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State of Florida Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts, Preparedness Efforts for Subtropical Storm Nicole


State of Florida Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts, Preparedness Efforts for Subtropical Storm Nicole

Under Governor DeSantis' leadership, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) continues to support impacted Floridians in their road to recovery from Hurricane Ian, while also closely monitoring the development and track of Subtropical Storm Nicole. FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie remains in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service and county emergency management officials of all 67 counties to identify potential resource gaps and to implement plans that will allow the state to respond quickly and efficiently ahead of impacts from Subtropical Storm Nicole.

Today, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order (EO) 22-253, declaring a State of Emergency for 34 counties in the potential path of Subtropical Storm Nicole. Counties under a State of Emergency are Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia.

As of 7:00 PM EST today, Subtropical Storm Nicole is located 425 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 45mph and moving northwest at 8mph. Currently, Nicole is forecast to approach Florida's East Coast by Wednesday night and could be near or at hurricane strength. Floridians are reminded to prepare for an increased risk of coastal flooding, heavy winds, rain, rip currents and beach erosion. Wind gusts can be expected as soon as Tuesday along Florida's East Coast.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the coastal areas of Duval, Flagler, Miami-Dade, Nassau and St. Johns counties, as well as the entire counties of DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Brevard, Broward, Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Martin, Nassau, Palm Beach, Putnam, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia counties.

State Preparedness and Recovery Updates

  • FDEM encourages Floridians to review their disaster preparedness plans and listen to all orders from local officials in regard to Subtropical Storm Nicole. Preparedness tips can be found at FloridaDisaster.org/PlanPrepare.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has begun its emergency management planning activities and encouraging protective actions of APD State and Regional offices and APD-operated facilities, partners, providers, staff and clients related to Tropical Storm Nicole. APD will hold regular statewide conference calls to support communications beginning Tuesday, November 8.
  • FEMA DRCs will close temporarily this week as a precaution for potential impacts from Subtropical Storm Nicole. Today, November 7, DRCs in Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island, Orlando and North Port will close at the end of the day. Tomorrow, November 8, all other DRCs and mobile units will close at the end of the day. Conditions will be assessed Saturday, November 12 and DRCs will reopen on their regular schedules when safe to do so.
  • The DRC formerly located at Veterans Community Park in Collier County has relocated to:
    • Collier Museum at Government Center
      3331 Tamiami Trail East
      Naples, FL 34112
      Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily
      Closes permanently on Sunday, November 13 at 5 p.m.
  • Three new DRCs have opened in Lee County: 
    • Phillips Community Park
      5675 Sesame Dr.
      Bokeelia, FL 33922
      Open 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Daily
    • Sanibel Community Church
      1740 Periwinkle Way
      Sanibel, FL 33957
      Open 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Daily
    • Beach Baptist Church
      130 Connecticut St.
      Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
      Open 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Daily
  • 15 FDEM and USACE inspection teams have completed more than 8,800 building inspections in Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and parts of Cape Coral.
  • The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has deployed an Environmental Health Strike Team to Manatee County to continue water testing efforts.
  • More than 100 law enforcement officers continue to support Hurricane Ian recovery efforts, including security and patrol missions. 
  • Previous state recovery efforts for Hurricane Ian are available for:

Mental Health Resources

  • 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 888-850-SWFL.
  • 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.

FEMA Assistance & Housing Resources

  • The Division encourages Hurricane Ian 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.
  • Residents in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties are now eligible for FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Assistance. Survivors who have already applied for FEMA Assistance do not need to reapply; FEMA will reach out to eligible applicants.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Internet Connectivity Resources

  • More than 500 Starlink Units have been distributed to businesses and responders in impacted communities to provide Internet connection. Individuals can connect to mobile Starlink units by using the password prominently displayed on the mobile Starlink vans at designated locations. These mobile devices are deployed strategically throughout the state, as needed. A link to current sites can be found here.
  • 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 at 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
  • Additionally, charging pedestals are available at:
    • North Collier Regional Park at 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34116
  • Lumen customers with either CenturyLink or Quantum Fiber services experiencing outages can report a trouble ticket by either using the chat feature at CenturyLink.com/home/help.html or calling 1-800-201-4099.
  • 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 ten Wi-Fi locations in the impacted areas for its CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber for impacted residents to access free wireless internet service. Public Wi-Fi Locations are available 24 hours a day and will provide connectivity over a few hundred feet of each facility. To access the free Wi-Fi, residents should look for the “CTL-QF Free Wi-Fi” network. No password is needed. Wi-Fi is available at the locations listed here.

Infrastructure & Debris Resources

  • 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.

Food, Transportation and Health Resources

  • 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.
  • As of November 6, more than 6,000 customers have been served at Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units provided by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Collier counties since operations began. FLOW mobiles provide impacted residents with 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.
  • FLHSMV driver license and motor vehicle center closures can be found here.
  • Boil Water Notices have been issued for 5 areas over 2 counties.
  • The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) launched the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). 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. Open D-SNAP pop-up sites include:
    • Paradise Sports Complex
      3940 City Gate Blvd.
      Naples, FL 34117
      Open November 6, 7 and 9, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Ocean Center
      101 N. Atlantic Ave.
      Daytona Beach, FL 32118
      Open November 5 - 7, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • 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.

Resources for Employees & Businesses

  • The Division has 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.
  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (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.
  • Some requirements for Reemployment Assistance have been temporarily waived in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Eligible Floridians must file state Reemployment Assistance before Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). 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. 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.
  • 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).
  • Enterprise Florida activated its Disaster Assistance page with state and federal resources available for businesses to recover.

Emergency Orders for Hurricane Ian

  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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. 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.
Updated: Monday, November 7, 2022
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