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Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/05

10/5/2022

Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/05

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to Lee County to give updates, survey impacted areas and to deliver supplies to Sanibel Island. While visiting Matlacha in Lee County, the Governor announced the emergency road and bridge repairs for Pine Island have been completed in less than three days. The Governor also brought Florida Department of Transportation engineers to Sanibel Island to begin construction on a bridge to the island. Full remarks can be found here.

This morning, President Biden approved the Governor's request to make additional disaster funding available to the State of Florida and extended the time period for 100 percent federal funding for an additional 30 days, giving Florida a total of 60 days at 100 percent funding following Hurricane Ian.

There are currently 298,820 reported power outages. They have already restored power nearly 2.4 million accounts across the state, representing 88.92% of accounts restored since the peak. There are currently 11 fueling depot stations open statewide, and a mobile fuel truck has been deployed to Arcadia to support residents without access to fuel.

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 announced that the Florida Disaster Fund has raised nearly $35 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.

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.
  • Florida National Guard engineering resources were deployed to assist with route clearance in Pinellas and Lee Counties.
  • The Missouri Task Force 1 Disaster Situational Assessment and Reconnaissance (DSAR) Team is deploying to Florida through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to support urban search and rescue efforts and incident assessment.
  • A Florida Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Team deployed to Central Florida to support state USAR Task Forces and incident assessment.
  • Following Governor DeSantis’ authorization, Joint Task Force Florida has 5,050 personnel activated and is executing missions in response to Hurricane Ian. The Florida National Guard has supported a total of 247 missions.
  • 27 POD sites operating and distributing food, water, and ice to local populations:
    • 2,728 pallets of water distributed
    • 2,331 pallets of food distributed
    • 606 pallets of ice distributed
    • 385 pallets of tarps distributed

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

  • More than 11.5 million MREs and 41 million bottles of water have been distributed so far. PODs open today include:
  • Sarasota County
    • Englewood Center Plaza 
      • 200 S. Indiana Ave.
      • Englewood, FL 34223
    • San Pedro Catholic Church
      • 14380 Tamiami Trail
      • North Port, FL
  • Hardee County
    • Burgin Farms
      • 611 S. 6th Ave
      • Wauchula, FL 33873
  • DeSoto County
    • DeSoto County Department of Emergency Management
      • 2200 Northeast Roan Street
      • Arcadia, FL 34266
    • Nocatee Elementary School 
      • 4846 SW Shores
      • Arcadia, FL 34266
    • Save A Lot
      • 1325 E. Oak Street
      • Arcadia, FL 34266
  • Highlands County
    • Florida Department of Health in Highlands County
      • 7205 S. George Blvd.
      • Sebring, FL 33875
  • Lee County
    • Old Bonita Springs Library 
      • 26876 Pine Ave.
      • Bonita Springs, FL 34135
    • Kelly Road Soccer Complex
      • 10750 Kelly Road
      • Fort Myers, FL 33908
    • Cape Coral Sports Complex
      • 1410 Sports Blvd.
      • Cape Coral, FL 33991
    • 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
  • Charlotte County
    • Muscle Car City 
      • 10175 Tamiami Trail
      • Punta Gorda, FL 33950
    • Charlotte Sports Prak 
      • 2300 El Jobean Rd
      • Port Charlotte, FL 33948
    • Tringali Park
      • 3460 N Access Rd.
      • Englewood, FL 34224
  • Collier County
    • Collier County Emergency Management
      • 8075 Lely Cultural Parkway
      • Naples, FL 34113
    • Sugden Regional Park
      • 4284 Avalon Dr.
      • Naples, FL 34112
    • Everglades City Administrative Office
      • 102 Copeland Ave.
      • Everglades City, FL 34139
    • Veterans Park
      • 1895 Veterans Park Dr.
      • Naples, FL 34112
  • FDEM is working with feeding partners to open kitchens for impacted and displaced residents. More than 410,800 were served on Tuesday, October 4, and more than 936,100 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 Recovery staff are conducting rapid damage assessments in Charlotte, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Putnam and Osceola counties to expedite available federal assistance for disaster recovery.
  • FDEM has eight active fuel depots throughout Central and Southwest Florida to ensure first responders have the fuel they need to conduct search and rescue operations. An additional two public, mobile fuel depots are open in Arcadia and the Dunbar community to provide fuel for vehicles and gas cans for generators to impacted residents.
  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Ian response, with more than 350 SERT members staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
  • FDEM has received more than 4,500 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled. Over 3,700 of these requests are currently being processed and are either en 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:
    • 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 400 bottles of oxygen to Charlotte County.
    • 255 ambulances
    • 200 trucks of food, water and ice
    • 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
    • Four mobile triage units to Miami-Dade County
    • Five truckloads of blankets and five truckloads of cots to support displaced residents
    • 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 as communities experience storm impacts.

Power

  • There are currently 298,820 people without power.
  • Nearly 2.4 million accounts have already been restored across Florida.
  • For a full report on current outages, click here.
  • 42,000 linemen from utilities across the state are working 24/7 to restore power.
  • 325 Florida Highway Patrol are transporting utility crews.
  • 560 health care facilities have had power restored since the onset of the event.

Health and Human Services

  • As of today, 25 health care facilities previously evacuated have returned and are operational.
  • 8 special needs shelters remain open, serving more than 715 clients, caregivers, and staff. Special needs shelters are designed to meet the needs of clients who require assistance that exceeds services provided at a general population shelter.
  • Visits are being conducted at all health care facilities in counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. As of this morning, Florida has completed 363 assessments at facilities in Brevard, Broward, Collier, Orange, Lee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Seminole, Volusia and Desoto county.
  • Sunshine Health, who operates DOH’s Children Medical Services (CMS) Health Plan, is supplying generators to group homes and small business health facilities in impacted areas. DOH’s CMS Health Plan will support this effort by providing carbon monoxide monitors and safety information to go along with the generators.
  • Boil Water Notices have been issued for 162 areas, over 22 counties, following the impacts from Hurricane Ian. DOH continues to monitor and maintain a comprehensive statewide list of notices for residents to access online.
  • 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.
  • 35 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 Center (DRC) in Lee County and is lining up staff to deploy as other DRCs come online.
  • Senior Resource Alliance in Central Florida is conducting Mental Health First Aid Training for providers and caregivers next week to be able to appropriately respond to the mental health needs of seniors in disaster recovery.
  • The Lee County Healthcare Center, VA Outpatient Clinic in Daytona Beach, and the Naples and Port Charlotte VA clinics, will remain closed until further notice.
  • 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. Over the past two days, the Board has approved over 210 licenses and issued more than 110 initial licenses.
  • 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: New Port Richey, Tampa, Orlando, and Palmetto.
  • The Family Resource Support Centers are available to help impacted families with crisis counseling services to navigate resources and services in the community.
  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is continuing to conduct wellness checks on staff, youth and families in impacted areas. All youth and staff in DJJ facilities are safe, and DJJ is continuing its post-storm recovery efforts which include the continued assessment of facilities for damage and post-storm clean-up.

Infrastructure

  • FDOT is working to assist Lee County to expedite emergency repairs to the road and bridges that provide motorists access to Pine Island.
  • Cut and Toss crews cleared over 4,746 miles (88% complete) of state roadways. Continue to listen to local law enforcement and county officials for potential detours
  • Debris removal has begun, most heavily focused in Southwest Florida.
  • FDOT bridge inspectors continue to inspect bridges. 2,507 bridges have been inspected to date.
  • All High Priority Bridges have been cleared in Tampa Bay, Southwest Florida, Northeast Florida, and Central Florida
  • Projects under construction in the following counties can resume activities:
    • Alachua, Bay, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Martin, Miami Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam,  Santa Rosa, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Seminole, Sumter Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, Washington

Road and Bridges

Current Major Road and Bridge Closures. Up-to-date closures listed on FL511.com:

PINE ISLAND AND SANIBEL BRIDGES

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has completed construction of a temporary bridge to Pine Island. Original completion date was scheduled for Saturday. First Responders and Emergency Personnel will have access soon and residents will have access later this afternoon.

FDOT has begun working on a repairs to the Sanibel Island Causeway.

Bridges Closed as of 12 pm on 10/5/22

  • Sanibel Causeway (Lee County)

Roads closed

  • Brevard County
    • SR-46 Westbound at Hatbill Road – Lane closed
  • DeSoto County
    • SR-70 from CR-661 to N Baldwin Avenue – Lane closed, both directions
    • SR-70 at NW Lily Avenue – Lane closed, both directions
    • SR-72 from CR-661 to SR-70 – Lane closed, both directions
    • SR-72 from Myakka Valley Trail to NW Flint Road – Lane closed
    • SR-72 at SW Gator Trail – Lane closed, both directions
  • Hardee County
    • SR-64 Eastbound at Golfview Drive – Lane closed
    • SR-64 at Peace River – Lane closed, both directions
    • SR-64 from Florida Cracker Trail to School House Road – Lane closed, both directions
  • Lee County
    • Pine Island Road Bridge (SR-78/Pine Island Road at Matlacha Draw Bridge)
    • 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
  • Orange County
    • SR-528 Westbound at Exit 12: SR-551/Goldenrod Road North Bound – On and Off-ramp closed
  • Osceola County
    • US-441/Holopaw Road Southbound at Golden Citrus Road – Lane closed
  • Polk County
    • E Grove Avenue at S Scenic Highway – Lane closed, both directions
    • SR-37 Northbound before SR-674 – All lanes closed
  • Sarasota County
    • CR-780 at Sinclair Drive – Lane closed, both directions
    • CR-780 at Manatee/Sarasota County Line
    • N River Road from E Venice Avenue to US-41 Northbound – Lane closed
  • Seminole County
    • SR-46 Eastbound at N Jungle Road – Lane closed

Roads and Bridges Recently Opened as of 7 a.m. on 10/5/22

  • Flagler County
    • S Oceanshore Boulevard at S 14th Street
  • Lee County
    • SR-867/McGregor Boulevard Northbound beyond Winkler Road
    • SR-867/McGregor Boulevard Southbound at Colonial Boulevard
  • Osceola County
    • Pleasant Hill Road at Northgate Drive

RAIL

  • CSX special weather inspections were completed and determined there are no main line disruptions.
  • Seminole Gulf Railway sustained significant damage.

o   Damage assessments continue and repair plans are underway.

o   Operations reopened in Ft. Myers only.

  • Amtrak has resumed modified service to areas of the Southeast.
    • The Auto Train and other Florida routes terminate in Jacksonville with bus service between Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa

PORTS

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

AIRPORTS

o   All Commercial Service airports are now open

Mass Care

  • The Department has submitted a request to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking for approval of disaster-SNAP benefits (food assistance).
    • D-SNAP helps families who suffered losses or damage during a natural disaster by providing nutrition assistance. The waiver application, when approved, provides a streamlined process for non-SNAP recipients to receive SNAP benefits, making it easier for those who would not otherwise qualify.
    • In addition, DCF has requested approval for existing SNAP participants to receive the maximum benefit for their household size. Once granted, existing SNAP participants will receive the difference between their normal monthly benefit amount and the maximum amount allowable. Both requests are currently awaiting approval from the USDA.
  • Feeding Tampa Bay is delivering 4 pallets of water and 4 pallets of MREs for seniors in Hardee and Highlands county on Monday. Senior Connection Center and local service providers will deliver the aid to 100 clients in Hardee county and 250 clients in Highlands county.
  • DCF is pursuing the following federal waivers to assist with food assistance benefits (SNAP):
    • Automatic replacement of 70% of September food assistance benefit for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian who did not receive an early release of SNAP benefits. Floridians who are not eligible for the automatic replacement can request a replacement of a portion of their September food assistance due to food loss.
    • The ability to use SNAP benefits to purchase hot food.
  • DCF has opened six 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, New Port Richey, Tampa, Orlando, and Palmetto.
  • The Adult Care Food Program has submitted a waiver to USDA requesting flexibilities in the meal pattern on a case-by case basis. This flexibility will allow Adult Day Care providers to continue to serve participants when food shortages or caterer closures occur. The waiver is currently pending USDA approval.
  • 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)
  • Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is working with Panera to serve meals at congregate meal sites in Collier county.
  • Hope Florida volunteers have been deployed to Lee County to service Lee County hurricane shelters, the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida, and the Disaster Recovery Center, as well as DCF’s Family Resource Center. They will prioritize assessment of vulnerable seniors in shelters.
  • 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 deploying Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) units to Lee County to provide no-fee replacements for driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles.
  • FLOW Location: Hertz Arena, 1000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, FL 33928 (South Parking Lot).
  • Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919
  • Services will be available 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, 7 days a week.
    • As of October 4, 281 customers have been served since operations began.
      • FDLE’s mutual aid team is coordinating the deployment of more than 1,631 law enforcement officers statewide from more than 70 agencies.
      • FDLE’s mutual aid team is supporting 248 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 a mobile kitchen to feed first responders in Hardee County.More than 2,000 meals have been served.
    • FHP has deployed a mobile command center to the State Emergency Operations Centers and southwest Florida to provide enhanced communication capabilities and additional resources.
    • More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are ready to assist with enhanced evacuation and response efforts.
    • FHP is strategically utilizing high-water rescue vehicles to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
    • FHP has strategically using its fixed-wing aircraft to monitor traffic routes and to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
    • FHP has deployed its unmanned aerial vehicle teams to assist in search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
    • FHP is providing liaisons to affected county emergency operations centers.
    • FHP encourages evacuating 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 110 FWC officers and support personnel are currently deployed for Hurricane Ian response and recovery efforts.
    • 78 FWC officers and 2 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 nighttime 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.
    • 15 FWC Special Operations Group officers from the Northwest Region are assisting Urban Search and Rescue Teams with waterborne response efforts.
    • 15 FWC Special Operations Group officers from the Northeast Region have deployed with four-wheel drive vehicles and vessels to provide assistance to affected residents. These officers are currently performing public safety and emergency response missions as assigned by the State EOC in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee and Lee Counties.
    • 61 FWC officers from the FWC Northeast Region are deploying to areas significantly affected by Hurricane Ian as operational tempo stabilizes and first wave assets begin to demobilize.
    • 10 FWC Special Operations Group officers in conjunction with partner agencies are staging to deploy to five barrier islands currently inaccessible to vehicles to assist with the establishment and operation of ongoing command and control complexes.
    • FWC officers assigned to Collier County, Tampa Bay Region, North Central and Northeast Regions of Florida are currently performing public safety and emergency response missions in their home communities.
    • More than 350 captive wildlife facilities have been assessed.

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 also available for individuals and businesses in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Learn more here.
  • 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.
  • 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 except CareerSource Southwest Florida’s centers in Port Charlotte and Naples. To find your local career center, visit Find Your Local Team or  Career Center Directory.
    • 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.
  • 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 20 team members and five mobile units, with more on the way, to Hurricane Ian-impacted areas this week to support recovery efforts.
  • 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 daily 10:00am – 6:00pm)
    • Ft. Meyers Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open beginning Oct 4. 8:00am – 5:00pm)
    • Lakes Regional Library 15290 Bass Road, Ft. Myers, FL
  • 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 Meyers FL
    • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiani Trail, Port Charlotte
    • Ft. Meyers Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL
  • 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 to Airbnb.com/hurricaneianflorida.
  • 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/.
  • October 5 through October 8, local McDonalds restaurant owners are serving thousands of free hot meals to SW Florida residents impacted by Hurricane Irma at the McDonalds McRig. It is stationed at 13418 S. McCall Road in Port Charlotte from 10AM to 4PM.

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 (FEFP).  More information can be found in this press release.
  • At the peak of the storm, 59 school districts were closed. As of today, 69 districts are currently open with many more opening later this week.
  • Charlotte County Schools is developing a plan for reopening schools in phases beginning as early as next week.
  • DeSoto County Schools is developing a plan for reopening schools in phases beginning as early as next week. Extracurricular activities and limited athletics will resume as early as Monday, October 10th.
  • Maintenance teams from Broward County Schools, Hillsborough County Schools, Miami-Dade County Schools, Osceola County Schools, Pinellas County Schools, and Polk County Schools are on-site in Lee County rebuilding schools and Florida DOE is continuing to provide additional support
  • Early Learning Coalitions are still experiencing closures in the following counties: Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Sarasota, and Seminole
  • School districts, state colleges and universities are beginning to announce reopening dates as they assess conditions following Hurricane Ian. For the most up-to-date reopening information, please visit fldoe.org/storminfo.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • DEP is working with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to reduce flooding in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes areas. The SFWMD and Corps are mobilizing pumps to reduce localized flooding and DEP is expediting the regulatory requirements.
  • 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 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. Five teams are on the ground today in impacted areas, with an additional two teams en route to assist. Other teams will be deployed as conditions allow and needs are identified.

Telecommunications

  • 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 has established both an automated and manned call center at 800-342-3557 to assist Floridians in accessing resources for Hurricane Response.
  • The Division of Telecommunications continues to work with telecom partners to ensure that the state’s communications networks have redundancies and remain operational for first responders to respond to Floridians during the recovery.

Licensing

  • 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 2022-03 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.
  • 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.
  • DBPR investigators and other staffers from across the state are at the Disaster Recovery Center at the Lakes Regional Library in Fort Myers, helping with any licensing needs and educating the public about the importance of hiring a licensed contractor.

Insurance

  • OIR required insurers to begin reporting preliminary catastrophe claims for Hurricane Ian. To date, insurers have reported a total of $2,043,969,872 in estimated insured losses and a total of 282,229 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.
  • 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.

Resource Management

  • Department of Management Services (DMS) continues to support search and rescue efforts with aerial and drone assessments.
  • DMS continues with contracting for equipment from heavy equipment, chain saws and alternate care site supplies to support recovery efforts.
  • DMS continues to locate and secure agreements for staging areas within the area of recovery.

Office Closures

Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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