hardest hit areas following Hurricane Ian. To contact a VCE, call (727) 319-7440 or via email at [email protected]
  • DOH continues to expedite health care licensing for priority professions. Health care practitioners interested in volunteering to the Volunteer Florida registration portal.
  • DOH’s Florida Board of Nursing has streamlined the initial endorsement application processing to under 24 hours to continue the surge of greater availability of qualified health professionals.

Infrastructure

  • All accessible State-owned bridges have been inspected across Florida. FDOT continues to assist with inspections on locally-owned bridges.
  • 97% of cut and toss operations are complete statewide
  • 100% of cut and toss operations are complete in Lee County.
  • 100% of cut and toss operations are complete in Charlotte County.
  • Access restored to Pine Island Bridge in just over 50 hours/ under 3 days.
  • Construction has begun on the Sanibel Causeway.
  • Initial debris pick-up on 3,116 miles of State Roads have been completed statewide.

BRIDGES

Bridges Closed as of 11 a.m. on 10/10/22

  • Sanibel Causeway (Lee County)

ROADWAYS

Roads Closed as of 11 a.m. on 10/10/22

  • Brevard County
  • SR-46 Westbound at Hatbill Road – Lane closed
  • Charlotte County
  • Bridge closed on Rotonda Boulevard both directions at Rotonda Boulevard South
  • DeSoto County
  • NW 2nd Bunker Avenue at Arrowhead Pond Road – Lane closed, both directions
  • R-72 Westbound beyond SR-70 – All lanes closed
  • SR-72 from NW Pearce Street to SR-70 – Lane closed
  • Hardee County
  • N Hollandtown Road at Thoroughbred Road – Lane closed, both directions
  • SR-64 from Brantwood Drive to Wilbur C King Boulevard – Lane closed, both directions
  • Highlands County
  • Golfview Road at Lake Drive Boulevard – Lane closed, both directions
  • Marble Avenue from W Martin Road to S Lake Boulevard – Lane closed, both directions
  • Lee County
  • Sanibel Causeway
  • Bonita Beach Road at Simmons Lane – All lanes closed
  • Captiva Drive from Palmflower Lane to Sanibel Captiva Road – Lane closed, both directions
  • CR-865 at Broadway Channel – Lane closed, both directions
  • CR-865 from Estrellita Drive to Cape Hickory Court – Lane closed, both directions
  • CR-867 Southbound from Port Comfort Road to Punta Rassa Road – All lanes closed
  • Estero Boulevard at Broadway Channel – Lane closed, both directions
  • Manatee County
  • SR-37 at Manatee/Polk County Line – Lane closed, both directions
  • Polk County
  • E Grove Avenue at S Scenic Highway – Lane closed, both directions
  • SR-37 Northbound before SR-674 – All lanes closed
  • US 98 from Avon Park Cutoff Road to Highway 27 – Lane closed, both directions
  • Seminole County
  • SR-46 Eastbound at N Jungle Road – Lane closed

PORTS

  • All Deepwater ports are now open.
  • Fuel Terminals: All port fuel terminals have resumed normal operations.

AIRPORTS

  • All Commercial Service airports are now open

RAIL

Passenger Rail

  • Amtrak: operations have returned to normal service apart from Silver Star trains #91/92, which suspended rail service beyond Jacksonville. A bus bridge will be provided to Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, Florida
  • SunRail: Rail corridor experienced some damage. Repairs are anticipated to be complete over the next few weeks. Currently, service is running on a modified schedule. Please www.SunRail.com for service details.

Freight Rail

  • Seminole Gulf Railway sustained significant damage. Damage assessments continue and repair plans are underway. Operations reopened in Ft. Myers only.

Mass Care

  • DBPR investigators and other staffers from across the state are at all the Disaster Recovery Centers in Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Sarasota Counties, helping with any licensing needs and educating the public about the importance of hiring a licensed contractor.
  • The DOEA Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida continues deliver food and water to homebound seniors through a coordinated effort with the United Way.
  • Today, ­­16 Department of Elder Affairs CARES assessors are deployed to Lee and Sarasota counties to provide hands-on assistance in special needs shelters. They are determining the level-of-care needs for older Floridians housed in shelters and are discharging them to the appropriate place.
  • Florida’s application for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) has been approved. More information about D-SNAP can be found online at MyFLFamilies.com/DSNAP.
  • FRLA continues to work on lodging and feeding missions across impacted areas.
  • DCF has opened four Family Resource Support Centers with staff on site, including Hope Navigators, behavioral health partners who specialize in disaster recovery response, and public benefit eligibility specialists to help individuals and families. More information can be found here: www.myflfamilies.com/frsc
  • Locations include: Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, Sarasota and Arcadia.
  • DCF released $235,351,849 in early SNAP benefits to a household population of approximately 773,579 people at risk of impact for Hurricane Ian. More information can be found here: ACCESS Florida – Florida Department of Children and Families (myflfamilies.com)
  • Florida Housing Finance Corporation has updated its Disaster Relief webpage to provide families with information on housing resources and assistance. This webpage will continue to be updated as more information becomes available. Disaster Relief Resources and Information (floridahousing.org).
  • Florida Housing has ensured that all current listings are up to date in the event that families need to quickly relocate at www.FloridaHousingSearch.org.
  • Each SHIP office has an adopted disaster strategy that allows for assistance in the immediate aftermath of a declared disaster. Strategies may include temporary relocation and rental assistance, debris removal and short-term repairs to prevent further damage to the structure or to allow for occupancy until further repairs are made. Please contact your local office directly for more information: Local Government Information (floridahousing.org)

Law Enforcement

  • FLHSMV has deployed Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units to Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Collier counties to provide no-fee replacements for driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations, and titles.
  • Dates, locations, and hours of operation for FLOW mobiles are subject to change and will be announced on FLHSMV.gov
  • SARASOTA COUNTY:
  • Disaster Recovery Center
  • Shannon Staub Library
  • 4675 Career Lane
  • North Port, FL 34289
  • LEE COUNTY:
  • Disaster Recovery Center
  • Lakes Regional Library
  • 15290 Bass Road
  • Fort Myers, FL 33919
  • Hertz Arena
  • 11000 Everblades Parkway
  • Estero, FL 33928
  • Disaster Recovery Center
  • Joseph P. D’Alessandro Office Complex
  • 2295 Victoria Ave.
  • Fort Myers, FL 33901
  • CHARLOTTE COUNTY:
  • Port Charlotte Town Center
  • 1441 Tamiami Trail
  • Port Charlotte, FL 33948
  • COLLIER COUNTY:
  • Disaster Recovery Center
  • Veterans Community Park
  • 1895 Veterans Park Dr, Naples, FL 34110
  • FLOW Hours of Operation: 9:00am – 6:00pm, seven days a week
  • As of October 10, more than 2,400 customers have been served since operations began.
  • FDLE has four response teams and one logistical support team deployed in Lee and Charlotte counties checking in law enforcement officers reporting for duty, maintaining the base camps and matching law enforcement resources to the identified needs.
  • Nearly 200 law enforcement missions have been completed in the last two weeks and FDLE’s mutual aid team is currently coordinating nearly 100 active law enforcement missions including supplementing general law enforcement, traffic control and security. 
  • FWC cautions all boaters to exercise extreme caution in waterways in areas affected by Hurricane Ian and encourages boaters to report missing or damaged waterway markers by calling 866-405-2869 or by filling out an online form at: https://myfwc.com/boating/waterway/markers/damaged-or-missing/.
  • FDLE’s mutual aid team is supporting 300 hurricane response missions.
  • FDLE is preparing for a second wave of law enforcement deployments relieving those who have been deployed since last week.
  • FDLE staging areas are open in Southwest Florida and Hardee County at the Lee County Sports Complex, Weigh Station Mile Marker 161 in Charlotte County and in Hardee, at the Civic Center in Wauchula.  All deployed law enforcement officers in these areas should check in at one of these staging areas for work assignments.
  • More than 100 FDLE agents are deployed in Southwest Florida assisting with traffic control, security needs and law enforcement check-ins.
  • FDLE established telephone lines for Fort Myers regional law enforcement coordination team.
  • FDLE’s base camp in Lee County is fully operational serving first responders deployed to the area.  Base camps include meal service, sleeping quarters, showers, laundry and restroom facilities.
  • FHP continues to assist FDOT with bridge and road closures across impacted areas.
  • FHP’s fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned ariel systems are aiding in FDOT’s efforts as they continue to undertake bridge and other infrastructure repairs.
  • FHP continues to provide escorts for fuel, utility, and emergency response teams to provide critical resources to the impacted areas.
  • FHP is assisting multiple local agencies with law enforcement functions in the impacted areas.
  • FHP has deployed mobile command centers to the State Emergency Operations Center and southwest Florida to provide enhanced communication capabilities and additional resources.
  • More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are available to assist with enhanced response efforts.
  • FHP has activated 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts for Troopers throughout Florida.
  • Peer support is available 24/7 to all FHP members and their families through FHP’s Peer Support Team and the FHP Wellness App to support their overall wellness.
  • FHP has provided liaisons to affected county emergency operations centers.
  • FHP encourages motorists to report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
  • FLHSMV driver license and motor vehicle service center closures can be found here.
  • FLHSMV has issued Emergency Order 092422, which:
  • Waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief; and
  • Waives the replacement fees for driver’s license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.
  • Approximately 63 FWC officers and support personnel are currently deployed for Hurricane Ian response and recovery efforts.
  • 51 FWC officers and 1 vehicle and vessel mechanics with a full complement of four-wheel drive vehicles, vessels and response and recovery equipment and supplies are based in Lee County. These officers are currently performing public safety, humanitarian, security and emergency response missions as assigned by the State Emergency Operations Center in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee and Lee Counties.
  • FWC officers are conducting 24-hour land-based and waterborne safety and security patrols around Sanibel Island and other barrier islands to protect people and property on the islands.
  • FWC officers are using vessels to transport additional rescue personnel, supplies and equipment to all affected barrier islands inaccessible to vehicles, including Sanibel, Captiva and Pine Island. In DeSoto and Hardee Counties, FWC officers are responding to significant flooding along the Peace River and conducting humanitarian aid and search and rescue missions.
  • In Sarasota County, FWC officers are responding to significant flooding in the North Port area and conducting humanitarian aid and search and rescue missions.
  • 11 FWC Special Operations Group officers from the Northwest Region are assisting Urban Search and Rescue Teams with waterborne response efforts.
  • More than 350 captive wildlife facilities have been assessed.
  • The FWC, in conjunction with state and federal partners, is standing up a Unified Command to address the large numbers of displaced vessels in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
  • If a vessel owner is removing their vessel, they should notify the Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline of their plans for vessel removal by calling 850-488-5600 M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. If your vessel is missing, you have located a vessel or have questions about displaced vessels or vessels in state waters which have been rendered derelict by Hurricane Ian, you are encouraged to call the Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 850-488-5600.
  • To report an oil, fuel or hazardous materials spill in Florida waters call 800-320-0519.

Private Sector Support

  • Work search reporting and other requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Eligible Floridians must file for regular state Reemployment Assistance benefits before applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is available for individuals and businesses in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Learn more here.
  • Over 8,000 DUA claims have been submitted since DUA was activated.
  • To support Floridians during this time, DEO has deployed personnel to the field and extended call center hours to seven days per week. Additionally, DEO secured six ID.me kiosks and support technicians to reduce the number of fraudulent claims. DEO is expanding the number of agents available to review and process claims.
  • All these efforts are focused on reducing the processing time so DUA benefits can be expedited to Floridians in need.
  • DEO and CareerSource Florida are mobilizing resources from other Local Workforce Development Boards and activating the disaster recovery jobs portal to connect businesses and people impacted by Hurricane Ian with workforce programs. To look for employment opportunities or post disaster-related jobs to help rebuild Florida’s communities impacted by Hurricane Ian, visit Florida’s Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal at disasterrecovery.employflorida.com.
  • CareerSource Florida is working with DEO to support recovery efforts and help connect affected residents with temporary employment and other recovery assistance. All career centers are open statewide. To find your local career center, visit Find Your Local Team or  Career Center Directory.
  • CareerSource Southwest Florida centers in Fort Myers, Immokalee, Clewiston, Naples, Port Charlotte are open and operational Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Information on disaster recovery resources and mobile career center locations are available at  www.careersourcesouthwestflorida.com/disaster-recovery-information/.
  • CareerSource Flagler Volusia is hosting a Mobile Career Center located at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center on Monday, October 10, from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • CareerSource South Florida and CareerSource Pasco Hernando locations have deployed mobile units to the Fort Myers Disaster Recovery Center.
  • CareerSource Southwest Florida has deployed volunteers to the Disaster Recovery Center to assist impacted individuals.
  • The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated to assist small businesses that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian with short-term, zero-interest loans to meet the businesses’ immediate financial needs and “bridge the gap” until longer term funding sources become available. Small businesses in the most impacted counties will be escalated and prioritized as they are received. Visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to learn more.
  • DEO is updating www.FloridaDisaster.biz with real-time information for business owners, their families, and employees for Hurricane Ian.
  • DEO’s Secretary Dane Eagle distributed a memo on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, releasing $1.4 million in Low-Income Home Energy Assistant Program (LIHEAP) set-aside emergency funding for use by LIHEAP providers across the state to support preparedness activities such as transportation and temporary housing to preserve health and safety.
  • VISIT FLORIDA has activated its Emergency Accommodations Module on Expedia to provide real-time hotel availability and lodging resources for impacted Floridians and visitors.
  • Enterprise Florida activated its Disaster Assistance page with a list of state and federal resources available for businesses to utilize in their mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.
  • The National Dislocated Worker Grant for Hurricane Ian was submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor for approval on October 4, 2022.
  • DEO has deployed team members and five mobile units, with more on the way, to Hurricane Ian-impacted areas this week to support recovery efforts.
  • AT&T is waiving talk, text, and data overage charges for AT&T Postpaid & PREPAID customers with billing addresses in 828 zip codes across Florida from September 28, 2022, through October 28, 2022, to keep customers connected before, during and after any major storm event. AT&T is welcoming other carriers’ customers to roam on its networks so they can connect, even if their carrier’s service isn’t available after the storm. Since opening the AT&T network last week for roaming, we’ve handled about 47 TBs of traffic from other carriers to help keep those in impacted areas connected. 47 TBs of data is equal to more than 16 billion text messages.  Store locations and hours are available at www.att.com/stores.
  • Verizon has deployed three Wireless Emergency Connection Centers (WECCs) to assist Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian with wi-fi, phone batteries, and charging stations. These stations are available to any customer of any carrier stay connected.  WECCs are available at the following locations:
  • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL (open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
  • Fort Myers Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  • Lakes Regional Library 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL (open 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
  • T-Mobile is providing wi-fi and charging stations to assist Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian at the following locations:
  • West Florida State College, 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers FL (open 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte (open 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Fort Myers Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Airbnb has launched a special website to help Hurricane Ian Relocation efforts for impacted residents at Airbnb.com/hurricaneianflorida. The page features open (vacant and available for rent) properties that are available to be booked outside of the FEMA Disaster zones.  As communities become fully restored with water and electricity, Airbnb will add more open properties.
  • For displaced residents of Lee and Charlotte counties, Airbnb is also working with their nonprofit partners to offer vouchers for temporary housing at Airbnb properties.  To learn more about how the voucher program works, see Airbnb’s full press release at  https://news.airbnb.com/airbnb-org-hurricane-relief-efforts/.
  • DEO staff and volunteers are providing in-person services and surging resources to five Disaster Recover Center locations located in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Collier Counties. Locations for DRCs are available on www.FloridaDisaster.org.
  • Business Recovery Centers, represented by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Florida Small Business Development Center network, are stationed at the following locations:
  • Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center, 1907 E Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL (open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; open Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
  • The HUB at SWFL INC, 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs, FL (open Monday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
  • The Naples Players, 701 5th Avenue South, Naples FL (open Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
  • Sanford Information Center, 30 E 1st Street, Sanford, FL (open Monday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
  • The Kiwanis Club, 360 Santa Barbara Boulevard South, Cape Coral, FL (opens at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 10, 2022)

Florida Department of Education (DOE)

  • Florida DOE is providing flexibility to school districts and public charter schools impacted by Hurricane Ian regarding the attendance window for reporting student enrollment for the Florida Education Finance Program. More information can be found in this press release.
  • At the peak of the storm, 59 school districts were closed. As of today, 72 districts are currently open.
  • Staff from Bay, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Osceola, Pinellas and Polk, along with former Pinellas County Superintendent Mike Grego will continue to support Lee County Schools’ reopening efforts.
  • As of today, all Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Division of Blind Services operations have resumed in every Florida county.
  • Early Learning Coalitions are still experiencing closures in the following counties: Collier, DeSoto, and Hardee.
  • For the most up-to-date reopening information, please visit fldoe.org/storminfo.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • DEP has activated a Waste Hotline for local governments and established a dedicated email account for county debris/waste assistance.
  • DEP landfill strike team members along with EPA On-Scene Coordinator staff continue DDMS/Debris inspections.
  • 278 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been authorized to operate for Hurricane Ian, including 59 in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties. These sites are a critical component of expediting clean-up, reducing environmental and public health impacts, and meeting federal reimbursement requirements.
  • DEP staff are on the ground assessing water and wastewater infrastructure on some of the hardest hit areas Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island, Sanibel Island and Gasparilla Island, with resources from FlaWARN, US Army Corps of Engineers, local utilities and the Division of Emergency Management’s contractor.
  • Beaches staff continue to conduct beach surveys to assess erosion and vulnerability in impacted areas.
  • DEP has secured two mobile testing labs from EPA to help process drinking water and surface water samples for the protection of public health. DEP is providing supplies and on-the-ground staffing support as needed.
  • DEP is coordinating with FlaWARN and other response agencies on the dispatch of generators, fuel and pump trucks to assist drinking water and wastewater facilities to help get them operational as soon as possible.
  • Hazardous Area Response Teams have been deployed to aid with assessment and resources for addressing impacts to hazardous waste facilities in impacted areas.
  • Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order, DEP issued an Emergency Final Order waiving permitting requirements for the storage and processing of solid waste, including storm debris.
  • DEP has also issued an Emergency Final Order to expedite necessary repair, replacement and restoration of structures, equipment, surface water management systems, works and other systems damaged by the storm.
  • Nine Florida State Parks strike teams have been assembled to assist with assessment and recovery efforts at impacted parks. Eight teams are on the ground today in impacted areas. Other teams will be deployed as conditions allow and needs are identified.

Telecommunications

  • The Division of Telecommunications has facilitated the movement of deployable assets and restoration crews to Pine Island and Sanibel Island by land, sea, and air, this movement is coordinated by barges.
  • The Division of Telecommunications has worked to allow restoration crews access to fuel depots to continue ongoing restoration efforts.
  • The Division of Telecommunications has coordinated with FDOT to facilitate the closure of roads while aerial fiber was restored by vendor crews, and coordinated with other partners to allow restoration crews access to fuel depots to continue ongoing restoration efforts.
  • The Division of Telecommunications is engaged with law enforcement with aerial and drone assessments.
  • The Division of Telecommunications has facilitated over 90 missions; coordinating with State, Local, and private industry officials to restore telecommunication services to areas affected by Hurricane Ian.
  • The Division of Telecommunications continues to work with telecom partners to ensure that the state’s communications networks remain operational for first responders during recovery.

Licensing

  • DBPR Secretary Melanie S. Griffin is accompanying our Division of Regulation team in Charlotte County as they sweep neighborhoods assessing whether there is damage and looking for unlicensed contracting.
  • DOH’s Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling is increasing resources to expedite processing of licensure applications, ensuring greater availability of qualified mental health professionals.
  • DBPR Emergency Order 2022-04 waives the application fees associated with relocating or reopening certain businesses, including the addition of branch locations regulated by the Department or by any board, commission or division of the Department, where relocation or reopening arises from damages caused by Hurricane Ian in the listed counties.
  • DBPR Emergency Order 2022-03 waives the requirement for certified or registered, general, building, or residential contractors to subcontract roofing work for the repair or installation of any roof type in listed counties.
  • The emergency order clarifies that the installation of non-permanent, emergency tarps to relieve damage caused by Hurricane Ian fall within the exemptions listed in section 489.103(6).
  • Temporary Veterinarian License Application: The Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine has a 30-Day Temporary Veterinarian License available to out-of-state veterinarians who do not currently hold a Florida Veterinary License but wish to come to Florida to provide relief veterinary services.
  • Florida licensed veterinarians interested in offering volunteer services should contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Vet Corp for information at 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).
  • Food Industry Bulletins: DBPR has published Emergency Recovery Guidelines and Boil Water Notice Guidelines on our website, and DBPR’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants is distributing the notices to licensed businesses in impacted areas.
  • DBPR Emergency Order 2022-01 extends the renewal deadline from September 30 or October 1, 2022, to October 31, 2022, for the multiple licenses.
  • Licenses renewed on or before October 31, 2022 shall be considered as timely renewals and will not be assessed any late fees.
  • DBPR Emergency Order 2022-01 also extends the deadline for the filing of monthly reports and returns by certain alcoholic beverage and tobacco license holders from October 10, 2022, to October 31, 2022.  Additionally, the order suspends and tolls through October 31, 2022, all final orders reflecting final agency action and all time requirements and deadlines for filing responses outlined in agency orders.
  • DBPR Board Meeting cancellations and other updates can be found at http://myfloridalicense.com/emergency.
  • DBPR’s Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics is coordinating with wholesale distributors of prescription drugs and medical gases to provide information and support relating to exceptions for the emergency distribution of these critical supplies where needed.

Insurance

  • OIR required insurers to begin reporting preliminary catastrophe claims for Hurricane Ian. To date, insurers have reported a total of $4,201,373,543 in estimated insured losses and a total of 449,006 claims. This aggregate information is compiled from claims data filed by insurers, it has not been audited or independently verified. Additional claim data and information can be found on OIR’s Hurricane Ian information page here
  • The Department of Revenue announced extended due dates for corporate income tax filers impacted by Hurricane Ian following the recent declaration from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Eligible taxpayers that file Florida corporate income tax returns, as well as Florida corporate income tax installment payments, with original due dates or extended due dates falling on or after September 23, 2022 and before March 2, 2023 will now have a due date of March 2, 2023. This tax relief is applicable to affected businesses anywhere in Florida. Taxpayers needing assistance with corporate income tax filing may contact DOR’s Taxpayer Assistance at (850) 488-6800 or [email protected].
  • OIR issued Emergency Order 300997-22-EO in response to Hurricane Ian regarding the extension of grace periods, limitations on cancellations and nonrenewals, deemers and limitations on “use and file” filings. This Emergency Order is issued to protect the public health, safety and welfare of all Florida policyholders.
  • OIR instituted a data call for the purpose of collecting catastrophe claims data related to Hurricane Ian. OIR is requiring daily catastrophe claims reporting for Hurricane Ian starting Friday, September 30 to assist with determining the impact of Hurricane Ian on Florida’s insurance industry. More information regarding catastrophe claims data and reporting is available here.

Florida Main Street Program

  • The Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources’, Florida Main Street Program has been in contact with Florida Main Street communities before and after Hurricane Ian to mitigate damage to the communities and historic properties in these communities.
  • Florida Main Street has dispersed information to communities including recovery resources, volunteer assistance, Small Business Association Loan opening and disaster assistance information in disaster declaration areas.
  • Additionally, The Florida Main Street Program has paired up communities that were affected by Hurricane Ian with mentors who were successful in rehabilitation after Hurricane Michael to provide pragmatic experience about ways to move forward and recover after disaster.

Elections Update

  • Secretary of State Cord Byrd reminded Floridians that the deadline to register for the upcoming General Election is Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
  • To ensure those impacted by Hurricane Ian have access to voter registration resources, the Department and other state agency partners are working with Supervisors of Elections to ensure that voter registration resources are located at the state’s Disaster Recovery Centers. Further guidance for Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties can be found here.

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