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State of Florida Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts 11/02


State of Florida Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts 11/02

Under Governor DeSantis' leadership, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) continues to support impacted Floridians on their road to recovery from Hurricane Ian.

Under First Lady Casey DeSantis, the Florida Disaster Fund has raised more than $50 million since activation to provide financial assistance to communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. To read more, click here. To contribute, visit FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.

The Division encourages survivors to apply for FEMA assistance and continuously update their applications by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov, calling (800) 621-3362, using the FEMA app, or visiting one of more than 20 open Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). State agencies will continue to provide in-person services at DRCs in Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties through Saturday, November 12.

The Division also worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to make long-term, low-interest disaster loans available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and other sources. Homeowners, renters, nonprofits and businesses can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application on the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoanAssistance.SBA.gov. Information and applications can also be obtained by calling 800-659-2955 or by visiting a Business Recovery Center, represented by the SBA and the Florida Small Business Development Center network.

As of October 30, members of the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) have started integrating into the Joint Field Office (JFO) in coordination with federal partners to transition to long-term recovery efforts. The JFO supports on-scene efforts through collocation of multiple agencies for incident management, information sharing, recovery program implementation and more.

Ongoing recovery efforts include:

Mental Health

  • First Lady Casey DeSantis with the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Children and Families (DCF), and State Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator Sara Newhouse have deployed free mental health resources to communities impacted by Hurricane Ian.
  • Resilient Floridians and First Responders can visit this site to see a compilation of all mental health resources available to them.
  • BetterHelp is offering 3 months of free online therapy. Visit BetterHelp.com/voucher and use code: HurricaneIan. Visitors to BetterHelp’s site will be prompted to answer a questionnaire that will match those impacted residents with a licensed mental health professional.
  • Hurricane Ian survivors can speak with families who have recovered from Hurricane Michael, who are well acquainted with the road to rebuilding after loss, by calling the Family Support Line at 888-850-SWFL.
  • Peer support is available 24/7 to all Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) members and their families through FHP’s Peer Support Team and the FHP Wellness App to support their overall wellness.
  • DCF has created a First Responder Support Line (407-823-1657). This line combines current resources into a single point of contact that will connect first responders with mental health professionals.


  • At the direction of Governor DeSantis, FDEM has developed a state-led housing mission to supplement FEMA direct temporary housing efforts. FDEM is working to provide travel trailers and other temporary housing solutions to survivors with significant housing needs who are not yet eligible for FEMA’s direct housing program.
  • Residents in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties are now eligible for FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Assistance.
  • Survivors in counties declared for Individual Assistance may also qualify for FEMA grants to help with repair or replacement of hurricane-damaged primary residences and rental assistance while making repairs.
  • Impacted residents who have applied for disaster assistance may be eligible to shelter in a hotel or motel paid for by FEMA through the Transitional Sheltering Program (TSA). They may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home and their housing needs cannot be met by insurance, shelters or rental assistance provided by FEMA or another agency (federal, state or nonprofit).
  • More than 17,700 Blue Roofs have been installed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Applications for this program ended yesterday, November 1.

Internet Connectivity

  • More than 500 STARLINK Units have been distributed to businesses and responders in impacted communities to provide Internet connection.
  • For Comcast Xfinity customers in impacted areas that are still experiencing service interruption, it is highly likely that the equipment or the connection inside the home may be damaged. Please chat with a Xfinity assistant online or call 1-800-XFINITY (1-800-934-6489).
  • Xfinity Wi-Fi vans, which provide free wireless internet service so residents and emergency personnel can stay connected are open and active for impacted individuals, free for everyone, to connect from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily until further notice, currently stationed at:
    • Walmart Supercenter at 1619 Del Prado Boulevard South, Cape Coral, FL 33990
    • Walmart Supercenter at 17105 San Carlos Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL 33931
    • Walmart Neighborhood Market (Charlotte Square) at 2150 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
    • Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association at 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
  • Verizon has deployed a Wireless Emergency Connection Center (WECC) to assist Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian with Wi-Fi, phone batteries, and charging stations. This station is available to any customer of any carrier to stay connected.
    • Fort Myers Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931.
  • Additionally, charging pedestals are available at:
    • North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34116.
  • Lumen customers with either CenturyLink or Quantum Fiber services experiencing outages can visit CenturyLink.com/home/help.html or call 1-800-201-4099 to report outages.
  • To report a trouble ticket for the Quantum Fiber service, customers can chat by visiting QuantumFiber.com/support.html or calling 1-833-250-6306.
  • Lumen has set up 24/7 Wi-Fi locations for its CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber customers. The free Wi-Fi locations include:
    • 4001 Palm Tree Boulevard, Cape Coral, FL 33904
    • 10546 Tipton Drive, Bokeelia, FL 33922
    • 4195 Kings Highway, Port Charlotte, FL 33980
    • 3445 Sanibel Captiva Rd., Sanibel, FL 33957
    • 906 Country Club Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33904
    • 14981 Captiva Drive, Captiva, FL 33924 

Infrastructure & Debris

  • FDEM has opened a call center and website for Floridians to apply for debris removal assistance, including displaced vehicles, vessels or other titled property. Homeowners, business owners, and titled property owners can visit IanDebrisCleanup.com or call (850) 961-2002 for more information.
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has established a Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline 850-488-5600 for vessel and property owners affected by vessels displaced by Hurricane Ian. More than 2,300 vessels have been assessed by displaced vessel teams.
    • If a vessel owner is removing their vessel, they should notify the Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline of their plans for vessel removal.
  • 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.
  • 15 FDEM and USACE inspection teams have completed more than 7,900 building inspections in Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and parts of Cape Coral.
  • FDEM and DEP have authorized 311 Debris Management Sites, including 74 in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties to expedite clean-up, reduce environmental and public health impacts, and meet federal reimbursement requirements.
  • Initial debris pick-up:
    • 4,897 miles of state roads have been completed statewide.
    • Statewide, 147,652 cubic yards of vegetation debris have been picked up.
  • Roads that remain closed due to Hurricane Ian:
    • DeSoto County 
      • NW 2nd Bunker Avenue at Arrowhead Pond Road – Lane closed, both directions
    • Hardee County 
      • SR-64 from Brantwood Drive to Wilbur C King Boulevard – Lane closed, both directions
  • In addition, DEP issued an Emergency Final Order (EFO) suspending loan payments for requesting local governments for Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loans for a period of up to six months. The EFO also modifies procedures that could make anticipated SRF funds available to impacted local governments. This will provide cities and counties impacted by Hurricane Ian with flexible local funding that can be used for more urgent needs while focusing their resources on rebuilding their communities as quickly as possible.
  • 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.
  • An Emergency Final Order was also issued to expedite permitting for armoring structure repairs and protect upland structures of impacted homeowners and businesses in Volusia County.

Mass Care & Human Services

  • Boil Water Notices have been issued for 8 areas over 2 counties.
  • DOH has waived costs for any vital statistics, such as birth and death certificates.
  • DOH has an environmental strike team deployed to Seminole County to conduct water quality testing.
  • DCF launched the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), which is being implemented in phases by county. Phase three started on October 24 and includes Hillsborough, Lake, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, and Volusia counties. Pre-registration is required by all applicants.
  • To expedite service to eligible households, DCF is offering phone interviews through the D-SNAP Call Center. Details can be found online here.
  • Residents who did not pre-register online during the reserved pre-registration dates may complete pre-registration online prior to coming for an in-person interview during their county’s on-site dates or may complete pre-registration at an on-site location. On-site interviews are not required if a phone interview has been completed. D-SNAP pop-up sites for phase three include:
    • Osceola County
      Heritage Park
      1875 Silver Spur Ln
      Kissimmee, FL 34744
      Open Thursday, Nov. 3, Friday, Nov. 4 & Sunday, Nov. 6, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Pinellas County
      Tropicana Field
      1650 Third Ave S.
      St. Petersburg, FL 33705
      Open Thursday – Saturday, Nov. 3 – 5, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • As of October 27, DCF has disbursed more than $84 million to nearly 139,000 households.
  • The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) have partnered to provide transportation to displaced seniors in Southwest Florida. Call 1-800-96-Elder for assistance.
  • DCF has a Family Resource Support Center in Daytona Beach help individuals and families. More information can be found at MyFLFamilies.com/FRSC.
  • Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (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.
    • As of November 1, more than 5,800 customers have been served since operations began.
  • Dates, locations and hours of operation for FLOW mobiles are subject to change and will be announced on FLHSMV.gov.
  • 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 102822, 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. 

Private Sector Support

  • The Florida Housing Finance Corporation is awarding $5 million to local housing partners to help Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian pay their home insurance deductibles. Funding assistance is available to individuals, and families in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties who apply and qualify. Homeowners can contact their local Housing Initiatives Partnership program office directly for more information.
  • Uber is offering free round-trip rides, up to $30 each way, to and from 10 state-approved Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). Details on how to redeem a free round trip to and from a state-approved DRC are available here.
  • Some requirements for Reemployment Assistance have been temporarily waived in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Eligible Floridians must file for state Reemployment Assistance before Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Learn more here.
    • Over 19,800 DUA claims have been submitted since DUA was activated and more than 9,600 have been approved.
  • DEO has deployed personnel 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.
  • DEO and CareerSource Florida have activated the disaster recovery jobs portal to connect businesses and individuals impacted by Hurricane Ian with workforce programs.
  • All career centers are open statewide. To find your local career center, visit Find Your Local Team or Career Center Directory.
  • 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. Click here to learn more.
    • An eligibility requirement of this program was waived to allow sole proprietors in the Marine Fisheries Industry with businesses located in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota counties. Learn more here.
  • 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 from Hurricane Ian.
  • Enterprise Florida activated its Disaster Assistance page with state and federal resources available for businesses to recover.
  • Airbnb launched a website to help with relocation efforts for impacted residents here. This page features properties that are available outside of the FEMA disaster zones.
  • For displaced residents of Lee and Charlotte counties, Airbnb is working with nonprofit partners to offer vouchers for temporary housing. To learn more, click here.


  • The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued Emergency Order 2022-05, which extends EO 2022-01 to change the renewal deadline to November 22, 2022, for multiple licenses, and extends the deadline for the filing of monthly reports and returns by certain alcoholic beverage and tobacco license holders.
  • DBPR issued Emergency Order 2022-06 waiving permit fees associated with replacing, relocating and repairing elevators regulated by DBPR in listed counties through November 22, 2022, and extends expiration of work permits.
  • 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 Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine has a 30-Day Temporary Veterinarian License available to out-of-state veterinarians to provide relief veterinary services in Florida.
  • Florida licensed veterinarians interested in offering volunteer services should contact Florida Vet Corp for information at 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).


  • The Department of Revenue issued an Emergency Order, extending certain filing due dates for Florida businesses in counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. The September 2022 and October 2022 reporting periods are extended to November 23, 2022, for sales and use tax, reemployment tax and several other tax types. Those businesses affected by this order or impacted by the storm may contact Taxpayer Services at (850) 488-6800 or by email at GTAHurricaneHelp@FloridaRevenue.com with questions.
  • The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) issued Emergency Order 300997-22-EO regarding the extension of grace periods, limitations on cancellations and nonrenewals, deemers and limitations on “use and file” filings.
  • OIR instituted a data call to collect catastrophe claims data related to Hurricane Ian. OIR is requiring daily catastrophe claims reporting for Hurricane Ian to assist with determining the impact on Florida’s insurance industry. Catastrophe Claims Data and Reporting is available here. Additional claim data and information can be found here.

Elections Update

  • At the request of the Supervisors of Elections in Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties, and at the recommendation of the Secretary of State, 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 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.

The Division continues to prioritize the needs of communities and amend the Major Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Ian. To date, 10 amendments have been approved expanding Public Assistance and Individual Assistance eligibility in the state:

  • Individual Assistance is approved for 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 Counties.
  • Public Assistance Category A (Debris) is approved for Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties.
  • Public Assistance Category B (Emergency Protective Measures, including direct federal assistance) is approved for all 67 Counties, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
  • Public Assistance Permanent Work (Categories C-G) is approved for Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia Counties.
  • The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is available to all municipalities in the State of Florida.
Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022
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