Sen. Rick Scott Shares Updated Federal Resources Guide for Florida Families Recovering from Major Hurricane Ian

October 21, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott shared an update of actions he has taken over the last month in response to Hurricane Ian and issued an updated guide to federal resources available for Florida families and businesses working to recover from the devastation. This week, Senator Scott spoke with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to reiterate the critical need for his agency to approve the State of Florida’s request for a USDA disaster declaration and get much needed resources to Florida’s farmers. He also again spoke with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman to discuss the ongoing federal response to Hurricane Ian. Senator Scott continues visiting and speaking with mayors, law enforcement, community, faith and business leaders, utilities and federal officials to ensure Florida’s families and communities are getting every resource needed to recover from Ian.


In preparation for and response to Hurricane Ian, Senator Scott has taken the following actions to assist Floridians: 


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.


How You Can Help:
Learn how you can help Floridians recover from Hurricane Ian by visiting the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster HERE and Volunteer Florida 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 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.


If your policy has expired, you may be able to reinstate it if your renewal date was between Aug. 25, 2022, and Oct. 23, 2022.  Policyholders whose NFIP policy renewal date is within this range should contact their agent or insurance company. The NFIP has extended the proof of loss requirement for policyholders who experienced flood damage from Hurricane Ian from the standard 60 days to 365 days from the date of loss. For questions about NFIP, call 800-759-8656 or visit


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. 
Disaster Recovery Centers

Survivors can visit one of 17 Disaster Recovery Centers. Disaster Recovery Centers provide disaster survivors with information from Florida state agencies, FEMA, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Survivors can get help applying for federal assistance and disaster loans, update applications and learn about other resources available. Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Brevard, Okeechobee Counties

The State of Florida and FEMA have opened two additional Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Brevard and Okeechobee counties.



Cuyler Park Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims, FL 32754

Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.




Okeechobee County Library, 206 SW 16th St., Okeechobee, FL 34974

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.


Disaster Recovery Centers provide disaster survivors with information from Florida state agencies, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Survivors can get help applying for federal assistance and disaster loans, update applications and learn about other resources available.


Other centers are operating in the following locations, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week unless otherwise noted.



Tringali Rec Center, 3450 N Access Rd., Englewood, FL  34224

Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.



Veterans Community Park, 1895 Veterans Park Dr., Naples, FL 34109



DeSoto Library: 125 N Hillsborough Ave., Arcadia, Fl 34266

Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.



Wauchula Civic Center, 515 Civic Center Dr., Wauchula, FL 33873



Highlands County Extension Office, 4509 George Blvd., Sebring, FL 33875



First Baptist Church of Astor Lake County, 24731 Ann St., Astor, FL 32102



Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Rd., Fort Myers, FL 33919

Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.



Fort Myers DMS Building, 2295 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers, FL 33901

Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.



Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32808



Hart Memorial Central Library, 211 E. Dakin Ave., Kissimmee, FL 34741



W.H. Stuart Center, 1702 S. Holland Pkwy., Bartow, FL 33830



Shannon Staub Public Library, 4675 Career La., North Port, FL 34289



Seminole State College - Barbara Miller Automotive Center, 100 Weldon Blvd., Sanford, FL 32773



Wind Mitigation Building, 3111 Agricultural Center Dr., St. Augustine, FL 32092



Volusia County Health Department, 1845 Holsonback Dr., Daytona Beach, FL 32117


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


Reemployment Assistance 
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.


Transitional Sheltering Assistance

The state of Florida and FEMA have activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program for Hurricane Ian survivors in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. Survivors from these counties who have applied for disaster assistance may be eligible to shelter in a hotel or motel paid for by FEMA. Survivors will be notified of their eligibility through a phone call, text message and/or email from FEMA.


Critical Needs Assistance

FEMA may provide financial assistance to applicants who have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are lifesaving and life-sustaining items, including water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation. This assistance is available for applicants with primary residences in the 26 counties designated for Individual Assistance.


Operation Blue Roof, Temporary Roof Repair

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in coordination with FEMA, may be able to assist eligible homeowners with temporary roof repairs. Operation Blue Roof is a free service to homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Lee, and Sarasota counties. Homeowners can sign up online at or call 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information.


Public Assistance

Orange and Osceola counties are now eligible for FEMA Public Assistance for the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities. Other counties include: Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, Volusia. Learn more HERE and HERE.


Individual Assistance

  • FEMA has made individual assistance available to 26 counties in Florida. Residents in 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 counties are eligible to apply for Individual Assistance.


Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that low-income Florida residents recovering from Hurricane Ian could be eligible for assistance from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Details on Florida’s D-SNAP program will be available at the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery website. D-SNAP sites will be posted on the website as they become available.


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.


SBA Business Recovery Centers


Long-term, low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and other sources. Apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Business Recovery Center are operating in impacted areas.

  • Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center, 1907 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, FL 33610

o   Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • SWFL, Inc Office, 25071 Chamber of Commerce Dr., Bonita Springs, FL 34135

o   Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • The Naples Players at Sugden Community Theatre, 701 5th Ave. South, Naples, FL 34102

o   Hours: Monday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Sanford Welcome Center, 230 E 1st St., Sanford, FL 32771

o   Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral, 360 Santa Barbara Blvd. S., Cape Coral FL 33991

o   Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Closed: Friday, Saturday and Sunday


Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program:

At the state level, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan (EBL) Program. The loan program provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses who experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Ian. Loans approved through the Emergency Bridge Loan Program are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer term recovery funding, such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims, or other resources.


Eligible small businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program. Businesses must also be located in Florida, have been established prior to September 24, 2022, be located in an eligible county, must have been economically or physically damaged by Hurricane Ian, have a credit score of 600 or above, and must have repaid all outstanding EBLs. Visit to learn more about the program, as well as to view the lending guidelines and required documentation and to complete an application by the December 2, 2022, deadline. 


Florida Department of Economic Opportunity 
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website 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.


Additional Resources:

  • 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.
  • 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.  


Helpful Reminders:

  • 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 who were impacted by the storm to continue following guidance from their 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 response and recovery from FEMA at and from the Florida Division of Emergency Management at or @FLSERT on Twitter.