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Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/08

10/8/2022

Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/08

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to Fort Myers Beach to give updates on recovery efforts in areas that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian. Floridians continue to show resiliency through communities coming together to help each other. Full remarks can be found here.

Governor DeSantis was joined by local officials to announce that access has been cleared for residents to return to Fort Myers Beach. Portable showers and restrooms were brought in for residents to use while the clean their homes. Governor DeSantis was also joined by Eric Silagy, CEO of Florida Power and Light (FPL) to give an update on the progress they have made in restoring power to their customers. FPL has already restored power to 99% of the households they cover in Lee County and Southwest Florida that can receive power.

On Wednesday, Governor DeSantis announced that bridge repairs were completed in record time to restore access to Pine Island. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has teams working around the clock on the Sanibel Causeway, the last barrier island to restore access to, and work is expected to finish by the end of the month.

Additionally, Governor DeSantis highlighted local efforts to aid residents in debris clean up and reiterated FDOT and the Division of Emergency Management’s commitment to help with additional resources as needed. Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki and his team will be traveling to the impacted areas to help oversee cleanup and recovery. Just four years ago, his community was hit by Hurricane Michael and Mayor Brudnicki will be providing his knowledge to help southwest Florida navigate their community rebuild.

There are currently 69,009 reported power outages. More than 42,000 linemen have already restored power to over 2.6 million accounts across the state, representing over 97% of accounts restored since the peak. There are currently 11 fueling depot stations open statewide, and mobile fuel trucks have been deployed to Arcadia and Dunbar to support residents without access to fuel.

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 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.
  • Task Force engineering resources have also 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • FDEM has worked with FEMA to activate the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program for impacted residents in counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance. Individuals can apply for disaster assistance, and may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home.
  • In coordination with federal and state partners, more than 100 pets have been rescued through air operations from the Barrier Islands.
  • More than 12.7 million MREs and 45.9 million bottles of water have been distributed so far. PODs open today include:
  • DeSoto County
    • Nocatee Elementary School 
      • 4846 SW Shores
      • Arcadia, FL 34266
    • Save A Lot
      • 1325 E. Oak Street
      • Arcadia, FL 34266
  • Lee County
    • Old Bonita Springs Library 
      • 26876 Pine Ave.
      • Bonita Springs, FL 34135
    • 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
    • Coral Oaks Golf Course
      • 1800 NW 28th Ave.
      • Cape Coral, FL 33993
  • Charlotte County
    • Muscle Car City 
      • 10175 Tamiami Trail
      • Punta Gorda, FL 33950
    • Charlotte Sports Park 
      • 2300 El Jobean Rd
      • Port Charlotte, FL 33948
    • Tringali Park
      • 3460 N Access Rd.
      • Englewood, FL 34224
  • Collier County
    • Everglades City
      • 603 Collier Ave
      • Everglades City, FL 34139
  • FDEM is working with feeding partners to open kitchens for impacted and displaced residents. More than 96,400 hot meals were served on Friday, October 7, and more than 1.5 million hot meals have been served since volunteer kitchens opened.
  • The State Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator created a survey to assess the need for mental health services for Hurricane Ian first responders.
  • 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 opened an additional fuel depot on Pine Island for a total of 10 fuel depots across Central and Southwest Florida to provide fuel for first responders. 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 has received more than 5,400 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled. Over 4,400 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:
    • 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 as communities experience storm impacts.

Power

  • There are currently 132,335 people without power.
  • Nearly 2.6 million accounts (95% 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

  • On Saturday, Hope Heroes are serving at the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida, the Disaster Recovery Center at the Shannon Staub Library in North Port, a general population shelter at Estero Rec Center in Estero, and the Disaster Recovery Center at Veteran’s Community Park in Naples.
  • This weekend, 11 Department of Elder Affairs CARES assessors are deployed to Lee, Sarasota, and Osceola 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.
  • In Volusia, Flagler, and St. Johns counties, 1,800 home delivered meals were provided to senior clients this week, and 672 congregate meals were served.
  • In affected areas in Southwest and Central Florida, 35,200 home delivered meals have been provided to senior clients this week, along with more than 13,400 shelf stable meals. More than 7,300 congregate meals have been served to clients this week.
  • In Southwest and Central Florida, more than 1,600 telephone reassurance calls to senior clients have happened over the week.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • DOH in Collier County continues to offer free Tetanus vaccine clinics in Naples and Immokalee through Saturday, October 8, 2022. Residents working on post-storm clean-up efforts could be at risk for Tetanus. Under normal conditions, all individuals should get a tetanus-diphtheria booster (Td) every 10 years.
  • Boil Water Notices have been issued for 153 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.
  • Yesterday, IHeart Radio’s Hurricane Ian Relief Donation drive was conducted, and donations were loaded onto a semi-truck and will be distributed to impacted areas impacted by Hurricane Ian in the coming days.
  • DOH’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection’s environmental health strike teams have successfully completed missions in Collier, Hendry, Highlands, St. Johns, and Manatee counties.
  • DOH’s Division of Medical Quality Assurance distributed information to health care practitioners about the increase in vibrio vulnificus infections as a result of exposure to flood and standing waters following Hurricane Ian. Practitioners were provided information about reporting, testing, and treating infections.
  • 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.
  • 13 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 (DRC) in Lee and Sarasota Counties with a DRC set to open in Collier County at 1:30 p.m. today. Additional staff is ready to deploy as other DRCs come online.
  • DOEA has now received interest from more than 200 volunteers wanting to become Hope Heroes. Hope Heroes will be serving in shelters this weekend to assess the needs of seniors and provide assistance wherever possible. To become a Hope Hero, visit helpcreatehope.com.
  • In affected areas in Southwest and Central Florida, 23,400 home delivered meals have been provided to senior clients this week, along with more than 4,700 shelf stable meals. More than 6,000 congregate meals have been served to clients this week.
  • 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 VA Healthcare Center will return to routine operations on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs anticipates being able to reopen their Naples and Port Charlotte VA clinics for face-to-face appointments on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
  • The Daytona Beach VA Multispecialty Clinic sustained damage from the storm and is currently under repair. The VA has arranged for veterans in the Daytona Beach area to continue to be seen virtually, at other VA sites of care, or in mobile medical units temporarily parked in the clinic’s parking lots.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Infrastructure

  • All accessible State-owned bridges have been inspected across Florida. FDOT continues to assist with inspections on locally-owned bridges.
  • Cut-and-toss crews have cleared more than 5,200 miles of roadway – 97% of all accessible roads in the impacted areas.
  • More than 450 generators have been deployed for traffic signals.
  • All state-owned traffic signals, nearly 9,000, have been assessed statewide, with 99% of traffic signals operational.
  • 87% of traffic signals are operational in Lee County, and 97% of traffic signals are operational in Charlotte County.
  • Tolls in central Florida and Tampa, and standard weight and size requirements are waived.
  • Debris removal has begun, most heavily focused in Southwest Florida, with 3,088 miles statewide completed.
  • Access restored to Pine Island Bridge in just under 3 days.
  • Construction has begun on the Sanibel Causeway and is expected to be complete by the end of the month.

BRIDGES

Bridges Closed as of 7 a.m. on 10/8/22

  • Sanibel Causeway (Lee County)

ROADWAYS

  • 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
    • SR-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

  • DBRP Secretary Griffin attended dinner at Cheney Brothers Inc. for 25 United volunteers.
  • FRLA continues to work on lodging and feeding missions across impacted areas.
  • DCF 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.
  • Providers through Senior Connection Center, serving Hillsborough, Manatee, Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties, have delivered 4,500 shelf stable meals this week. Nearly 5,000 MREs have been donated by Feeding Tampa Bay and Humana this week, along with approximately 275 cases of water.
  • Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is partnering with United Way to deliver meals to homebound seniors. This will be accomplished with the help of SHINE volunteers and Hope Heroes.
  • 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, Sarasota and Arcadia.
  • 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 deployed Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units to Lee and Charlotte counties to provide no-fee replacements for driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations, and titles.
  • FLOW Locations:
  • 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
    • Joseph P. D’Alessandro Office Complex
      • 2295 Victoria Ave.
      • Ft. Myers, FL 33901
  • CHARLOTTE COUNTY:
    • DFS Initial Payment Center
      • 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 7, nearly 1,200 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.
  • FDLE’s mutual aid team is coordinating the deployment of more than 1,300 law enforcement officers statewide from more than 80 agencies
  • 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 aerial 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 deployed a mobile kitchen to feed first responders in Hardee County. More than 3,000 meals were served at this location. FHP’s mobile kitchen is now mobilizing to begin serving meals to first responders in Charlotte County.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 64 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 here.

Private Sector Support

  • Miami-based mobile fuel delivery company ezfill has been delivering fuel daily for firefighter volunteers and first responder vehicles in Bonita Springs, delivered fuel to homes of residents in Cape Coral, filling their generators, cars and gas cans, provided fuel for hospitals in Lee County, and is partnering with Big Lots on October 8 to provide fuel to Ft. Myers communities.
  • Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) is working with and supporting its deployment partner, Help.NGO, to establish connectivity at community sites with local area networking and provide last-mile capacity to deliver much needed supplies, including:
    • This week, AWS deployed the first of several waves of AWS Disaster Response employee-volunteers in Lee County to support on-the-ground efforts;
    • Help.NGO and AWS are supporting several state agencies to support interim connectivity and emergency response management needs, including DFS for its insurance claims processing centers in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte;
    • Help.NGO and AWS have also established connectivity via Starlink terminals and SES medium earth orbit (MEO) at the request of Family Initiative, a distribution point serving up to 250 families; Community Cooperative, whose mission is to eliminate hunger and homelessness in Lee County, FL; two locations for the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Centre (ATC); and Fuel Relief Fund’s fuel distribution site providing emergency fuel provision for first responders and evacuees.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 33 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 daily 10:00am – 6:00pm)
    • Fort Myers Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL (open beginning Oct 4. 8:00am – 5:00pm)
    • Lakes Regional Library 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL (open 9:00am – 6:00pm)
  • 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 (open 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
    • Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiani Trail, Port Charlotte (open 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
    • Ft. Meyers 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 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/.

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, 71 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.
  • Schools opening next week include:
    • Hardee County Schools will open Monday
    • Sarasota County Schools will begin a staggered reopening on Monday
    • Charlotte County Schools will begin a staggered reopening on Monday
    • DeSoto County Schools targeting early to the middle of next week for a staggered reopening
  • As of today, all Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Division of Blind Services operations have resumed in every Florida county.
  • 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: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, and Lee.
  • 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)

  • 263 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.
  • 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. Six 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 coordinated with a leased barge and planned to transport Verizon deployable assets to Pine Island via this route.
  • 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 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 2022-04 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.
  • 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 $3,660,732,214 in estimated insured losses and a total of 408,078 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 GTAHurricaneHelp@floridarevenue.com.
  • 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.

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.

Resource Management

  • DMS coordinated with agriculture and animals partners to replace and repair fences at dairy farms.
  • DMS continues with contracting for equipment from heavy equipment, chain saws and alternate care site supplies to support recovery efforts.

Office Closures

Updated: Saturday, October 8, 2022
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