September 29, 2022, PM Update – By this time you’ve seen the pictures that tell the story of the horrible damage not only from Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Southwest Florida yesterday but the rescue efforts underway across the state in the path of the storm that tonight, is once again a hurricane and taking a last swipe at Northeast Florida before heading to Georgia and the Carolinas. The AP reports four people confirmed dead, including two residents of hard-hit Sanibel Island off the Lee County mainland. Governor DeSantis and CFO Jimmy Patronis weighed-in today on Ian’s insurance impacts, including a warning to residents about unscrupulous contractors (“locusts,” Patronis called them) that risk complicating and delaying insurance storm claims. Much more on that in a bit.
Governor DeSantis surveyed the damage in the hardest hit counties of Lee and Charlotte counties, damage he described tonight as “almost indescribable.” “To see a house just sitting in the middle of Estero Bay, it literally must have gotten picked up and flown because of the massive wind speed and the storm surge and deposited in a body of water. There were cars floating in the middle of the water. Some of the homes were total losses. I would say the most significant damage that I saw was on Fort Myers Beach. Some of the homes were wiped out and some of it was just concrete slabs,” the Governor said.
Ian was a tropical storm most of today as it moved across the interior of Florida dumping up to 15” of rain along the way. Volusia County performed a number of search and rescue, and water rescue operations before Ian exited the east coast at Daytona Beach late this afternoon.
Ian has re-strengthened as a Category 1 hurricane as predicted and was about 40 miles east of Daytona Beach earlier this evening. The good news is that the core of hurricane-force winds are going to remain offshore. However 40-60 mph winds are hitting the northeast coast of Florida tonight and there’s one last rain band along the coastline that will linger through the evening. Tropical storm force winds should start to relax past midnight. It will actually be cool tonight, with lows from the low 60’s to low 70’s in most of the state, which will be helpful for those without electricity and air conditioning.
Flooding concerns tonight focus on Northeast Florida as well. The water levels are increasing as we approach the next high tide cycle within the St. Johns River system. If current trends continue over the next two days of tides, this will be on par or perhaps exceed 2016’s Hurricane Matthew in terms of time it takes for water to fully drain out, according to state meteorologists. Some relief is expected on the St. Johns near Jacksonville beginning tomorrow (Friday) evening, but those sections of the river further south, especially near Lake George, are expected to be dealing with flood waters through next week.
We’ll focus on the insurance impacts of the Category 4 storm first, then the latest from NOAA on Ian’s conditions as of 11pm tonight and the forecast, and how you can help the growing relief effort.
Insurance Claims: The Governor today, after touring affected areas of Southwest Florida, confirmed that Hurricane Ian is both a wind and a flood event. “These are massive, massive flood events in Lee County. Most people who had mortgages and lived in a flood zone probably had to have flood insurance.” He said CFO Jimmy Patronis and his team at the Department of Financial Services will be setting-up insurance villages to help cut checks on the spot for initial homeowners insurance claims.
The Governor was asked how it should be determined for properties that were wiped out, whether it was wind or flood or both in deciding what insurance coverage applies. “In Lee County, I think most of the claims are going to be flood claims. I think in Charlotte, maybe the mix will be a little bit different, because I did see some wind damage. I think that those claims will be appropriate. But clearly, when you’re in those flood areas, and you have the water rising like that into your living room, that is a flood.”
The Governor was also asked if he thought insurance companies will pay claims on a timely basis. “Look, at the end of the day, we’ve had a lot of issues with property insurance. But a lot of that is because of lawsuits and a lot of things that don’t focus on the core business. This is the core business of paying these claims and we understand that time is of the essence,” the Governor said.
CFO Patronis, who accompanied the Governor on his visit to Southwest Florida today, explained how insured homeowners visiting the insurance villages will be able to get checks cut initially for living expenses and arrange for adjusters to visit their home to assess damage so they can file a claim. But he had a plain warning for all. “Here’s the most important thing I need you to take away from this conversation is the predators that are going to come up,” Patronis said. “They’re going to initially try to sign up construction management contracts, public adjusters, they’re going to come in like a bunch of locusts and they’re trying to hit the neighborhoods and people are vulnerable right now. They’re going to look for a solution, but that solution is not going to be knocking on the door every time. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Please, that first phone call that you’re going to make needs to be to either your agent or your carrier or to my office at 1-877-MY-FLCFO (1-877-693-5236). If one of the first three phone calls you make in your house in order to get your insurance claim solved is to one of those three, there’s almost zero chance you’re going to be taken advantage of,” Patronis said.
CFO Patronis knows. A veteran of 12 insurance villages set up in the Panhandle after 2018’s Hurricane Michael, he knows what shenanigans can occur with Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contracts and lawyers in partnership with contractors soliciting claims work. “When you start complicating the claim, because you’ve allowed predators to get involved with your claim, you’re going to drag it out. So the best solution is between you, your carrier, and us.” said Patronis. “The more people you bring into it, the harder it’s going to be to get a settlement that’s going to be fair for everybody.” LMA tonight received a report from a reader in Apollo Beach that solicitors were out in neighborhoods leaving door hanger solicitations for roof and window repair work.
The Governor said they will also work to include representatives from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program at the insurance villages to help residents with federal flood insurance file needed claims. He predicted there would also be a lot of automobile insurance claims, based on his tour of the area. You can watch the Governor’s & CFO’s remarks on insurance here. When they are announced, the insurance villages schedule should be on the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) Hurricane Ian webpage.
Insurance Exposure: Industry trade magazines that had been reporting talk of potential initial losses being $20 billion to $30 billion in Florida from Ian are tonight reporting sentiment of a $40 billion to $50 billion event or greater, due to the storm’s wider wind field. AIR Worldwide is estimating anywhere from a $20 billion to $64 billion storm, based on previous storms. Look for a better estimate now that Ian is leaving the state by morning. Citizens Property Insurance CFO Jennifer Montero was quoted in inside P&C as saying the loss estimate for the state-backed insurer of last resort will be anywhere from $1.9 billion to $3.7 billion on its estimated 225,000 claims, and likely not the $3.8 billion quoted before the storm took a turn east, avoiding the more populous Tampa Bay area.
Federal Disaster Assistance Approved: President Biden approved federal disaster assistance for individuals in households in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardy, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. This is help for individuals who need temporary assistance, such as hotel accommodations and living expenses. Other counties may be added after damage assessments are complete. FEMA also authorized those same counties reimbursement for debris removal at 100% for 30 days. All 67 Florida counties will also be reimbursed for emergency protective measures, again at a full 100% reimbursement rate. “Every request we’ve asked from FEMA has been approved, so we appreciate that,” the Governor said tonight, adding “you got folks that are in need and local, federal, and state, we have a responsibility to work together.”
Infrastructure: State Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie reported tonight there are still about 2.6 million power outages in the state. Nearly 200,000 other accounts had power restored today in hardest-hit Southwest Florida but new outages cropped up as Ian moved across the state. “Whatever restores the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time is what we prioritize,” said an electric company representative today. “Those areas requiring rebuild come after restoration efforts.”
Many cellphone tower sites among multiple carriers are down in the 12 counties in Southwest Florida. That’s impacting home, mobile phone, as well as internet service. More outages may occur with additional storm surge or power outages, phone companies warn. About 100 portable cell phone towers are being deployed to help restore service.
Guthrie tonight warned of the increased likelihood of indirect deaths from Ian, telling residents not to get outside their comfort zone in using ladders, climbing onto roofs, using chain saws, and clearing limbs that may be entangled with powerlines. Often, he said, more deaths occur after a storm, than from the storm itself.
Bridge inspections along Florida’s Gulf Coast began today. In addition to the causeway bridges to Pine Island and the one to Sanibel and Captiva Islands being heavily damaged and inaccessible, so too is the Cortez Bridge in Manatee County. Damage to ports and terminals appears to be minimal but a thorough assessment won’t be able to begin until tomorrow.
Insurance Consumers: I did several more interviews today with news media, talking about how affected consumers should be patient, wait a few days to report minor damage to allow those with serious damage to talk to their insurance companies first, check on their neighbors, and don’t answer their front door because roofing and other contractors are already out canvassing and soliciting business. I reminded them to remind their readers of the DFS Consumer Insurance Hotline at 1-877-693-5236. It’s one of the many suggestions in my Hurricane Ian Claims Damage Tips, which we sent to statewide news media on Monday. It also includes taking pictures or video of your own damage to help speed your claim after the storm.
Business and Industry Concerns: Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, largely responsible for business recovery from the storm, today asked businesses to self-report their Ian preliminary losses by completing the Florida Business Damage Assessment Survey, also accessible through FloridaDisaster.biz. Survey responses allow the state to expedite hurricane and recovery efforts.
Adjusters: A reminder for adjusters and others, the statewide private sector re-entry program delineates what documents you will need to present to local officials when seeking re-entry into an impacted area. Click here to learn more. We received a helpful tip today: Print that website page showing the three requirements and take it with you to show local law enforcement as needed. Please let us know if you encounter difficulties from skeptical local authorities.
Regulation: Another reminder that the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has issued an Emergency Order in response to Hurricane Ian. It temporarily suspends for two months planned policy cancellations or non-renewals by insurance companies. For those homeowners with damage, it similarly protects their policies for at least 90 days after the properties are repaired. Similar orders were issued after Hurricanes Michael and Irma. The Order also covers Deemers on property damage and limitations on Use and File filings.
OIR also sent an industry notice requiring insurance companies report catastrophic claims data using the Simplified 2022 Catastrophe Reporting Form (CRF) submitted through the Insurance Regulation Filing System (IRFS) beginning Friday (September 1) through October 7. The CRF provides valuable information to OIR and the state of Florida regarding the impact of a hurricane or other event. OIR said it will notify insurers if additional reporting deadlines are required. The information culled will eventually be posted on OIR’s Catastrophe Claims Data and Reporting webpage.
Tonight, many problems remain with public water systems in Southwest Florida:
- Fort Myers Beach: Both the primary and back-up pumping system failed.
- Punta Gorda: Water system is empty due to leakage from damaged distribution infrastructure. They can’t keep the system pressurized. A boil water notice is in effect.
- Charlotte County: Mayor Pro Temp reported that potable water is one of their primary needs. Said the system is down nearly county-wide, and he expects getting it re-established and then safe to drink could take “many days or even weeks.”
- Lee County: Lee County Utilities has issued a boil-water notice for all customers.
- Pasco County: Residents have been asked to boil their tap water as the water distribution system lost pressure and a water main was disrupted.
- Manatee County: Residents have been asked to limit flushing, showering and doing dishes and laundry due to power outages impacting the water system.
Current Warnings/Watches as of 11pm tonight:
Hurricane Warning from the Savannah River in Georgia to Cape Fear, NC.
Hurricane Watch for Surf City, SC to East of Cape Fear, NC.
Tropical Storm Warning from the Flagler/Volusia County Line to the Savannah River in Georgia; Cape Fear, NC to Duck, NC.; and all of the Pamlico Sound.
Tropical Storm Watch (none)
Storm Surge Warning from the Flagler/Volusia County line to Cape Fear, NC; all of the St. Johns River; and the Neuse River in NC.
Storm Surge Watch for North of Cape Fear to Duck, NC; the Pamlico River; and the Cape Fear River.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph with higher gusts. Ian is a Cat 1 storm. Ian could strengthen a little more before its second landfall tomorrow in South Carolina and is forecast to rapidly weaken over the southeastern United States late Friday into Saturday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 415 miles.
Ian is expected to produce total storm rainfall of 1-2 inches of rain in Coastal Georgia. Northeast South Carolina will receive totals of 4 to 8 inches, with local maximums of 12 inches. Central South Carolina, North Carolina, and southern Virginia will see 3 to 6 inches with local maximums of 8 inches across northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia.
Major to record river flooding will continue across central Florida through next week. Considerable flash and urban flooding, and minor river flooding is possible across coastal and northeast South Carolina Friday.
The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause flooding along the coast and moving inland. Edisto Beach to Little River Inlet in South Carolina could see water reach heights of 4-7 feet above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide. From the Flagler/Volusia County Line to Edisto Beach could see heights of 3-5 ft; Little River Inlet to Cape Fear…3-5 ft; Cape Fear River…2-4 ft; St. Johns River…2-4 ft; East of Cape Fear to Duck, including Pamlico and Neuse Rivers…2-4 ft; Patrick Air Force Base to Flagler/Volusia County Line… 1-3 ft; and the Albemarle Sound…1-2 ft.ft.
Shelters & Temporary Housing for Responders:
Shelters remain open tonight in the affected counties of Southwest Florida. For first responders as well as others seeking re-entry, hotels are hard to come by. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association reports that many of its member hotels on Sanibel Island and along the water in Ft. Myers are gone completely. “This isn’t a high density area for hotels to begin with,” said an industry rep today. “Now that 80-90% of your inventory is gone or out of service, it makes it difficult to help find lodging accommodation for first responders.” Meanwhile, Airbnb says it’s in touch with local nonprofit organizations to provide vouchers for free temporary lodging stays for displaced people with financial needs.
Florida has a big job ahead on the long road to Ian recovery, the Governor reminded us this afternoon. He thanked first responders who are doing hazardous work, both locally and those coming from across the state, as well as the Florida National Guard and the US Coast Guard. All coordinated at the state level under the direction of Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. Guthrie in turn, thanked the men and women of the Division and especially the logistics section. “They have been very, very flexible. And they have been very, very responsive, and far exceeding our expectations in a normal disaster like this,” said Guthrie.
How can you help? Volunteer Florida has opened the Florida Disaster Fund. You can visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222 to make a donation. Officials say that cash, rather than a donation of goods, provides the best help. First Lady Casey DeSantis reported tonight the fund now tops $10 million in just more than 24 hours of operation and thanked and blessed those inside and outside of Florida who have donated, including major companies. Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax-deductible. Want to get personally involved? They also have a statewide platform for individual volunteer opportunities. Visit www.VolunteerFlorida.org to learn more.
Please know that we at Lisa Miller & Associates are here 24/7 for you …don’t forget it. It may sound trite but we are all in this together, my friends and colleagues.
Lisa & the LMA team
(Here’s the latest News from the Governor’s Office of specific state response & recovery actions:)
Search and Rescue
- Since 1 a.m., search and rescue operations have been underway in response to Hurricane Ian. Urban Search and Rescue Team 2 was the first on site and the Coast Guard made dozens of rescues overnight. There are 8 USAR teams with more than 800 team members are performing search and rescue.
- As of 2 p.m., more than 700 individuals have been rescued in Charlotte & Lee counties since SAR operations began this morning.
- The Missouri Task Force 1 Disaster Situational Assessment and Reconnaissance (DSAR) Team is deploying to Florida through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to support urban search and rescue efforts and incident assessment.
- A Florida Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Team deployed to Central Florida to support state USAR Task Forces and incident assessment.
- The National Guard and the Coast Guard are landing helicopters on barrier islands to perform search and rescue.
- Search and Rescue crews rallied at the Fort Myers Sports Complex and have been running operations for the past 5 hours.
- Florida National Guard members are conducting incident awareness and assessment missions this morning in Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Collier and Lee Counties. We expect that throughout the day, the Florida Guard will be engaged in a multitude of missions including search and rescue and route clearance operations.
- Last night, Florida National Guard Brig. Gen. Sean Boyette, Task Force Florida commander, was appointed the Dual Status Command (DSC) commander in anticipation of Title 10 active-duty forces being assigned to assist with recovery operations.
- Following Governor DeSantis’ authorization, a total of 5,000 Florida Guardsmen have been activated to State Active Duty for Hurricane Ian response operations. Up to 2,000 Guardsmen from neighboring states are also activated to assist.
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)
- FDEM has compiled a Shelter in Place Survey to provide critical information to first responders during and after the anticipated landfall of Hurricane Ian. We are asking all individuals in the impact area of Hurricane Ian that made the decision to shelter in place to complete the survey. Please visit FloridaDisaster.org/Report to find the Shelter in Place Survey.
- FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Ian. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
- FDEM Recovery staff staged ahead of the storm are beginning rapid damage assessments in Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties to expedite available federal assistance for disaster recovery.
- FDEM has two active fuel depots and is staging an additional four fuel depots today throughout Central and Southwest Florida to ensure first responders have the fuel they need to conduct search and rescue operations.
- FDEM Liaisons have been deployed to county EOCs in Brevard, Charlotte, Dixie, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Pinellas, Sarasota and Seminole counties.
- At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, Incident Management Teams (IMT) from Ohio and Colorado are on-scene to ensure additional support for response and recovery efforts after the storm.
- FDEM is deploying several hundred shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that have opened their Special Needs hurricane shelters. Currently, more than 200 public shelters are open and available to impacted residents, with more than 50 of these being Special Needs Shelters.
- FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Ian response, with more than 350 SERT members staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
- FDEM has received more than 1,700 resource requests for Hurricane Ian. Over 1,500 of these requests are currently being processed and are either en route or being mobilized. This includes the coordination of resources such as: trucks of food and water, generators and water pumps.
- FDEM is mobilizing pet food and supplies for displaced pets in Charlotte County, including: dry and canned dog food, dry and canned cat food, cat litter, disposable pet bowls and disposable leashes.
- FDEM is deploying the following resources for distribution to impacted areas:
- More than 400 bottles of oxygen to Charlotte County.
- 255 ambulances
- 200 trucks of food, water and ice
- 200 large generators
- 2 full service mechanical shops
- 500,000 tarps
- 375 kits for parents of infants and toddlers with critical supplies that will last for 10 days each
- Four mobile triage units to Miami-Dade County.
- Five truckloads of blankets and five truckloads of cots to support displaced residents.
- FDEM is currently coordinating the provision of meals for first responders staged in Orange County.
- FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate protective actions and needed resources as communities experience storm impacts.
- There are currently 2.6 million people without power.
- More than 200,000 accounts have already been restored in Southwest Florida, including
- 62,000 in Sarasota County,
- 44,000 in Hillsborough County,
- 33,000 in Manatee County,
- 28,000 in Lee County,
- 14,000 in Collier County, and
- 12,000 in Charlotte County.
- For a full report on current outages, click here.
- 42,000 linemen from utilities across the state are working 24/7 to restore power.
- 125 Florida Highway Patrol Officers are transporting utility crews.
Health and Human Services
- To support hospitals in Lee County without potable water, Florida is shuttling 1.2 million gallons of water on 20 trucks from Lakeland to Fort Myers.
- AHCA has activated reporting in the Health Facility Reporting System (HFRS) and is requesting all health care providers report their census, available beds, evacuation status and generator status information. This information allows AHCA to assist health care providers in transferring patients if needed and ensure health care providers in impacted areas have the necessary resources and adequate power.
- Patient Movement Mission (DOH 4052) is activated. This mission is a combined by AHCA, along with FHA, FHCA, LeadingAge, Florida Senior Living and Florida Assisted Living Associations.
- This mission also supports the evacuation of nearly 8,000 patients and residents from more than 180 health care facilities.
- Nearly 400 ambulances, paratransit busses, and support vehicles are responding to areas of anticipated landfall.
- The Agency sent a Medicaid Provider Alert outlining Key Medicaid Information for Fee-For-Service and Managed Care Providers during Hurricane Ian, this can be found here.
- AHCA has activated the Emergency Patient Look-Up System (E-PLUS). Special needs shelters for 16 counties 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 State Surgeon General has signed a letter to allow staff of the Department and Agency for Health Care Administration to travel past curfews across state lines to conduct any necessary health and safety actions, this can be found here.
- AHCA has identified Home Medical Equipment providers that can assist with supplying oxygen supplies to Special Needs Shelters.
- The Agency partnered with Florida Health Care Association and Florida Hospital Association to initiate statewide calls with long term care facilities and hospitals.
- As of today, 100% of operating long-term care facilities have a generator on-site. The Generator Status Map for long-term care facilities is available here.
- Overnight, the state has been monitoring several healthcare facilities on generator power, two healthcare facilities are in the process of evacuating.
- 400 additional nurses are moving into southwest Florida to assist.
- 80 health care facilities have had power restored since the onset of the event and 319 facilities are currently waiting on power restoration.
- Secretary Simone Marstiller has signed Emergency Order 22-001 suspending statutes of rules pertaining to level 2 background screening made necessary by Hurricane Ian. This allows health care facilities to deploy out of state health care workers to the same roles in Florida during the emergency. This can be found here.
- APD is doing a preliminary damage assessment of all APD-licensed group homes in the affected areas.
- APD is reaching out to the Qualified Organizations in the impacted areas to ensure the health and safety of Waiver Support Coordinators and clients.
- APD is gathering unmet needs information from partner organizations and providers and working with the proper authorities to resolve the issues.
- DOEA CARES Assessors are being deployed to serve in special needs shelters as requested through the Emergency Operations Center.
- The Office of Public and Professional Guardians is checking in with public guardian offices to ensure wards are safe and needs are met.
- Local agencies are assessing needs and impacts on the senior population served by the Department.
- Agencies from unaffected areas are identifying staff that can be deployed to impacted areas.
- The Elder Helpline, 1-800-96-ELDER, is still active during business hours, and after hours/weekend calls are being returned the following business day. Seniors may call for assistance with non-emergency needs.
- The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas County is doing operational readiness checks to be able to reopen tomorrow.
- Senior Resource Alliance in Central Florida has initiated calls to senior clients in Brevard and Orange county to conduct welfare checks.
- Several thousand shelf stable meals will be delivered this weekend to Pasco and Pinellas county for seniors; currently assessing needs with SW Florida for additional meals.
- Alliance for Aging staff in Monroe county will be doing well checks on Friday for clients in the lower Keys area who were in flood zones.
- The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will close the following locations for in person and procedure appointments:
- C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center: Monday, September 26 through Thursday, September 29. This closure extends to the Emergency Department.
- North Pinellas and St. Petersburg VA Clinics: Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29.
- Sarasota, Bradenton, and Port Charlotte VA Clinics: Wednesday, September 28.
- The Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Port Charlotte is operational. Residents, staff and family members who sheltered in the home are safe and well. Hardened structure and roof are intact. The Veterans’ Home is operating on generator power.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced health care facility closures in Florida for Thursday, Sept. 29. For details, visit https://www.floridavets.org/news/.
- DOH has partnered with Volunteer Florida to develop an online portal for health care practitioners who wish to volunteer their expertise, skills, and experience in areas impacted by Hurricane Ian.
- DOH and AHCA’s Patient Movement Mission has evacuated roughly 8,246 patients from 201 health care facilities in areas of Hurricane Ian’s path. The Department continues to assess and support any additional necessary evacuations.
- Boil Water Notices have been issued for 16 areas, over 11 counties, following the impacts from Hurricane Ian. DOH continues to monitor and maintain a comprehensive statewide list of notices for residents to access online.
- The State Surgeon General signed Emergency Order 22-004 authorizing licensed health care professionals in good standing from out of state to practice in Florida for the duration of the EO. These professionals include: Physicians, Osteopathic Physicians, Physician Assistants, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, Paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians. In addition, the following licensed health care professionals are authorized to practice in Florida via Telehealth: Physicians, Osteopathic Physicians, Physician Assistants, and Advanced Practice Nurses. The EO can be found here.
- The State Surgeon General has signed Emergency Order 22-001 waiving statutory procurement requirements to ensure DOH is able to deploy necessary action due to Hurricane Ian. This can be found here.
- The State Surgeon General has signed a letter to allow staff of the Department and Agency for Health Care Administration to travel past curfews across state lines to conduct any necessary health and safety actions.
- DOH has coordinated with the Office of Insurance Regulation to distribute an alert regarding permitted early prescription refills during a State of Emergency. This alert was sent to health insurers, managed care organizations, health entities, and licensed health care providers. The alert can be found here.
- DOH has coordinated with Federal partners to support the deployment of nearly 100 individuals through various health and medical teams. These teams stand ready in Orlando, Atlanta, and Warner Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia.
- DOH continues to coordinate across 67 county health departments on any necessary preparation resources, in coordination with county emergency managers.
- The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has begun to conduct wellness checks on staff, youth and families in impacted areas, and where safe to do so, has begun to assess facilities for damage. DJJ will continue its post-storm recovery efforts which include the continued assessment of facilities for damage and post-storm clean-up.
- Most of I-75, outside Charlotte and Lee Counties, is open. Crews are working to re-open the rest of I-75.
- FDOT has dispatched 100 engineers working in teams of 2 to perform bridge inspections.
- Cut and Toss Crews are actively clearing roadways for search and rescue operations. Continue to listen to local law enforcement and county officials for potential detours.
- FDOT bridge inspectors are inspecting bridges. 197 bridges have been inspected as 11:30 am
o FDOT inspectors have cleared 66 priority bridges in the areas most affected by Hurricane Ian.
- FHP is assisting FDOT with bridge closures across impacted areas
- Current conditions are highly hazardous. Please stay off the roadways until it is confirmed to be safe for travel.
Turnpike Service Plaza Closures
Fort Drum Service Plaza – Reopened 9/29
Okahumpka Service Plaza- Reopened 9/29
Canoe Creek Service Plaza – closed
Turkey Lake Service Plaza – closed
Road and Bridges
Current Major Road and Bridge Closures. The list of closures as of 2:15 p.m. 9/29/22 is listed below. Up-to-date closures listed on FL511.com:
Richy Road Southbound at US-1 Southbound – All lanes closed
SR-72 East at SR-70 – All lanes closed
SR-100 Eastbound at N. Central Avenue – All lanes closed
SR-100 Eastbound at Robali Road
SR-64 at Parnell Road – All lanes closed, both directions
Pine Island Road Bridge
John Ringling Causeway
SR-64/Manatee Avenue East – All lanes closed
SR-684/Manatee Avenue West – All lanes closed
Florida’s Turnpike North at Exit 254: Orange Blossom Trail – On-ramp closed, all lanes closed
Florida’s Turnpike South at Exit 259: I-4 (Orlando) – On-ramp closed, all lanes closed
I-4 Express Lanes West at MM 79/I-4 West – All lanes closed
I-4 West at MM 77: Florida’s Turnpike – Off-ramp closed
S. Thornton Avenue at Thornton Lane – All lanes closed
SR-408 East at Exit 10B: SR-527/Orange Avenue – On-ramp closed
SR-417 Ramp to Exit 12: Turnpike Northbound – All lanes closed, both directions
SR-423/John Young Parkway (before & beyond SR-50) – All lanes closed, both directions
SR-436/Semoran Boulevard/Altamonte Drive East at Baldwin Park Street/Auvers Boulevard – Off-ramp closed, all lanes closed
SR-520 at SR-528 – Off-ramps closed, both directions
SR 527/Orange Ave/Rosalind Ave (before & beyond Gore Street) – Off-ramp closed, all lanes closed
SR 528 W at Exit 31: SR-520 – Off-ramp closed
SR-551/Goldenrod Road North at Nolton Way – Off-ramp closed, both directions
SR-551/Goldenrod Road North at Sun Vista Way – Off-ramp closed, all lanes closed
SR-552/Curry Ford Road East at Camelia Garden Drive – All lanes closed
US-441/Orange Blossom Trail North at Lancaster Road – All lanes closed
US-441/Orange Blossom Trail Ramp at Columbia Street – Off-ramp closed, both directions
I-4 West at MM 64/US-192 – On-ramp closed
I-4 East at MM 65/Osceola Parkway – On-ramp closed
I-4 East at MM 67/SR-536 – Off-ramp closed
John Ringling Causeway
SR-46 West at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/Rand Yard Road – All lanes closed
SR-46 East at Monroe/Upsala Road – All lanes closed
St. Johns County
Bridge of Lions
I-95 South at Exit 244/SR-442 – Off-ramp closed
Daytona Beach – Mason Avenue at Tower Street – All lanes closed
Daytona Beach – Main Street at S. Halifax Avenue – All lanes closed
Daytona Beach – East International Speedway Boulevard at North Beach Street – All lanes closed
Daytona Beach – East Orange Avenue at S. Beach Street – All lanes closed
Daytona Beach – Lytle Avenue at Palmetto Street – All lanes closed
New Smyrna Beach – North Causeway at Washington Street
Ormond Beach – Granada Boulevard at Halifax River – All lanes closed
- Ports that are currently closed:
o Port of St. Petersburg
o Seaport Manatee
o Port of Fort Pierce
o Port of Palm Beach
o Port Canaveral
o Port Fernandina
o Port of Key West
- Ports that are open:
o Port Tampa Bay
o Port Everglades
o Port Miami
o Port of Pensacola
o Port Panama City
o Port St. Joe
- Fuel Terminals:
o Port Everglades: Fuel terminals open. One vessel of 25,000 barrels expected today, 13 vessels are in route.
o Port Tampa Bay:
- 7 days of fuel in tanks
- Terminal operators working to get all fuel flowing as soon as possible and some are already starting deliveries today
- Waterside deliveries pending Coast Guard and Corps clearance for safe operations
o Port Manatee: Fuel terminal damage assessment currently being conducted. Port roads are clear
o Port Canaveral: Awaiting damage assessment
- Current status is listed below. While some facilities have scheduled closures, individual airlines may decide to cease flights earlier than that.
- Tampa International Airport will reopen Friday, September 30
- St.Pete/Clearwater International Airport – Closed
- Sarasota Bradenton International Airport- Emergency Operations Only
- Southwest Florida International Airport – Closed
- Punta Gorda Airport- Runway Clearing in Progress
- Orlando International Airport- Closing Emergency Operations Only
- Orlando Sanford International Airport- Emergency Operations Only
- Daytona Beach International Airport- Closed
- Gainesville Regional Airport- Operations suspended at 6:00 a.m. September 29
- Jacksonville International Airport- Closed
- Melbourne Orlando International Airport- Closed
- Northeast Florida Regional Airport- Emergency Operations Only
- North Perry Airport- Closed
Transit and Rail
- HART has re-opened and is operating Fare-free and on-demand until 11:00 pm, September 29.
- Palm Tran will resume on Friday, September 30.
- Jacksonville Transportation Authority- Will resume on Friday, September 30.
- Citrus County Service is Open
- There currently more than 20,000 people in shelters across the state.
- 295 truckloads of food and water are on their way into affected areas, including 40 truckloads of ice headed to Central Florida.
- Over 3.5 million meals and over 1.8 million gallons of bottled water are being deployed to impacted areas.
- DCF released $235,351,849 in early SNAP benefits to a household population of approximately 773,579 people at risk of impact for Hurricane Ian. More information can be found here: ACCESS Florida – Florida Department of Children and Families (myflfamilies.com)
- 34 licensed group homes have been evacuated across the state.
- DCF is hosting daily calls with Managing Entities and Community Based Care lead agencies to remain apprised of all storm updates.
- DCF is ensuring all Mental Health Treatment Facilities and methadone treatment programs are prepared for the storm.
- DCF is partnering with its community based care lead agencies to contact all caregivers/foster families with dependent children in their home to assess needs and ensure safety.
- Florida Housing Finance Corporation has updated its Disaster Relief webpage to provide families with information on housing resources and assistance. This webpage will continue to be updated as more information becomes available. Disaster Relief Resources and Information (floridahousing.org)
- Florida Housing has ensured that all current listings are up to date in the event that families need to quickly relocate at www.FloridaHousingSearch.org.
- Each SHIP office has an adopted disaster strategy that allows for assistance in the immediate aftermath of a declared disaster. Strategies may include temporary relocation and rental assistance, debris removal and short-term repairs to prevent further damage to the structure or to allow for occupancy until further repairs are made. Please contact your local office directly for more information: Local Government Information (floridahousing.org)
- FHP has deployed a mobile command center to the State Emergency Operations Centers and southwest Florida to provide enhanced communication capabilities and additional resources.
- More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are ready to assist with enhanced evacuation and response efforts.
- FHP has activated 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts for more than 700 Troopers across Florida gulf coast.
- FHP has deployed approximately 125 of the 330 identified Quick Response Force troopers to affected areas to aid search and rescue efforts..
- FHP is strategically utilizing high-water rescue vehicles to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
- FHP has strategically using its fixed-wing aircraft to monitor traffic routes and to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
- FHP has deployed its unmanned aerial vehicle teams to assist in search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
- FHP Regional Communications Centers are preparing to perform take-over services for other impacted FHP dispatch centers to ensure all state law enforcement officers continue to receive dispatch services.
- FHP is providing liaisons to affected county emergency operations centers.
- FHP encourages evacuating motorists to report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
- FLHSMV Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units are preparing to deploy to provide no-fee driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, and vessel registrations and titles to impacted individuals.
- 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.
- 78 FWC officers and 2 vehicle and vessel mechanics have deployed to the affected area with a full complement of four-wheel drive vehicles, vessels and response and recovery equipment and supplies.
- FWC officers are currently performing public safety and emergency response missions as assigned by the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Charlotte, Collier, Hardee and Lee Counties.
- 15 FWC Special Operations Group officers from the Northeast Region are currently performing public safety and emergency response missions as assigned by the SEOC in Charlotte, Collier, Hardee and Lee Counties.
- The FWC has deployed 1 mobile command trailer and 3 BERG units to provide communications and operational support to officers in the area while they respond to calls for assistance.
- Officers assigned to the Tampa Bay Region, North Central and Northeast Regions of Florida are currently performing public safety and emergency response missions as assigned by the SEOC in their local areas.
- 25 FWC officers from the Northwest Region are standing by to augment the first wave of response units, with additional four-wheel drive vehicles, vessels, UTVs, ATVs and other equipment.
- In addition to public safety missions, FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) teams are serving as reconnaissance units for the State EOC and reporting back on the damage.
- FWC Aviation Section is providing the EOC with aerial assistance, reconnaissance and post-storm damage assessments.
- FDLE regional support and logistics teams throughout the state are preparing to deploy personnel and equipment for a ready response to the aftermath of the storm. FDLE has started pre-staging equipment and mobile command posts at strategic locations. Teams with chainsaws, tarps, and other supplies are assembling.
Private Sector Support
- Partners including Walmart and Publix have indicated that they are constantly bringing additional supplies into the state to restock inventory.
- Publix has delivered more than 700 truckloads of water equal to almost a million cases, delivered more than 3 million pounds of ice, and is storing double inventory volumes. Prior to closing stores impacted by the storm, Publix donated perishable products to local police, firefighters, and emergency response teams, and also ensured that associates that work nearby and prepare these stores for the storm received donated product for themselves and their families. Publix associates have diligently taken care of their customers, communities, and each other.
- 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. Additionally, AT&T is deploying additional backup power to our wireline facilities and refueling generators as needed.
- Rosen Hotels and Resorts is activating their Florida Residents Distressed Rates to give Floridians a safe, affordable place to ride out Hurricane Ian. Evacuees can call 866-33-ROSEN (76736) to reserve a room.
- VISIT Florida has activated the Emergency Accommodations Portal at Expedia.com/Florida, which is updated with the latest information on available listings.
- Comcast has opened Xfinity WiFi hotspots in Central, North and Southwest Florida, and the Panhandle for Xfinity customers and non-customers to stay connected during and after the storm. Details are available at Florida.Comcast.com/2022/09/27/comcast-opens-free-xfinity-wifi-hotspot-network-as-hurricane-ian-approaches/.
- Lowe’s continues to have stores open in counties not directly impacted by Hurricane Ian to receive storm and recovery-related products, such as generators, water, gas cans, sand, plywood, batteries, flashlights, and other materials. Additionally, 30 fuel trucks are staged at Lowe’s store locations for re-entry after the storm. Lowe’s is leveraging its vast supply chain network to bring much-needed response product into the state.
- The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is getting the word out to lodging establishments to relax their pet policies and to share that there are still available hotels and other lodging available from Tallahassee to Pensacola and Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade.
- Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is in regular communication with seaport, rail, airport, fuel, and power providers to coordinate between public and private sector partners ensuring that assistance, goods, and services during and after the storm are being delivered.
- As families evacuate, UHaul is offering 30 days of free storage and U-Box container usage at 43 Florida locations. Find additional information at www.uhaul.com/about/ listed under “Top Stories.”
- Private-sector partner, Uber, is offering round-trip rides to and from Southwest Florida shelter locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Volusia, and Osceola counties listed at www.FloridaDisaster.org/PlanPrepare/Shelters. Riders can enter promotional code IANRELIEF in the app to redeem a free round-trip up to $30 each way. Rides must be requested to or from any state-approved evacuation shelter in Florida.
- DEO is updating www.FloridaDisaster.biz with real-time information for business owners to prepare their businesses, families, and employees for Hurricane Ian.
- DEO has alerted the statewide Community Action Agency (CAA) Network to initiate disaster preparedness activities following the Emergency Order.
- DEO’s Secretary Dane Eagle distributed a memo on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, releasing $1.4 million in Low-Income Home Energy Assistant Program (LIHEAP) set-aside emergency funding for use by LIHEAP providers across the state to support preparedness activities such as transportation and temporary housing to preserve health and safety.
- DEO’s Rebuild Florida team continues to monitor Hurricane Ian and is preparing to remobilize their disaster recovery efforts following a safe passage after the storm.
- CareerSource Florida is reaching out to assess needs at local workforce development board partners in counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. We will be working closely with our partners at DEO to support recovery efforts and help connect affected residents with temporary employment and other recovery assistance.
- The following local workforce development boards are temporarily closed due to Hurricane Ian:
- CareerSource Gulf Coast – Gulf and Bay Co. centers
- CareerSource North Florida – Live Oak, Mayo and Madison centers
- CareerSource Florida Crown – Dixie and Columbia centers
- CareerSource Northeast Florida
- CareerSource North Central Florida
- Careersource Citrus Levy Marion
- CareerSource Flagler Volusia
- CareerSource Central Florida
- CareerSource Brevard
- CareerSource Pinellas
- Careersource Tampa Bay
- Careersource Pasco Hernando
- CareerSource Polk
- CareerSource Suncoast
- CareerSource Heartland
- CareerSource Palm Beach County
- CareerSource South Florida
- CareerSource Southwest Florida
- VISIT FLORIDA has activated its Emergency Accommodations Module on Expedia to provide real-time hotel availability and lodging resources for impacted Floridians and visitors.
- VISIT FLORIDA is working with Expedia and their partners to encourage flexible pet policies and cancellation/change fees.
- 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.
- DEO’s Bureau of Economic Self-Sufficiency (BESS) team is actively engaging the Communication Action Agency (CAA) network executive leadership to assess their organization and staff safety status as well as county specific needs in their coverage areas.
- DEO’s Rebuild Florida team will perform updated damage assessments beginning next week for active Irma projects in an effort to evaluate any new or subsequent damage from Hurricane Ian. Construction crews may benefit from an authorization letter or passage approval in order to enter and resume construction in Hurricane Ian-impacted areas.
- Target is working quickly to ensure its team members are safe and is mobilizing its supply chain to fast-track critical supplies to Target stores. Target is also working with its team members, guests, and regional partners in the coming days to help ensure that all communities impacted by Hurricane Ian have the resources they need to support recovery and rebuilding.
- The Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles has implemented special discounted rates for Floridians needing accommodations in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The resort welcomes pets under 40 pounds, and as a condo hotel, offers kitchens and laundry facilities in all of their rooms. To book a reservation, please call 866-976-0383 or use the following link: https://bit.ly/3E4sV0o
- Charter Communications has opened Spectrum Out-of-Home WiFi access points in response to Hurricane Ian. Spectrum WiFi access points are typically found in public parks, marinas, city streets and other public areas. A map of access points is available at spectrum.com/internet/wifi-access-points.
- Anheuser-Busch has coordinated seven trucks – more than 360,000 cans – of emergency drinking water in response to Hurricane Ian.
- VISIT FLORIDA has activated its Emergency Accommodations Module on Expedia to provide real-time hotel availability and lodging resources for impacted Floridians and visitors.
- VISIT FLORIDA is working with expedia and their partners to encourage flexible pet policies and cancellation/change fees.
- The following businesses have committed to providing support for our first responders and volunteers.
- Firehouse Subs
- Burger King
- Chick-fil-A (waiting on a call back)
- 4 Rivers Smokehouse
- Anna Maria Oyster Bar
- Texas Roadhouse
- Bucees is also giving away meals and soft drinks to first responders on their way to the area at their Daytona location through October 2.
- 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.
Hurricane Ian Update of September 29, 2022, PM Update