WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott shared actions he has taken over the last week in preparation for and response to Hurricane Ian as well as the following guide to federal resources available for Florida families and businesses now working to recover from the devastation. Senator Scott continues speaking with mayors, law enforcement, business and community leaders, utilities and federal officials to ensure Florida’s families and communities are getting every resource needed to respond to and recover from Ian.
In preparation for and response to Hurricane Ian, Senator Scott has taken the following actions to assist Floridians:
- October 1, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Impacted Communities and Osceola County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- October 1, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio’s Request Expediting Major Disaster Declaration for the Seminole Tribe of Florida Approved by President Biden
- October 1, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Lee County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio Urge Senate Appropriators to Provide Assistance for Florida's Recovery from Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott Sets Record Straight on Misleading Liberal Attacks
- September 29, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott: I’m Fighting to Quickly Deploy Every Federal Resource Needed to Florida
- September 28, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio Lead Colleagues Urging Biden to Approve Hurricane Ian Major Disaster Declaration
- September 27, 2022: PHOTO & VIDEO RELEASE: SEN. RICK SCOTT: HURRICANE IAN IS DEADLY, HEED EVACUATION ORDERS NOW
- September 26, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Collier County Emergency Operations Center Ahead of Ian Landfall
- September 26, 2022: SEN. RICK SCOTT RECEIVES BRIEFING ON HURRICANE IAN AT NHC, URGES FLORIDIANS TO STAY ALERT & FOLLOW EVACUATION ORDERS
- September 24, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio Urge Biden to Approve Florida's Pre-Landfall Emergency Declaration Request Ahead of Ian
- September 23, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott: Floridians Should get Prepared NOW for Potential Impacts from a Major Hurricane
Helpful Resources for Individuals:
Emergency Service Request:
Provide critical information to first responders to help locate and rescue survivors of Hurricane Ian. This information can help first responders address the needs of impacted households as quickly as possible. Learn more HERE.
Other Helpful Resources for Individuals:
Stay up-to-date with information from your local Emergency Management officials. Find information relating to your county HERE. You may want to also contact the Florida State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) at 1-800-342-3557. Impacted Floridians should not return home until the area is declared to be safe by local officials. Read more from FEMA about returning home HERE.
FEMA’s role is to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters. Find information specific to Hurricane Ian, including which counties are eligible, on FEMA’s website HERE, by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (800-621-3362), or registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
For information regarding FEMA Inspector and Fraud Notices, learn more HERE.
National Flood Insurance Program
Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders are encouraged to apply for FEMA disaster assistance in addition to their flood insurance claim.
Policyholders impacted by Hurricane Ian are encouraged to contact their insurance agents as soon as possible for more information about filing a claim. Get more details about filing a claim HERE or reach NFIP assistance directly HERE or by calling 1-877-336-2627.
Once starting a claim, FEMA suggests documenting all damage, including photos and videos, recording serial numbers and securing receipts. FEMA also recommends policyholders should take steps to stop the spread of mold if safe to do so.
Citizens Property Insurance
Citizens Property Insurance is urging policyholders to contact them as soon as possible in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Citizens representatives can be reached online HERE or by calling 1-866-411-2742.
Additionally, Citizens is warning policyholders to be wary of unlicensed contractors and “deals that sound too good to be true.” Policyholders are discouraged from signing anything before consulting with an insurance agent. Citizens policyholders can report suspected fraud online HERE or by calling 1-855-748-9596.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also offers disaster recovery assistance following Presidentially declared disasters. Read more from HUD HERE.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may be available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian.
Individuals must file for state Reemployment Assistance benefits before filing for DUA. During the application, claimants should indicate they have been impacted by the disaster. Learn more HERE. Apply HERE.
Helpful Resources for Businesses:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Eligible counties include those in the federal Disaster Declaration, as well as the contiguous counties. Learn more HERE.
For information on tax relief in disaster situations from the IRS, click HERE.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website floridadisaster.biz provides information about preparing, responding to and recovering from a disaster. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in response to Hurricane Ian. Survey responses will allow the state to expedite Hurricane Ian recovery efforts by gathering data and assessing the needs of affected businesses.
- Food and Water. As information becomes available, Floridians in need of food and water can find a nearby point of distribution location HERE. Storms can affect public water treatment plants, water lines and private wells - citizens affected by the storms must err on the side of caution until their water is tested. Learn about Boil Water Notices from the Florida Department of Health HERE.
- Operation Blue Roof. Once activated, homeowners, or renters with legal permission, whose homes have no more than 50 percent of the roof framing damaged can qualify. Residents are encouraged to sign up, check status, and cancel their applications through the online portal HERE, which can take 5 minutes or less. Residents can also call 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258), 8am-8pm EST, for assistance of a live operator, which may take up to 20 minutes.
- Medications. Early prescription refills are permitted during a state-declared State of Emergency. Learn more from the Florida Department of Health HERE.
- Shelter. Shelters are currently open and available and locations can be found HERE, or through the American Red Cross HERE, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
- Mental Health Resources. You are not alone. If you are in need of support through any disaster, crisis or circumstance, please reach out. Florida 211 connects individuals to local helpline call centers that have crisis counselors for disaster recovery and can provide information on access to local resources such as housing, food and health care. Connect by phone 24/7 by dialing: 2-1-1.
Also, the Disaster Distress Helpline is a national helpline that provides crisis support services for individuals in emotional distress that are impacted by disaster. Connect by phone 24/7 by calling or texting 1-800-985-5990.
- Price Gouging Hotline. Florida Attorney General Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains open for Floridians statewide to report instances of severe price increases on essential commodities needed to prepare for the storm. Florida’s price gouging law only applies to commodities and services essential to preparing for, or recovering from, a storm during a declared state of emergency. If you feel you have been a victim of price gouging, report online HERE, by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM, or by downloading the NO SCAM app.
- Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators, or while removing debris. Never use generators indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
- Wear sturdy shoes or boots when walking on, or near, debris. Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling debris.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing, use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris, and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet while working with someone else. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled, even if they do not have an allergy to mold.
- When clearing debris from a property, know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
- Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
- Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water and other hidden hazards.
- Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
The following Twitter accounts, along with your local Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, and County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), may be helpful for up-to-date information and resources on Hurricane Ian.
See Senator Scott's Hurricane Information webpage HERE. Senator Scott urges Floridians impacted by the storm to follow guidance from local officials. Stay up-to-date with information from your local Emergency Management officials. Impacted Floridians should not return home until the area is declared to be safe by local officials. Read more from FEMA about returning home HERE. See the latest on Hurricane Ian from the National Hurricane Center at nhc.noaa.gov or @NHC_Atlantic on Twitter, and from the Florida Division of Emergency Management at floridadisaster.org or @FLSERT on Twitter.