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ICYMI: Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Idalia

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor DeSantis provided updates about the Hurricane Idalia recovery efforts at the State Emergency Operations Center. He was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, the Florida Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Kevin Guthrie, and Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris. Governor DeSantis’ Emergency Order can be found here.

Governor DeSantis has directed school districts, colleges, and universities to reopen as quickly and safely as possible for students to return to normalcy and get back to the classroom. Today, 58 out of 67 county school districts are open, as well as 10 of 12 state universities and 26 of 28 state colleges. School and campus re-openings can be found on the Florida Department of Education Storm Information page here.

The Florida Disaster Fund, announced by Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis, accepts donations to support communities impacted by Hurricane Idalia. To donate, click here.

Power restoration efforts have been underway for counties impacted by Hurricane Idalia. There are over 482,216 accounts impacted by Hurricane Idalia that have been restored. There are 85,000 accounts remaining without power that linemen are currently in the field working to restore. Duke Energy announced that following a thorough aerial and on-the-ground assessment of their infrastructure, they will have 95% of all customers in Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, and Suwannee counties who can safely receive power by tonight.

Meal Distribution Sites

  • 9 Points of Distributions (PODs) have opened in impacted areas to distribute MRE’s, water and tarps to residents at:
    • Hamilton County
      • 1291 Florida Street Jennings, Florida 32053
      • 1129 4Th Street Northwest Jasper, Florida 32052
    • Jefferson County
      • 325 S Water Street Monticello, Florida 32344
    • Lafayette County
      • Lafayette High School 160 NE Hornet Drive Mayo, Florida 32066
    • Madison County
      • Madison County High School 2649 US 90 Madison, FL 32340
    • Suwannee County
      • Suwannee County Fair 1302 SW 11th Street Live Oak, Florida 32064
      • Suwannee Riverside Elementary 1625 Walker Avenue SW Live Oak, Florida 32064
      • Branford High School 405 North Reynolds Street Branford, Florida 32008
    • Taylor County
      • 1509 S Byron Street Parkway Perry, Florida 32348

Floridians can also pick up free hot meals in the following locations from 9am-9pm daily:

The Salvation Army

  • Winn Dixie Parking Lot,

2057 S Byron Butler Pkwy Ste 1,

Perry, FL 32348

Mercy Chefs

  • Suwannee Middle School

1730 Walker Ave SW,

Live Oak FL 32064

Operation BBQ Relief

  • Madison High School

2649 E US Highway 90,

Madison, FL 32340

  • 831 Pinewood Dr SW,

Live Oak, FL 32064 serving

Catholic Charities

  • 2750 S Byron Butler Pkwy,

Perry, FL 32348

State Response Efforts

  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Idalia response.
  • FDEM has distributed requested resources to support residents and first responders including more than 280,000 Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), over 1.2 million bottles of water, and more than 900 tarps.
  • Just two months after the first graduation of Florida State Guard soldiers in 75 years, they've been called up to support Florida's Hurricane Response and are on the ground in Taylor County. We thank them for their service during this community's time of need.
  • The Florida National Guard (FLNG) Following Governor DeSantis' authorization, the Florida National Guard (FLNG) is moving forward with a full activation of its service members for Hurricane Idalia response operations.
  • The FLNG continues to conduct humanitarian and route clearance operations and is already engaged in commodity distribution missions (PODs). Our Guardsmen have cleared over 850 miles of roadways. 
  • The FLNG has initiated 9 PODs throughout the impacted area, with 9 PODs in Suwannee, Lafayette, Madison, Dixie, Jefferson, Hamilton and Taylor counties. 
  • The Florida National Guard also has units supporting the State Logistics Response Center (SLRC) and County Emergency Operation Centers (EOC).     
  • The Florida National Guard is well-equipped, with assets including high-wheeled vehicles, helicopters, boats, and more.  
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)’s mutual aid team is coordinating Florida’s law enforcement response with more than 105 active missions including deployment of more than 500 Florida law enforcement officers.
  • 60 FDLE agents from Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Pensacola are deployed into the impacted area and an FDLE drone operator is working with Urban Search and Rescue Teams. 
  • FDLE has deployed the following equipment:
    • One command center
    • One mobile command center
    • Six mobile staging units
    • Three large trailers
    • Four box trailers
    • Two cargo trucks
    • One forklift
    • 24 generators
    • 30 Chainsaws.
  • The Florida Forest Service (FFS) has deployed 13 chainsaw crews (more than 100 total personnel) to support search and rescue operations and power restoration. Heavy equipment - like front-end loaders, skid steers, excavators, and dump trucks – has been deployed to assist with road clearing activities.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) The FWC is working closely with state and local emergency management agencies to deploy resources to impacted areas. FWC officers have reported significant wind damage, storm surge effects and widespread power outages across the Big Bend coastal region extending well inland. 
  • Multiple response teams consisting of officers, support staff and equipment have mobilized from their staging areas and are conducting missions throughout the hardest hit areas. The teams have a total of 47 officers and support personnel and the following equipment:
    • 47 four-wheel drive vehicles
    • 27 vessels including airboats and shallow draft vessels
    • 9 UTV/ATVs
    • 1 drone unit
    • 4 swamp buggies
    • 1 command trailer
    • multiple generators
    • mobile communications equipment
    • fuel resupply containers
  • Teams have broken up into smaller units and deployed to:
  • Perform 24-hour law enforcement, public safety, and security services in Perry, Dekle Beach and Keaton Beach.
    • Conduct grid searches and welfare checks in communities in Suwannee Town in Dixie County
    • Perform road clearing missions on roads leading to Horseshoe Beach
    • Assist linemen and fire rescue personnel in Dixie County
    • Escorted radio techs with mobile communications equipment to Cedar Key tower
    • Survey flooded neighborhoods west of Hwy 51 NE in Taylor County to assess any residential evacuation needs
    • Perform road-clearing missions in and around Perry
    • Assist with a medical evacuation in Taylor County
  • FWC officers conducted a late-night welfare check on an elderly resident whose out of town family were unable to reach them after the storm. Officers located them and established communication between them and the concerned family.
  • FWC officers and Department of Financial Services Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations with heavy debris removal capability conducted various road clearing and debris removal in Perry, Dekle Beach, and Keaton Beach
  • Multiple base camps with self-sustainment equipment for FWC teams will be in the region for as long as response assets are needed.
  • These assets are in addition to local FWC officers already assigned to areas that were affected by the storm. These local officers are coordinating with their emergency management partner agencies and are assisting with safety and welfare checks in Cedar Key, Citrus County, Levy County, Charlotte County, Pinellas County, and Pasco County.
  • In Crystal River in Citrus County, local FWC officers assisted with multiple rescues on Wednesday.
  • The FWC has set up a hotline (888-404-3922) to report vessels lost, displaced or rendered derelict as a result of the storm.
  • Any damaged, displaced or destroyed waterway marker, sign or buoy should be reported by telephone to 866-405-BUOY (2869) or at myfwc.com/boating/waterway/markers/damaged-or-missing/report-form/.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol has activated 300 troopers and implemented 12-hour Alpha, Bravo to provide resources to impacted areas. This activation has resulted in regular days off being cancelled and 24-Hour enhanced coverage.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is actively working to provide any needed assistance to drinking water, wastewater and hazardous waste facilities in the impacted areas. Outreach to these facilities to determine operation status is ongoing.  
  • DEP and response partners are working 1-on-1 with partially- and non-operational facilities to get them back to operational status as quickly as possible in order to meet the immediate service needs of the communities they serve. Areas under boil water advisories can be found at here.
  • DEP is requesting a mobile testing lab from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help process drinking water and surface water samples for the protection of public health. DEP is gathering supplies and testing kits for utilization by the lab, as well as identifying a staging area. 
  • DEP’s request for a fuel waiver was granted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily adjust certain regulatory requirements statewide so the state can ensure a sustained, useable fuel supply. 
  • DEP’s Hazardous Area Response Teams have deployed alongside DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement’s Special Agents and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Hazard Assessment Teams to aid with assessment and resources for addressing impacts to hazardous waste facilities in impacted areas. Field assessments began this morning. One team is staged in Tallahassee to support Madison, Jefferson, Taylor and Wakulla counties and an additional team is staged in Gainesville to support Dixie, Levy, Lafayette and Suwanee counties.  
  • DEP is working in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard to identify oil spills and hazardous material releases on coastal and inland waterways. 
  • 56 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been authorized to operate for Hurricane Idalia, including three in Taylor and Madison counties. DEP has pre-authorized an additional 12 sites for these counties and will activate them as needed. Disaster Debris Management Sites are a critical component of expediting clean-up, reducing environmental and public health impacts, and meeting federal reimbursement requirements.    
  • DEP is conducting post-storm beach surveys to determine impacts to shorelines and erosion from Hurricane Idalia. Inspectors have completed engineering assessments in Franklin, Wakulla and Levy counties. Two additional teams are mobilizing to Pinellas and Manatee County today. They will work south from there, based on erosion noted in the windshield surveys.  
  • DEP is coordinating with Florida’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN), the Florida Rural Water Association and other response agencies to dispatch fuel and pump trucks to assist drinking and wastewater facilities.
  • 14 Florida State Parks strike teams have been assembled to assist with assessment and recovery efforts at impacted parks. Seven teams are on the ground today in impacted areas. Other teams will be deployed as conditions allow and needs are identified.

Health and Human Services

  • The Florida Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) has released more than $104 million in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits early in preparation/response to Hurricane Idalia for over 327,000 households that would normally receive their September SNAP benefit between the 1st - 14th of the month. This applies to SNAP households located in one of the 49 designated counties in Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order. Eligible recipients will have the benefits automatically added to their EBT card. There is no need for recipients to apply.
  • Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez held a press conference with State Surgeon General Ladapo at the Pinellas County Emergency Operation Center on Thursday, August 31, 2023, to discuss public health and safety precautions as Florida recovers from the impacts of Hurricane Idalia, including:
  • The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is staging mobile field hospitals and emergency rooms in Taylor, Suwannee, and Madison counties. A mobile medical unit is up and running in Madison County. Seven strike teams are deployed supporting ground and aerial EMS transport. 
  • DOH has prepared an oxygen generator to support fire rescue. 
  • As power is restored and homes are determined to be safe, DOH continues supporting 3 special needs shelters as clients are able to return home.
  • There are currently fifteen (15) boil water notices in effect: DeSoto (1), Dixie (2), Leon (2), Levy (1), Marion (6), Sarasota (2), and Taylor (1). Details on these locations can be found on the DOH website here. Instructions on safe water use during a boil water notice can be found here.  
  • DOH and AHCA are supporting patient transport and efficient reopening of health care facilities in affected areas.  
  • The DOH and Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) sent information regarding early prescription refills permitted under Executive Order 23-171. This information was sent to the public, health insurers, managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacy chains, and health care providers.  
  • OIR instituted a data call to collect Hurricane Idalia catastrophe claims data and assist with determining the impact of Hurricane Idalia on Florida’s insurance industry. OIR is requiring daily catastrophe claims reporting for Hurricane Idalia starting Friday, September 1. More information regarding catastrophe claims data and reporting is available here.
  • DOH Madison County has a mobile medical unit (MMU) up and running in Madison County. The MMU is vital in accommodating the healthcare needs of area residents of Madison County in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia. The Greenville MMU located at Haffye Hays Park, provides emergency medical care, urgent care, and primary healthcare services and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The MMU is an 8-bed unit equipped to fully accommodate critical care level needs and is complete with emergency equipment, and pharmacy and other routine medical supplies. At this time, the MMU team is comprised of 1 physician assistant, 4 nurses, and 2 paramedics.    
  • Seven strike teams are deployed supporting ground and aerial EMS transport in Madison County. Additional strike teams stand ready to be deployed as needs are assessed and monitored.   
  • DOH continues supporting one special needs shelter in Madison County.    
  • DOH has deployed an environmental health strike team to conduct assessments at mobile home parks and campgrounds to inspect storm damage and any health/safety risks that must be addressed.    
  • The county health department is on generator power and open with limited services tomorrow. DOH has deployed a County Health Officer from another county to support the Madison County health department.    
  • One pharmacy has reopened in Madison County. DOH continues to monitor pharmacy needs and is prepared to deploy a mobile pharmacy if needed. The open pharmacy address is below:     
    • CVS Pharmacy 407 E. Base St. Madison, FL 32348  
  • The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is pulling reports utilizing newly developed GIS software that includes information from residential providers and hospitals in impacted areas.
  • The Agency has updated the counties reporting into the Health Facility Reporting System. An update was sent to facilities with the counties that are to continue reporting, a copy can be found here. All Residential/Inpatient Health Care Providers in these counties must submit updates on census, bed availability, evacuation and receiving status, power outages and generator status by 10AM daily & when their situation changes.
  • Agency surveyors have completed more than 100 on-site post-storm visits to conduct health and life safety surveys in conjunction with Attorney General’s Fraud Unit.
  • Medicaid Managed Care Plans are performing outreach to members impacted by the storm to ensure they are safe, and their medical needs are met. Other relief efforts by Plans include:
    • Florida Healthy Kids is allowing families additional time to pay premiums and complete the renewal process, for eligibility and enrollment.
    • Florida Community Care is bringing a truckload of shelf-stable meals to impacted areas.
    • Liberty is dropping off dental supplies at facilities in impacted areas.
  • For health facilities with storm damage, damage assessment guidelines, are available here.
  • AHCA sent a Medicaid Provider Alert outlining Key Medicaid Information for Fee-For-Service and Managed Care Providers during Hurricane Idalia, this can be found here.
    • The Agency waived all prior authorization requirements for providers to perform critical services beyond policy limits until further notice.
  • AHCA has activated the Emergency Patient Look-Up System (E-PLUS).  Special needs shelters are able to utilize the system to retrieve patient medical records. E-PLUS is also available to assist medical providers and emergency response personnel with locating missing or displaced persons after the storm.
  • The Agency assisted Humana in locating missing persons through E-PLUS.
    • The Department of Health began sharing Special Needs Shelter registrations and discharges on August 29, updated data will be sent by DOH at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
    • Digital Services has been credentialed access to the E-PLUS Missing Persons tool to assist them in getting information about individual locations at healthcare facilities.
    • Publix pharmacies have agreed to share data with the E-PLUS and are also being credentialed to use the system to assist with prescribing needs.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), APD is continuing to work to contact clients, providers and partners to determine safety and wellbeing and assess unmet needs.  
  • APD is working in partnership with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to conduct APD licensed group home on-site safety and wellbeing checks to determine unmet needs and necessary recovery support.
  • The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) is receiving daily updates from all 11 Area Agencies on Aging throughout Florida. 
  • PSA 3 Lead Agencies have been determining whether they will be able to open meal sites and deliver home delivered meals. 
  • PSA 6 is currently open to the public. There are currently no unmet needs being reported by any PSA 6 providers. The PSA5 AAA physical office will remain closed to staff and the public today given Pinellas EVAC Zone A orders are still in effect.  
  • Citrus County Support Services notes:
    • EHDMs were sent out to all HDM clients in all programs and calls were made to every active client on 8/28/2023.
  • Mid Florida Community Services notes:
    • Meal sites are expected to reopen on Friday 09/01/23 pending the aftermath of the storm.
    • Initial call downs completed to all Senior Services clients. No concerns were identified or reported.  

Infrastructure, Roads, State Closures and Outages

  • The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) The department is coordinating with agricultural partners to conduct damage assessment sand producers to ensure those impacted have adequate resources and support.
    • For Hurricane Idalia assistance, please call the FSA Producer Hotline:  1-877-508-8364 M-F 8am-8pm or send an email to the FSA disaster group inbox at SM.FPAC.FSA.FLFSA.Disaster@USDA.GOV  Indicate the county of loss in the Subject Line – emails sent to the disaster group inbox will receive an auto reply acknowledging receipt.
    • UF/IFAS is studying the agricultural losses and damages resulting from Hurricane Idalia. Producers can share information about impacts experienced at your farm, ranch, or aquaculture operation here.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is maintaining high visibility on interstate systems, bridges, and rest areas. Motorists can report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
  • FHP chainsaw crews, consisting of approximately 40-50 troopers responded to assist in the rapid opening of Interstate – 10 following the impact of Hurricane Idalia.
  • 101 FHP Troopers have been deployed to provide support, traffic control, roadway clearing, and welfare checks throughout impacted areas in North Florida.
  • 24 FHP troopers working alpha/bravo shifts at request of Dixie County Sheriff’s Office to control all traffic through their county due to power loss.
  • 2 FHP troopers assisting with traffic control as Florida Power and Light restore power in Columbia County.
  • 20 FHP troopers providing road security operations at request of Taylor County EOC.
  • 2 FHP troopers providing law enforcement support at Taylor County emergency supply distribution site.
  • FHP is working with FDOT in support of clearing roadways and supporting county sheriffs and local police agencies.
  • 12 FHP UAV/drone teams have been deployed for search and rescue operations in impacted areas.
  • 40 FHP troopers responded to support traffic operations in the Cedar Key area of Levy County.
  • 20 FHP troopers responding at request of Madison County Sheriffs Office to provide law enforcement support countywide.
  • 25 FHP troopers providing law enforcement support on bravo shift at request of Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units are on standby should a request occur.
  • FHP has implemented 12-hour shifts and is at full force staffing until recovery efforts are complete.
  • FHP continues to complete missions related to emergency response asset escorts of electrical teams, oil companies and deliveries of critical infrastructure resources to impacted areas.
  • FHP has completed multiple vehicle escorts in support of delivering critical infrastructure resources to impacted areas.
  • Post landfall, and immediately following storm impacts FHP troopers responded to assist with traffic control, recovery efforts while clearing roadways for emergency response vehicles and ambulances transporting critical patients.
  • FLHSMV driver license and motor vehicle service center closures can be found here.
  • FDACS has opened up the consumer hotline to receive complaints from consumers impacted by the Port of Tampa fuel contamination. If you believe you were sold contaminated gasoline, you can file a complaint by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA or visiting fdacs.gov.
  • Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Last night, FDOT crews completed all Cut and Toss operations on state roads in the impacted counties – close to 25,000 miles – within a day after Hurricane Idalia made landfall. 
  • FDOT crews will now move into fiscally constrained counties to assist Counties with Cut and Toss operations on local roads. They’re already working in Gilchrist, Madison, Dixie, and Hamilton counties to clear these local roads. 
  • FDOT has added additional field workers and now has over 250 total deployed crew members to support cut and toss operations throughout our communities working to recover. 
  • As of Friday morning, all state road closures related to Idalia have been cleared and are re-opened.  
  • All traffic signals on state-owned facilities have completed assessments. Across the state, less than 10 traffic signals are still running temporarily on generators. 
  • FDOT bridge inspectors have completed all state-owned bridge assessments and all have been cleared for safety. 
  • FDOT road and bridge contractors have resumed operations on all active construction projects except in the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union. Also, all lane closures related to construction on I-10 are not permitted at this time. 
  • All seaports are now open. 
  • Tolls are suspended at facilities along the West Coast of Florida until Noon on Tuesday, September 5. The facilities include the I-4 Connector, Selmon Expressway (S.R. 618), Veterans Expressway (S.R. 589), Suncoast Parkway (S.R. 589), Turnpike Mainline (I-75 to I-4), Pinellas Bayway (S.R. 679), Sunshine Skyway Bridge (U.S. 19). 
  • FDOT issued an Emergency Order to temporarily allow expanded weight and size requirements for vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and agriculture commodities and citrus. 
  • For rolling updates on Florida’s airport, seaport, and transit partners, please visit local listings or www.fdot.gov/idalia
  • FDOT reminds motorists to always proceed cautiously and drive safely. For the most up-to-date road and bridge closures, please visit Florida 511, at FL511.com or on the FL511 app. 
  • FDOT crews have identified Madison County as one of several priority counties in the impact zone of Hurricane Idalia and have focused efforts to help this community recover. Highlights of all FDOT efforts in Madison County are listed below: 
    • Cut and Toss operations on all state roadways are now complete. 
    • With this complete, FDOT has shifted to supporting local partners to complete Cut and Toss operations on local roads. 
    • Bridge inspections on all state-owned bridges were completed within 12 hours of the storm’s landfall. 
    • All traffic signals in Madison County have been restored. 
    • Work on active construction projects in this county continues to be suspended. 
    • As soon as winds subsided, FDOT deployed 27 4-person crews to perform Cut and Toss operations along I-10 in Madison County. In under 12 hours, crews removed over 10,000 downed trees from a 15-mile stretch & had all travel lanes reopened before dark. 
  • For rolling updates on Florida’s airport, seaport, and transit partners, please visit local listings or www.fdot.gov/idalia.
  • For the most up-to-date closures, visit Florida 511, at FL511.com or on the FL511 app.
  • Nearly 100 state parks have re-opened following Hurricane Idalia. DEP has published a storm updates webpage to keep state park visitors updated of closures: www.floridastateparks.org/StormUpdates. Visitors with existing camping and cabin reservations at closed parks have been notified of their reservation status. 
  • The Florida Department of Education is consistently updating their website with school district closures, as well as State University System and Florida College System Closures. 

Resources for Employees and Businesses

  • FloridaCommerce and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in response to Hurricane Idalia. Survey responses will allow the state to expedite Hurricane Idalia recovery efforts by gathering data and assessing the needs of affected businesses. Businesses can complete the survey online by visiting www.floridadisaster.biz/and selecting “Hurricane Idalia” from the dropdown menu.
  • In partnership with FloridaCommerce, DOH has provided resources to private sector partners selling generators to Floridians regarding generator safety and carbon monoxide poisoning prevention. Information regarding proper generator safety has also been distributed on social media platforms.
  • FloridaCommerce has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Inquiries may also be emailed to ESF18@em.myflorida.com.
  • FloridaCommerce shared a memo with Community Action Agencies providing policy guidance regarding flexible uses of Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds during disasters for counties that were impacted by Hurricane Idalia.
  • FloridaCommerce is hosting daily private sector coordination calls beginning Monday, August 28, 2023. Briefings will be provided by SERT meteorology, fuels, communications, transportation, and energy, as well as private sector partners such as the Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and VISIT FLORIDA.
  • FloridaCommerce is in contact with local ESF 18 representatives in the impacted areas to support economic resiliency in their communities.
  • FloridaCommerce has also been in contact with Amazon who will donate gift cards and supplies to nonprofits impacted by Hurricane Idalia.
  • U-HAUL is offering 30 days of free self-storage or container use at more than 50 of its locations across the state. For more information contact the nearest participating location: bit.ly/3Ehal49.
  • OnStar: Crisis Mode has been turned on for all OnStar-equipped Chevrolet, Buick, GMC & Cadillac owners impacted by Idalia. Services are complimentary. Just push your OnStar button and say “Advisor.”
  • Wells Fargo is ready to support Floridians by providing access to your accounts, banker support on their customer assistance line at 1-800-219-9739.
  • Visa is waiving interchange fees for donations made to the Florida Relief Fund. They will match employee donations made in support of Florida disaster relief efforts and the Visa Small Business Team has activated their Back to Business tools to help Floridians affected by Hurricane Idalia.
  • Comcast has opened 141,000 public Xfinity WiFi hotspots in areas it serves across Florida in Hurricane Idalia’s potential path for anyone to use, including non-Xfinity customers, for free.
  • AT&T has more than 80 AT&T Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team members and AT&T employees traveled from around the country in Florida so that they are ready to move into affected areas as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Verizon is waiving prepaid and postpaid domestic call/text/data usage incurred from August 30 - September 13, for Florida residents in the areas most impacted by the storm.
  • Uber announced FREE* round-trip rides to Florida shelter locations in Alachua, Citrus, Collier, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Leon, Marion, Manatee, Nassau, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Sumter, Union, and Volusia counties in preparation of Hurricane Idalia.Open your app.
    • Tap “Account” on the bottom right.
    • Tap Wallet
    • Scroll down to “+ Add Promo Code.”
    • Enter code IDALIARELIEF 
      • *Up to $35 each way, to and from a state- approved evacuation shelter listed at floridadisaster.org/planprepare/shelters.
  • VISIT FLORIDA has activated the Emergency Accommodations Module with Expedia to provide real-time availability of hotel rooms throughout the state.
  • Updates on closures and business resources are consistently being updated at FloridaDisaster.Biz/CurrentDisasterUpdates.
  • FDACS food safety inspectors are responding to impacted areas to conduct damage assessments and ensure the safe operation of permitted food establishments. 
  • The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is coordinating with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to secure accommodations for state workers and first responders deploying to impacted areas. More than 710 hotel rooms are currently available to support state operations across Alachua, Citrus, Brevard, Duval, Hillsborough, Lake, Leon, Marion, Orange, and Sarasota counties.
  • The DBPR Division of Service Operations is prioritizing the processing of roofing contractor and construction out-of-state endorsement applications to ensure an abundance of qualified, licensed contractors are available to legally provide construction and repair services to homeowners recovering from Hurricane Idalia. This week, DBPR has issued 95 new contractor licenses, with nearly 40 of these being certified or registered roofing contractor licenses.
  • The DBPR Division of Regulation has proactively contacted 175 licensees in Idalia-impacted areas to assess their post-storm needs and provide critical information on the dangers of unlicensed contracting schemes, as well as state recovery resources for businesses. 
  • DBPR encourages Florida’s licensed contractors who are looking to help property owners in need of post-storm construction-related services to register with the Florida Disaster Contractors Network at DCNOnline.org. Once homeowners are safely able to assess their home repair needs, DBPR encourages them to log onto DCNOnline.org and search by county for a list of Florida-licensed contractors providing these services in their community.
  • OIR issued an Informational Memorandum to all authorized residential property insurers to provide guidance on hurricane preparedness and response. OIR directed insurers to review all aspects of their disaster preparedness and response plans to ensure they’re in compliance with Florida law. Informational Memorandum OIR-23-05M is available here.

Emergency Orders

  • DBPR Emergency Order 2023-07 suspends certain provisions of section 489.113(3), Florida Statutes, in order to allow certified or registered general, building, or residential contractors to subcontract roofing work for the repair or installation of any roof type in listed counties.
    • While the emergency order is in effect, registered contractors are not subject to geographic scope limitations or requirements in section 489.513(5), Florida Statutes, when providing services in listed counties, subject to additional requirements outlined in the emergency order.
    • The emergency order states that the installation of non-permanent, emergency tarps to relieve damage caused by Hurricane Idalia fall within the exemptions listed in section 489.103(6).
    • The emergency order states that registered contractors working in compliance with the order are not committing an act of unlicensed contracting, as described in section 489.532, Florida Statutes, or practicing beyond the scope of a certification or registration, as specified under section 489.533(1)(s), Florida Statutes.
    • The emergency order requires registered contractors to provide their state registration, proof of compliance with applicable workers’ compensation, and liability and property damage insurance to the jurisdiction in which the work is being performed.
  • DBPR Emergency Order 2023-06 extends multiple deadlines for license renewals, and:
    • Extends the deadline for the filing of monthly reports and returns by certain alcoholic beverage and tobacco license holders to October 25, 2023.
    • Suspends and tolls through October 25, 2023, all final orders reflecting agency action and all-time requirements and deadlines for filing responses outlined in agency orders through September 28, 2023.
    • Suspends and tolls the annual $4 mobile home fee and $1 surcharge for mobile home park owners.
    • Waives the $200 fee for the issuance of temporary licenses for out-of-state veterinarians through October 25, 2023.
  • Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has FLHSMV has issued Emergency Order 082623, 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.
  • Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order, DEP has issued an Emergency Final Order waiving permitting requirements for the storage and processing of solid waste, including hurricane debris.
  • DEP’s Emergency Final Order also removes barriers for expediting necessary repair, replacement and restoration of structures, equipment, surface water management systems, works and other systems that may be damaged by the storm.
  • FDOT issued an Emergency Order to temporarily allow expanded weight and size requirements for vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and agriculture commodities and citrus.
  • APD executed Emergency Order No. 23-01 and additional Advisories providing necessary support to ensure business continuity.

Follow @FLSERT and @GovRonDeSantis on X, formerly known as Twitter, for live updates. Visit FloridaDisaster.org/Updates for more information.


Updated: Friday, September 1, 2023
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