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Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/17

10/17/2022

Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/17

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Toledo Blade Elementary in North Port on the first day back in session following Hurricane Ian. While there, the Governor announced over $200 million in awards through the School Recognition Program to 1,400 schools across the state that have demonstrated student growth and teaching excellence. In Southwest Florida, 96 schools received $13 million from this program. To watch the Governor’s full remarks, click here.

Yesterday, Governor DeSantis was in Flagler County to receive a briefing from local officials and survey areas impacted by Hurricane Ian. Since Hurricane Ian, the state has supported recovery efforts in Flagler County by working with the Florida National Guard to provide high-water vehicles for search and rescue efforts, delivering 20 septic pump trucks to remove wastewater and providing safety signage for water on roadways. The Governor also announced the approval of Florida’s Dislocated Worker Grant Request.

Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis highlighted the Florida Disaster Fund and the support it has received from private entities across the nation. The Florida Disaster Fund has raised over $45 million since activation. To read more, 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.

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.

If you are an Xfinity customer experiencing internet connectivity issues and you live in a predominately restored location and find that after restarting your modem your services are still not working, the lines delivering service to your home may be damaged. Please go to the Status Center to troubleshoot or use your Xfinity App to chat with a representative or call 1-800-XFINITY (1-800-934-6489) to report your service interruption.

State response efforts include:

Search and Rescue

  • There have been 2,500 rescues made to date.
  • More than 1,000 team members performed 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 Florida National Guard 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 Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia. Impacted residents can apply at DisasterAssistance.gov. As of October 17, there were 607,019 valid registrations with over $453 million approved.
  • FDEM has worked with FEMA to activate the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program for impacted residents in counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance. FDEM will continue to work with FEMA to determine additional unmet needs for residents in newly declared counties for Individual Assistance. Individuals can apply for disaster assistance and may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home.
  • USACE debris removal Subject Matter Experts are coordinating with city and county personnel to conduct volume estimates and mission analysis for debris removal in impacted areas.
  • The Crisis Cleanup Line, 800-451-1954, provides debris removal services to impacted residents, and 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 14 million meals and 51 million bottles of water have been distributed so far.
  • All PODs have been closed as of October 13.
  • More than 308,000 bags of ice have been distributed throughout the state.
  • FDEM is working with feeding partners to operate kitchens for impacted and displaced residents. More than 2.4 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 maintains 8 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 6,382 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled. More than 3600 requests have been completed and approximately 1800 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.
  • 120 critical lift stations at wastewater treatment plants have been brought back online in Lee County through the utilization of generators and/or pumps.
  • FDEM has deployed the State Mental Health Coordinator to connect with community providers, voluntary organizations, first responder support agencies, and state agency partners to identify and address mental health needs within the affected communities.
  • FDEM is deploying the following resources for distribution to impacted areas:
  • 6 barges are aiding in the delivery of commodities in Lee County to Pine Island and Sanibel Island. Barge missions successfully continued to support critical infrastructure restoration and fuel supply.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Power has been restored to all accounts on the mainland which can receive it.
  • As of today, over 95% of accounts that can receive power on Pine Island have been restored, significantly ahead of the estimated restoration timeline.
  • For a full report on current outages, click here.

Health and Human Services

  • Boil Water Notices have been issued for 80 areas in 17 counties, following the impacts from Hurricane Ian. DOH continues to monitor and maintain a comprehensive statewide list of notices for residents to access online.
  • The Division of Disease Control and Health Protection continues to provide technical and field support to environmental health strike teams and staff by distributing environmental health information.
  • Deployed staff have packed nearly 1,000 waterproof bags with essential supplies for moms and babies to be distributed to families in impacted communities.
  • 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 assisted with the relocation of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mobile lab to Seminole County. EPA’s lab is analyzing water samples for community water systems, and private well samples received from DOH.
  • 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.
  • Hope Heroes are volunteering in shelters, helping clean yard debris and tarping roofs for seniors. To become a Hope Hero and volunteer to help older Floridians, visit helpcreatehope.com.
  • Visits are being conducted at all health care facilities in counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. AHCA has completed 615 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.
  • 1 special needs shelter remains open, serving 19 clients. This shelter will be phased out as clients return to their homes or identify long term housing solutions
  • 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.

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.
  • Florida Tolls reinstated at 6 a.m. on Saturday, October 15, with the exception of Alligator Alley, Pinellas Bayway, and Sunshine Skyway. Tolls at those three facilities remain suspended.
  • Initial debris pick-up:
    • 3,966 miles of state roads have been completed statewide.
    • Statewide 58,586 cubic yards of vegetation debris have been picked up.

Bridges (state roads & interstates)

Bridges Closed as of 11 a.m. on 10/15/22

  • Sanibel Causeway (Lee County)

Roadways (state roads & interstates)

Roads Closed as of 11 a.m. on 10/15/22

  • 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
    • 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
  • Polk County
    • E Grove Avenue at S Scenic Highway – Lane closed, both directions
  • Seminole County
    • SR-46 Eastbound at N Jungle Road – Lane closed

Freight Rail 

  • Seminole Gulf Railway sustained significant damage. Damage assessments continue and repair plans are underway. They are operating on their Sarasota line.

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: Full service will return to all stations Today- Monday, October 17.

Mass Care

  • DOEA has partnered with organizations to ensure resources are delivered to older Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian.
  • DCF launched the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), which is being implemented in phases by county. Phase one includes Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Polk, and Sarasota counties. Pre-registration is required by all applicants. As of October 16, 94,525 households have pre-registeredTo expedite service to eligible households, DCF is offering phone interviews through the D-SNAP Call Center. Details can be found online at MyFLFamilies.com/DSNAP.
  • DCF has released more than $50 million in mass replacements of SNAP benefits to household who did not receive early release benefits. More information can be found at MyFLFamilies.com/HurricaneIan.
  • 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 Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas County has worked with Amazon to get $13,000 in donated gift cards for seniors in affected areas.
  • DCF has two new Family Resource Support Centers in Deltona and New Smyrna Beach. FRSCs are staffed with Hope Navigators, crisis counselors who specialize in disaster recovery response, and public benefit eligibility specialists to help individuals and families. More information can be found at MyFLFamilies.com/FRSC.
  • 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

  • FHP’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is operating on 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts as they continue missions in the impacted areas.
    • A second wave of 120 troopers has deployed to impacted areas to relieve initial QRF teams.
  • 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
  • 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
      • Disaster Recovery Center
    • Joseph P. D’Alessandro Office Complex
      • 2295 Victoria Ave., Ft. 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
  • ORANGE COUNTY
    • Disaster Recovery Center
      • Barnett Park
      • 4801 W Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32808
      • (Oct. 16-18 only)

o    FLOW Hours of Operation: 9:00am – 6:00pm, seven days a week

  • As of October 16, more than 4,100 customers have been served since operations began.
  • FDLE is coordinating 360 missions including supporting local law enforcement agencies in the impacted areas with patrol, traffic control and security.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • FWC has established a field base of operations in Lee County and deployed two mobile command centers and 6 BERG units to provide communications and operational support to officers in the area while they respond to calls for assistance.
  • A total of approximately 67 FWC officers and support personnel are currently deployed for Hurricane Ian response and recovery efforts.
  • 51 FWC officers and 1 vehicle and vessel mechanic with a full complement of four-wheel drive vehicles, vessels and response and recovery equipment and supplies are based in Lee County.
  • 15 FWC officers from across the state have deployed to assess and process thousands of vessels displaced due to the storm.
  • 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.
  • FWC Aviation Section is providing the State EOC with aerial assistance, reconnaissance and post-storm damage assessments.
  • More than 350 captive wildlife facilities have been assessed.
  • 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 that 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.
  • 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-ormissing/.

Private Sector Support

  • Florida was approved for $30 million for the National Dislocated Worker Grant for Floridians without work due to Hurricane Ian, which DEO applied for through the U.S. Department of Labor on October 4, 2022.
  • Florida Housing Search is a free, state resource for renters and property managers in Florida. Dynamic search options can help renters find available rental housing that fits a variety of needs and incomes. The Florida Housing Finance Corporation is verifying that all listings are up to date in the event that families need to quickly relocate.
  • Uber is offering free round-trip rides, up to $30 each way, to and from 10 state-approved Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). At these centers, those whose livelihoods have been severely affected by Hurricane Ian will be able to apply for federal assistance and disaster loans, update applications, and learn about other resources available. Details on how to redeem a free round trip, up to $30 each way, to and from a state-approved DRC are available at www.FloridaDisaster.biz/CurrentDisasterUpdates.
  • Business Recovery Centers, represented by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Florida Small Business Development Center network. Visit www.FloridaSBDC.org/disaster/loan-assistance/ to find a location near you.
  • 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 13,400 DUA claims have been submitted since DUA was activated and more than 6,400 have been approved.
    • 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 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 Rebuild Florida team continues to work with homeowners to assess any damage that may have occurred to Hurricane Irma projects from Hurricane Ian. The team continues to rotate deployed staff to Ian-impacted areas, supporting recovery efforts.
  • 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.
  • Enterprise Florida hosted its second Hurricane Ian Response Meeting with economic development partners, as well as representatives from utilities, about various needs they are facing, county recovery plans, and resources available to help those in need.
  • 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.
  • AT&T and the AT&T Foundation are donating $400,000 to organizations supporting restoration work in the wake of Hurricane Ian; $200,000 to the Florida Disaster Fund (www.volunteerflorida.org), $100,000 to the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (www.itdrc.org) and $100,000 to SBPUSA (www.sbpusa.org).
  • Comcast has Xfinity WiFi vans provide free internet connectivity as communities continue to recover from Hurricane Ian. Each Xfinity WiFi van can provide wireless internet connectivity to more than 1,000 users at one time over a 300-square-foot area. The vans will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily at the following locations until further notice:
    • Cape Coral: Walmart Supercenter, 1619 Del Prado Boulevard South, Cape Coral, FL
    • Bonita Springs: Bonita Springs Public Library, 2687 Pine Ave., Bonita Springs, FL
    • Fort Myers: Walmart Supercenter, 17105 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers, FL
    • Port Charlotte: Walmart Neighborhood Market (Charlotte Square) at 2150 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL
  • As residents of Southwest Florida continue to recover, Verizon is extending its support for counties most impacted by Hurricane Ian. Consumer and small business customers in the following counties will continue to receive unlimited calling, texting, and mobile data through October 31, 2022, in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota counties. 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.)
    • Fishers of Men Lutheran Church, 10360 Stringfellow Rd, St James City, FL (open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily)
  • Additionally, charging pedestals are available at the following locations:
    • Estero Community Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Boulevard, Estero, FL 33928
    • Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, FL 33928
    • North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34116
    • 2817 Southwest 3rd Lane, Cape Coral, FL 33991
    • 1029 Diplomat Parkway East, Cape Coral, FL 33909
    • 1410 Sports Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33991
    • 1039 Burnt Store Road, Cape Coral, FL 33993
  • 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)

  • All school districts impacted by Hurricane Ian will be open by Tuesday, October 18, less than three weeks after Hurricane Ian made landfall. More info can be found here.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • DEP is coordinating with FWC and USCG on derelict/displaced vessels.
  • 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.
  • 294 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been authorized to operate for Hurricane Ian, including  67 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 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. Other teams will be deployed as conditions allow and needs are identified.

Resource Management

  • Reviewed the debris removal requirements for the Fort Myers service center vacant lot.
  • Forwarded electric transformer manufacturers to ESF 12 (Energy) for the availability of restoration equipment.
  • Continued to follow up for revised quote and terms for equipment rentals.
  • Maintained contact with vendors for requested quotes to conclude requests for commodities.
  • Charlotte County sheltering requirements have been sent to the Division of Real Estate Development and Management for sourcing.

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 is requiring insurers to report preliminary catastrophe claims for Hurricane Ian. To date, insurers have reported a total of $ 5,875,767,426 in estimated insured losses and a total of 533,837 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.

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

  • At the request of the Supervisors of Elections in Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties, and at the recommendation of Secretary of State Cord Byrd, the Governor signed Executive Order 22-234, which will help ensure adequate access to Florida’s 2022 General Election ballot for the voters of Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties.
  • The Governor’s Executive Order includes provisions authorizing the Supervisors of Elections in Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties to:
  • Extend the number of days for early voting and designate additional early voting locations. The early voting period may begin as early as Monday, October 24, 2022, and can extend through Election Day, November 8, 2022.
  • Allow voters in Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties to request by phone that their vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot be mailed to an address other than their address of record. Voters must still provide an appropriate form of identification in the same manner as absent uniform service and overseas voters.
  • Designate and provide notice of the locations for secure ballot intake stations and relocate and consolidate polling locations as necessary.
  • Increase the pool of eligible poll workers who may serve within Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties by making eligible any poll workers previously trained for the 2020 election cycle and thereafter and by encouraging state employees to serve as poll workers in these counties.
  • Governor DeSantis also directed all state agencies to render aid and assistance as needed by the Supervisors of Elections in Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties. Secretary Byrd and the Department of State assessed the need for these provisions based on extensive outreach to Florida’s Supervisors of Elections:
  • Secretary Byrd and the Division of Elections leadership conducted continuous outreach and assessed the needs and readiness of counties in or around Hurricane Ian’s path, including: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Taylor, and Volusia counties. Secretary Byrd also personally visited the hardest hit areas, including Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Lee, Hardee, and Sarasota counties to meet with their Supervisors of Elections in-person.
  • Furthermore, Secretary Byrd participated in discussions with the Florida Supervisors of Elections (FSE). The FSE is a nonprofit association representing the Supervisors of Elections from all of Florida’s 67 counties.
  • Lastly, since Hurricane Ian made landfall, numerous Supervisors of Elections have publicly addressed their readiness, and thankfully most have very publicly stated that Ian’s impacts will not interfere with their duties. This is a testament to the resiliency of Florida’s elections system.

Office Closures

  • DOH in Lee County is the only county still experiencing closures due to Hurricane Ian. An alternate location for services is being identified so in-person services can resume as quickly as possible. Some services are available at the Michigan Clinic, and remainder of clients are being served remotely or through other locations.
  • State facilities closed can be found at dms.myflorida.com/buildingclosures and the Florida DMS Emergency Information Hotline at 888-336-7345.
Updated: Monday, October 17, 2022
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