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Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/21

10/21/2022

Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on Hurricane Ian Recovery 10/21

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to Fort Myers and First Lady Casey DeSantis traveled to Sarasota to announce that $4 million is being distributed through the Florida Disaster Fund. At San Carlos Park Elementary, Governor DeSantis announced $2 million has been awarded to support local education foundations in six school districts hardest hit by the storm. To watch the Governor's full remarks, click here.

In Sarasota, First Lady Casey DeSantis also announced $2 million has been awarded from the Florida Disaster Fund to five organizations helping residents repair and rebuild their homes. First Lady DeSantis also unveiled Florida’s partnership with Home Depot which will be providing an at-cost rate on select rebuild supplies to Team Rubicon, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Better Together, Samaritan’s Purse and Lee BIA Builders Care. To watch the First Lady’s full remarks, click here.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has extended the Operation Blue Roof application deadline through November 1, 2022. The program is a free service that provides homeowners with a temporary solution to protect property and allows residents to remain in their home as they continue to recover from Hurricane Ian. This program is available for homeowners in Lee, Charlotte, DeSoto, Sarasota, and Collier counties. For more information, visit blueroof.us or call 1-888-ROOF-BLU.

First Lady Casey DeSantis has continued to highlight the Florida Disaster Fund and the support it has received from private entities across the nation. The Florida Disaster Fund has raised nearly $50 million since activation. To read more, click here. To contribute, visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.

First Lady Casey DeSantis has worked to expand mental health in response to Hurricane Ian. The First Lady has also worked with the State Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator, Sara Newhouse, to compile a comprehensive webpage of resources to help navigate available resources for mental health needs post hurricane. To visit the site, click here.

To guide Floridians looking for their next-steps as they rebuild, FloridaStormRelief.com serves as a one-stop-shop to navigate all available assistance. This webpage highlights the resources available through the state’s public and private partners, and faith-based organizations. Here you can find a step-by-step check list for Floridians recovering following Hurricane Ian, mental health resiliency resources and ways to help Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian. This website also has a list of resources available to help your business recover following the storm.

State response efforts include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

  • FDEM is collecting information to assist disaster survivors who have critical unmet needs due to Hurricane Ian. Disaster survivors can fill out the voluntary Unmet Needs Resident Survey in English or Spanish.
  • 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. . As of October 20, there were 663,097 valid registrations with more than $545 million approved. Impacted residents can apply at DisasterAssistance.gov or visit an open Disaster Recovery Center (DRC).
  • FDEM has worked with FEMA to activate the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program for impacted residents in counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance. Nearly 300 hotels are being utilized in the TSA program. Individuals are encouraged to apply for disaster assistance and may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home.
  • FDEM has also worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to make long-term, low-interest disaster loans available to homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and other sources. As of October 20, more than $130 million has been approved. Individuals 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
  • FDEM is mobilizing generators and water pumps for Sanibel Island as infrastructure inspections are completed and facilities can begin operation.
  • FDEM is working with St. Augustine maintenance crews to begin restoration of impacted dunes to be completed before turtle nesting season.
  • Nearly 500 STARLINK Units have been distributed to businesses and responders in impacted communities to provide Internet connection.
  • FDEM has authorized 303 Debris Management Sites to reduce and remove debris from impacted areas.
  • FDEM is working with the Lee County School District to provide solutions on temporary repairs and ensure schools reopen as soon as possible for students.

Power

  • Power has been restored to all accounts on the mainland which can receive it.
  • As of today, over 97% 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.

Internet Connectivity

  • If you are a 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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:
    • Fort Myers Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL
    • Lakes Regional Library 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL
    • Fishers of Men Lutheran Church, 10360 Stringfellow Rd, St James City, FL
  • Additionally, charging pedestals are available at the following locations:
    • Estero Community Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Boulevard, Estero, FL 33928
    • North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34116

Health and Human Services

  • DOH and DCF partnered with BetterHelp to offer three months of free mental health services via online therapy to those impacted by Hurricane Ian. To access these free services, visit betterhelp.com/voucher and enter 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.
  • Boil Water Notices have been issued for 31 areas, over 9 counties, DOH continues to monitor and maintain a comprehensive statewide list of notices for residents to access online.
  • DOH’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection has deployed an environmental health strike team in Seminole County to assist with private well water testing at flood impacted homes.
  • 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’s Division of Children’s Medical Services’ Early Steps and Newborn Screening programs has sent additional supplies to Ft. Myers. Nearly 1,000 waterproof bags with essential supplies including hand sanitizer, silicone bibs, thermometers, baby spoons, and cooling towels for moms and babies to be distributed to families in impacted communities.
  • 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.

Infrastructure

  • All accessible State-owned bridges have been inspected across Florida. FDOT continues to assist with inspections on locally owned bridges.
    • Access restored to Pine Island Bridge in just over 50 hours/ under 3 days.
    • Access restored to Sanibel Causeway in 15 days – 10 days ahead of schedule.
    • Access restored to Sanibel Causeway in 15 days- 10 days ahead of schedule.
  • 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:
  • 4,456 miles of state roads have been completed statewide.
  • Statewide 89,420 cubic yards of vegetation debris have been picked up.

    Roadways (state roads & interstates)

  • Roads Closed as of 11 a.m. on 10/21/22
    • Brevard County
    • SR-46 Westbound at Hatbill Road – Lane closed
    • 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
    • SR-64 from Brantwood Drive to Wilbur C King Boulevard – 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 close 

    Freight Rail

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

Mass Care

  • 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. Phase two includes Flagler, Highlands, Manatee, Orange, Pinellas, and St. Johns. Pre-registration is required by all applicants.
    • As of October 19, 140,634 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.
    • As of October 19, DCF has disbursed $41 million.
  • 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.
  • Area Agency on Aging staff have been serving older Floridians at Disaster Recovery Centers. To date, 248 seniors have been assisted through the DRCs.
  • Senior Resource Alliance, serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard, and their providers are helping displaced seniors that are currently living in a hotel in Kissimmee. Services include a congregate meal site at the hotel, help with FEMA applications and legal issues, transportation, and distribution of snacks, water, clothing, and supplies.
  • DOEA now has 231 registered Hope Heroes. Volunteer opportunities and requests for donated items and services to help seniors affected by Hurricane Ian are going out daily. To join the mission, visit helpcreatehope.com.
  • 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.
  • 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).

Law Enforcement

  • 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.
  • 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
      • Disaster Recovery Center
        • Joseph P. D’Alessandro Office Complex
        • 2295 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers, FL 33901
      • Del Tura Plaza
        • 18900 North Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers, FL 33903
    • 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 3411
  • FLOW Hours of Operation: 9:00am – 6:00pm, seven days a wee
  • As of October 20, more than 4,800 customers have been served since operations began.
  • FDLE has four response teams and one logistical support team deployed in Lee and Charlotte counties checking in law enforcement officers reporting for duty, maintaining the base camps and matching law enforcement resources to the identified needs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The 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.
  • Approximately 52 FWC officers and support personnel are currently deployed for Hurricane Ian response and recovery efforts with a full complement of four-wheel drive vehicles, vessels and response and recovery equipment and supplies have arrived in Lee County.
  • 17 FWC officers from across the state have deployed to assess and process thousands of vessels displaced due to the storm.
  • The FWC has established a Hurricane Ian Vessel Hotline for vessel and property owners affected by vessels displaced by Hurricane Ian. More than 1,300 vessels have been assessed by displaced vessel teams.
  • For more information about displaced vessels or derelict vessels in state waters call 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-or-missing/.

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.
  • 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. Visit www.FloridaSBDC.org/disaster/loan-assistance/ to find a location near you.
  • 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.
  • 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 15,900 DUA claims have been submitted since DUA was activated and more than 7,800 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.
  • DEO and CareerSource Florida have activated 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. All career centers are open statewide. To find your local career center, visit Find Your Local Team or  Career Center Directory.
  • 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.
  • An eligibility requirement of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was waived to allow sole proprietors in the Marine Fisheries Industry with businesses located in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota counties to receive critical assistance. 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 to Hurricane Irma projects from Hurricane Ian. The team continues to rotate deployed staff to Ian-impacted areas, supporting recovery efforts.
  • 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.
  • 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/.

Florida Department of Education (DOE)

  • All school districts impacted by Hurricane Ian have opened, 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 landfill strike team members along with EPA On-Scene Coordinator staff continue DDMS/Debris inspections.
  • 301 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been authorized to operate for Hurricane Ian, including 70 in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties. These sites are a critical component of expediting clean-up, reducing environmental and public health impacts, and meeting federal reimbursement requirements.
  • DEP staff are on the ground assessing water and wastewater infrastructure on some of the hardest hit areas Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island, Sanibel Island and Gasparilla Island, with resources from FlaWARN, US Army Corps of Engineers, local utilities and the Division of Emergency Management’s contractor.
  • DEP 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.

Licensing

  • DOH’s Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling is increasing resources to expedite processing of licensure applications, ensuring greater availability of qualified mental health professionals.
  • DBPR Emergency Order 2022-04 waives the application fees associated with relocating or reopening certain businesses, including the addition of branch locations regulated by the Department or by any board, commission or division of the Department, where relocation or reopening arises from damages caused by Hurricane Ian in the listed counties.
  • DBPR Emergency Order 2022-03 waives the requirement for certified or registered, general, building, or residential contractors to subcontract roofing work for the repair or installation of any roof type in listed counties.
  • 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 multiple licenses.
  • 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’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 $ 6,611,269,392 in estimated insured losses and a total of 564,399 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.
  • On October 17, 2022, the Department of Revenue issued Emergency Order #22-003, extending certain filing due dates for Florida businesses located in counties impacted by Hurricane Ian.  The order extends September 2022 and October 2022 reporting periods for sales and use tax, reemployment tax and several other tax types to November 23, 2022 for the six counties in southwest Florida where Hurricane Ian made landfall: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota.  Those businesses affected by this order or impacted by the storm who have questions regarding the order may contact Taxpayer Services at (850) 488-6800 or by email at 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 impacted by Hurricane Ian to mitigate damage to these communities and historic properties.
  • 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.

Search and Rescue

  • There have been 2,500 rescues made to date.
  • More than 1,000 team members performed search and rescue.
  • The Florida National Guard cleared 51.5 miles in the impacted area. Guardsmen continue to assist law enforcement with roving patrols, security, traffic control and curfew enforcement missions.
Updated: Friday, October 21, 2022
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