HURRICANE HELP: Local resources for storm recovery

Published: October 3, 2022 11:31 AM EDT
Updated: October 12, 2022 1:16 PM EDT

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS 

The School District of Lee County is opening temporary satellite Student Enrollment offices Thursday and Friday to help families displaced by Hurricane Ian. Displaced or relocated families will have the opportunity to re-enroll their students into a new school that better meets their current needs.  The satellite offices will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or until the last person in line receives assistance.  

Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell and Punta Gorda Police Department Chief Pam Davis announced the curfew currently in place will be lifted at 6 a.m. Thursday.

The Tom Adams Bridge and South Gulf Cove Lock in Charlotte County are both fully operational. The Tom Adams Bridge is staffed 24 hours daily and the South Gulf Cove Lock is staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.  

Lee County offices and operations will reopened Wednesday, although some locations remain unavailable for typical operation due to storm damage or use as a recovery site. Most county business offices will be open at their regular locations. However, the Department of Community Development continues to operate its permitting office 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Lee County Administration Building, 2115 Second St., Fort Myers, which is about two blocks from the regular location.

Libraries

The following libraries will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday and be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday:

  • Bonita Springs Public Library, 10560 Reynolds St., Bonita Springs
  • Cape Coral Public Library, 921 SW 39th Terrace, Cape Coral
  • East County Regional Library, 881 Gunnery Road N., Lehigh Acres
  • North Fort Myers Public Library, 2001 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers
  • South County Regional Library, 21100 Three Oaks Parkway, Estero
  • Talking Books Library, 1651 Lee St., Fort Myers

Also resuming service will be the Telephone and Virtual Reference department which can be reached at 479-4636 or via live chat, email, and text service. Visit Leelibrary.net/help for contact information.

Services include wi-fi, computer access, mobile printing and curbside holds pickup. Due dates have been extended until Nov. 15. Exterior book drops will be available at open locations only.

These libraries remain closed at this time: the Johann Fuest Community Library in Boca Grande, Captiva Memorial Library, Dunbar Jupiter Hammon Library, Fort Myers Regional Library, Lakes Regional Library, Northwest Regional Library and the Pine Island Public Library.

Parks & Recreation

Lee County Parks & Recreation staff have completed initial assessments of locations and are now beginning to remediate and repair damage. Park opening and closings may be intermittent and some areas within the parks may open while other areas may remain closed. Please use caution and avoid any areas marked off with tape.

Recreation centers remain closed.

 Beaches

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH-Lee) has issued a county-wide precautionary swim advisory for all public beaches and swimming pools and advising the public not to enter the water due to the possible increase of waterborne illnesses.

The water quality has been affected by Hurricane Ian and at this time, swimming is not recommended.

A significant amount of debris remains on area beaches, including debris buried under shallow sand and not immediately visible. It may be extremely dangerous. Recreational visits to area beaches are not recommended.

 Boat ramps

All Lee County Parks & Recreation boat ramps remain closed until further notice as the facilities and surrounding waterways are assessed. Recreational boaters are strongly advised to avoid this area due to potentially unsafe conditions.

The U.S. Coast Guard offers the following information for boaters:

  • Boaters are asked to stay off the water unless you are playing a critical role in the response. This is not a time for disaster sightseeing. Responders are actively engaged in restoring our waterways and maritime infrastructure. You can help by steering clear.
  • Normal transit routes may be hazardous. Buoys, dayboards and other aids to navigation may be out of place and shifted by the hurricane. Water depths may be shallower than charted due to shifting sands and shoals. If you encounter a buoy or navigational marker missing or out of place, report it to Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg at 727-824-7506, or utilize the Coast Guard app, available for download for iOS or Android users.
  • The Coast Guard is working diligently to assess pollution threats in the maritime environment including oil spills and hazardous material releases that resulted from Hurricane Ian. We ask the public report observations of oil spills and hazardous material releases to the National Response Center (NRC) at 1-800-424-8802. Residents are asked to not make duplicate reports to the NR

• The curfew for the city of Cape Coral was lifted Tuesday.

• The curfew for the city of Fort Myers was lifted Tuesday, according to the Fort Myers Police Department. 

• Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis announced a toy drive for children impacted by Hurricane Ian. The state is partnering with faith-based institutions and nonprofits in impacted counties to collect and deliver toys to the state’s Disaster Recovery Centers. Anyone looking to donate a toy can find a list of sites where they can be dropped off or mailed in at by clicking here. All toy donations must be new and unwrapped. Lee County’s drop-off location is at Next Level Church, 12400 Plantation Road, in Fort Myers, and Charlotte County’s is at Murdock Baptist Church, 18375 Cochran Blvd., in Port Charlotte. 

• Tide Loads of Hope Mobile Laundry Units, powered by Matthew 25: Ministries, will begin services from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Walmart Supercenter, 545 Pine Island Rd., in North Fort Myers, providing free, full-service laundry to residents affected by the recent floods caused by Hurricane Ian. Residents can bring clothes, up to two loads per household, to be washed, dried and folded free of charge. All washable clothing types will be accepted, with the exception of heavy bedding. The units will also distribute free personal care kits with everyday essentials as well as cleaning products to meet basic hygiene and home care needs directly into the affected areas of those impacted by the disaster. 

• Due to both public and private damage generated by Hurricane Ian, unincorporated Lee County is temporarily altering routine construction permitting and inspections for rebuilding.

Damage assessment:

  • Unincorporated Lee County, following the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements, has the responsibility to determine “substantial damage” and “substantial improvement,” and has implemented the procedures to do so.
    • Substantial damage is defined as damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its “before damage” condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure. (Note: The cost of the repairs must include all costs necessary to fully repair the structure to its “before damage” condition.)
    • Substantial improvement is defined as any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure (before any improvements are performed).
    • Historic structures may be exempt from these requirements if the compliance would threaten the structure’s continued eligibility for historic designation.
  • These laws are required by the NFIP to protect lives and investment from future flood damages. The county must enforce these laws in order for federally-backed flood insurance to be made available to Unincorporated Lee County residents and property owners.

FEMA 50% rule:

  • This is in effect and will be enforced during review.

Permitting: Phase II of the Disaster Recovery procedures extends permitting, review and inspection services to all record types regardless of damage, while ensuring those with hurricane damage are given priority.

Please review the Phase II Disaster Recovery Permitting Requirements and the Guides and Forms webpage for information about Permitting Requirements by record type.

  1. Work not requiring a permit:
    • Removal of debris from on or inside a structure
    • Minor demolition to prevent injury or prevent further damage to buildings
    • Structural shoring and bracing
    • Replacement of broken glass within existing framing for windows and doors
    • Repair/Replacement of soffit and gutters
    • Roof Shingle replacement of one square of shingles (10-foot by 10-foot area, or less)
    • Minor non-structural repairs made to the exterior of structures
    • Repair of minor water leaks that do not involve structural, mechanical or electrical systems
    • Previously permitted fences destroyed due to the storm may be re-installed, like for like, in the exact same location
  1. Minor damage
  • Permits for minor damage, consisting of roof covering, screen enclosures, wood decks, doors, windows and other non-structural components may be obtained upon the submission of an itemized list from the contractor or owner-builder stating the items to be repaired, with an accurate cost estimate of the repairs. It will be the responsibility of the owner-builder or contractor to request the required inspections from the Lee County Inspections Office at 239-533-8997 or use an approved architect or engineer to perform the inspections and provide inspection reports to the Lee County Building Inspections Office.
  1. Major damage
    • Permits for minimal structural components such as damaged glass rooms, trusses on single family houses, cladding (roof and wall sheathing) and non-structural components, including mechanical (air conditioning), electrical and insulation, may be issued to a contractor or owner-builder upon submission of an itemized list signed and sealed by an approved architect or engineer.
    • Considered Substantial Damage per FEMA guidelines, requiring a more complex permit review process described here: www.leegov.com/dcd/flood/building/improvements.  
  1. Major structural damage
  • Permits for collapsed roofing systems, destroyed walls, foundation damage, damage to beams and other major structural components, will only be issued upon submission of detailed construction drawings prepared and sealed by an approved architect or engineer.
  • Considered Substantial Damage per FEMA guidelines, requiring a more complex permit review process described here: www.leegov.com/dcd/flood/building/improvements.

Expired permits/permits due to expire:

  • Existing permitting records (all record types) that have an expiration date of Sept. 26 through Oct. 31, 2022, will be auto-extended, with a new expiration date of Nov. 1, 2022 and is subject to further extension. 

Inspections:

  • All inspection requests are being accepted at this time, with priority being given to hurricane related repairs.
  • It will be the responsibility of the contractor or owner-builder to request the required inspections, based on the approved scope of work. The use of an approved private provider inspection firm to perform the necessary inspections and provide inspection reports to the Lee County Building Inspections Office is acceptable. Email [email protected].
  • Inspections can be scheduled via eConnect/ACA or by phone at 239-533-8997.
  • Inspections must be scheduled by 5 p.m. for next business day inspections. Lee County is temporarily suspending same-day inspection scheduling.

Tips for rebuilding:

  • Homeowners may perform their own repairs per state statute 489.103.
  • Anyone hired to do repairs for the homeowner must be a properly licensed contractor. The homeowner should visit the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website at www.myfloridalicense.com or contact the Lee County Contractor Licensing Office at [email protected], to assure the contractor is properly licensed to perform the work being requested.
  • Getting a permit for permanent repairs will help prevent post-storm scams and price-gouging. Your community’s permitting process can help ensure that repairmen are licensed and performing repairs to code.

• Lee County announced designated parking and a shuttle for residents seeking Hurricane Ian assistance at the centers located at Lakes Regional Library. A LeeTran shuttle will run from the Kelly Road Soccer Complex, 10750 Kelly Road in Fort Myers, to the library site, which houses the Multi-Agency Resource Center and the Disaster Recovery Center. The shuttle is free and will run continuously, beginning at 8 a.m. daily. A second Disaster Recovery Center is open at 2295 Victoria Ave., just south of Martin Luther King Boulevard near downtown Fort Myers. Lines and wait time at this site are minimal. Street parking is available. 

• Lee County government and its public-safety partners announced search-and-rescue efforts shifted to search-and-recovery operations on Sunday. This means that the 11 federal and six state Urban Search and Rescue teams deployed to Lee County immediately following Hurricane Ian will be demobilizing during the next few days. Local public safety agencies will shift operations to recovery of human remains. The public should not enter unsafe hurricane-damaged structures, particularly in hard-hit areas of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, portions of Cape Coral and additional coastal areas. Law enforcement requests that anyone who encounters human remains leave them as they are and immediately call 9-1-1. Distant friends and family who still are searching for loved ones they have lost contact with can use the Emergency Services Request Form from the Florida Division of Emergency Management to request help. Local residents also can use the form to ask for help, by clicking here.  

Lee County rescinded the countywide curfew put in place immediately following Hurricane Ian. A curfew remains in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily on Pine Island and Captiva. Individual municipalities may have curfews still in place.

• A Boil Water Notice is still in place for Lee County, and will continue until further notice.

Lee County is consolidating its shelter operations to adjust for the shelter population. The remaining shelters still have space for people in need. The shelters remaining open are the Estero Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., and Hertz Arena, 1100 Everblades Parkway, in Estero. The residents staying at the South Fort Myers High School shelter will be relocated to the Estero Recreation Center. Evacuees will have the option of moving using their own vehicles or LeeTran shuttles.

The Charlotte County Emergency Management Operations Call Center is continuing to operate with new hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For Hurricane Ian information, call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000 or 941-743-1320.

Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers will resume full operations Tuesday. Concessions will have limited food and beverage and other items may be in short supply. Although restrooms will be open, there will be no drinking water available in the terminal until the boil water notice in our area has been lifted. 

The Fort Myers Yacht Basin was deemed unsafe and uninhabitable by city of Fort Myers building officials and was closed until safe conditions are returned to the facility, city officials said. At this time, approximately 40 residents are believed to have returned to the basin. All residents were notified regarding the closure. The electrical system throughout the facility is severely damaged with lines exposed and power systems are in the water, according to city officials. The electrical meter panel ripped off the external wall of the building structure. The entire electrical system requires the immediate attention of a specialized electrical contractor/engineer to determine the magnitude of commanded repairs. In addition, the fire department reports it cannot access resources necessary to fight a fire, rendering the liveaboards without essential fire protection. Other damages include the failure of the pump system, destroyed docks, distressed boats and extensive flooding of the office/store building. 

• Cape Coral has issued a temporary burn ban to limit fire hazards within the city. The measure prohibits recreational and city-permitted burns and includes burning vegetative debris left behind by Hurricane Ian. Fires solely for cooking purposes where the fire, flames and heat generated are contained within the device being used are permitted. The burn ban will remain in effect until the conditions of recovery from Hurricane Ian improve. The Cape Coral Fire Department also posted a warning to homeowners to turn off the main breaker to their home before power is restored.

• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activated Operation Blue Roof to provide temporary blue tarp-like covering to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made. This service is free to homeowners in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Lee and Sarasota counties, and the initial sign-up period lasts until Oct. 23. Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm. Homes eligible for Operation Blue Roof include primary residences or a permanently occupied rental property with less than 50% structural damage, excluding vacation rental properties. All storm debris must be removed for the roof to qualify. Roofs that are flat, metal, clay, slate, or asbestos tile do not qualify.

Cape Coral City Hall reopened for regular business hours.

• LeeTran reintroduced limited, modified bus services on Friday, with core North/South, East/West routes that will service major LeeTran transfer hubs. These routes include the 10, 30, 50, 60, 70, 100, 120, 140, 240,110/515 (interlined route). Bus fares will be waived during this modified service until further notice. Riders should not use the mobile app as it will not display accurate information until regular service resumes. Customer Service at Rosa Parks and LeeTran Headquarters reopened on Friday. Some stops may be missed due to road closures, obstructions or safety issues. Routes may be delayed. 

Details about temporary service for the available routes are:

  • Route 10 will run between Rosa Parks Transportation Center and the Edison Mall while traveling east on Edison Avenue with approximately an 80-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The route will not travel its usual path on Veronica Shoemaker Boulevard due to road closure.
  • Route 30 will run between the Bell Tower Shops and the Cape Coral Transfer Center as well as the Camelot Isles Shopping Center with approximately a 120-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Route 50 will travel between RSW and the Fort Myers Beach Park & Ride via the Bell Tower Shops with approximately a 140-minute frequency from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Route 60 will travel between US 41 @ Constitution in San Carlos Park and FGCU via Gulf Coast Town Center with approximately an 85-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Route 70 will travel between the Rosa Parks Transportation Center and the Cape Coral Transfer Center via Del Prado Boulevard with approximately a 120-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Route 100 will travel between the Rosa Parks Transportation Center and Riverdale via Palm Beach Boulevard with approximately a 90-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Route 120 will travel between the Edison Mall and Cape Coral Transfer Center as well as Camelot the Isles Shopping Center with approximately an 80-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Route 140 will run its Sunday schedule which includes the route 240 along US 41. The route travels between Merchants Crossing in North Fort Myers and Coconut Point Mall in Estero with stops at the Rosa Parks and Edison Mall, with approximately a 60-minute frequency from 7:30 a.m. – 6:10 p.m.
  • Routes 110/515 will travel between the Edison Mall and Lehigh Acres (Joel & 12th Street) including the Homestead Road area with approximately an 90-minute frequency 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

LeeTran also reintroduced limited, ADA Paratransit service beginning Friday. Service will be available only for the fulfillment of life-sustaining transportation needs such as medical, pharmacy and grocery trips. Service will be available from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until further notice. To make a reservation, please call 239-533-0300.

• Residents of Bonita Springs who want to file insurance claims or to request FEMA assistance online may go to the courtyard area outside the Bonita Springs Public Library, 10560 Reynolds St., and log on to the Lee County Guest Wi-Fi. No password is required. Users simply need to agree to the terms of service to log on. Service may be intermittent at times. Residents previously reported that a reliable connection was difficult to find. Comcast/Xfinity is also working to establish Wi-Fi hotspots in the area.

Florida Licensing on Wheels’ mobile location is providing residents with no-fee replacement driver licenses, identification cards and titles. FLOW is at Port Charlotte Town Center Mall, 1441 Tamiami Trail, and will operate 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will operate seven days a week.

Southland Trail, Hickory Bluff, Lt. Carl A. Bailey and Indian Spring cemeteries in Charlotte County are closed to the public until further notice.

• All Lee County Parks & Recreation boat ramps remain closed until further notice as the facilities and surrounding waterways are assessed.

• The city of Cape Coral opened a hygiene station at Cape Coral Technical College, 360 Santa Barbara Blvd. N. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Residents must bring their own shower supplies, toiletries and towels. Charging and cooling stations are also available. Laundry services are on-site where residents can drop off laundry and be notified when it’s ready for pickup.

• The city of Sanibel has expanded its policy about access to the island to include insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters must provide a state insurance adjuster license and proof of each assigned Sanibel claim to the adjuster, including the name of insured, insured’s address and claim number. This information should be emailed to [email protected]. Upon processing the request, an email notification will be provided to the requestor, indicating either a Sanibel hurricane reentry pass is available for pickup, with proper government ID, at the temporary Sanibel City Hall, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive in Fort Myers; or the request was rejected for specified reasons. Upon pickup of the Sanibel reentry pass, the adjuster will be authorized to travel under their own power and at their own risk to the assigned properties, so long as they have in their possession, and produce upon request, their Sanibel reentry pass. If an adjuster is assigned new Sanibel claims, the adjuster must provide the same claim-related information as initially required, prior to the adjuster accessing those newly assigned properties. Those notifications should also be provided via email to andrea[email protected] 

The Village of Estero online permitting system is operational, with emergency permitting available. Building repairs not requiring a permit include screen replacement and window or door glass replacement. Structural components of a lanai require a permit as do entire window or door frame replacement. Roof repairs, drywall replacement over 100 square feet, all structural components and fence replacement require a permit. For all work done on an emergency basis that normally requires a permit, applications should be made within 24 hours of the commencement of repairs, if possible. 

• Following the impacts of Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of Financial Services deployed two Initial Payment Centers in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte, where insurance carriers will be on hand to assist residents with the insurance claims process. The Port Charlotte Initial Payment Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Port Charlotte Town Center parking lot, 1441 Tamiami Trail, and the Fort Myers Initial Payment Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road. The Fort Myers Initial Payment Center is part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Disaster Recovery Center, which is a one-stop-shop and collocated with more than 10 agencies to provide services to individuals and businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian. Initial Payment Centers allow policyholders to meet directly with their insurance companies to file claims, and for the insurance companies to issue checks to Floridians impacted by the storm. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, insurance carriers will focus on the immediate needs of policy holders by providing resources for specific items including living expenses. Policyholders should bring as much documentation as they can, including a driver’s license or other forms of identification, insurance cards and insurance policy information/documentation, pictures or documentation of property being claimed as a loss resulting from Hurricane Ian and any additional insurance-related information that is readily accessible.

• The city of Sanibel began allowing reentry Wednesday for residents to the island post-Hurricane Ian. Those who wish to travel to, from or about the island must do so with their own resources and at their own risk. The boat ramps at Punta Rassa and Port Comfort are not available for launch. Individuals. The Sanibel Boat Ramp and the ramp within the Ding Darling preserve (Tarpon Bay Explorers) are not available for landing and debarking. There is no ground transportation on the island. Private barges may not access the island at this time, unless explicitly authorized by the city manager. No motorized equipment or generators are permitted on island at this time. A curfew is in effect 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. 

Residents must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass or a valid Florida driver’s license showing a Sanibel address. Sanibel residents who do not have a Hurricane reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, in Fort Myers. Business Owners must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass (commercial). Sanibel business owners that do not have a Hurricane Reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall. A valid 2022 or 2023 Sanibel Business Tax Receipt must be presented to receive a pass. 

Charlotte County Utilities Department is temporarily suspending late fees and water shut-offs for non-payment until further notice.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced work search reporting, waiting week and Employ Florida registration requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian in FEMA disaster-declared counties. By waiving these requirements, eligible Floridians will be able to quickly apply and receive reemployment assistance and disaster unemployment assistance benefits. Additionally, Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to state businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian and are not eligible for regular state or Federal Reemployment Assistance benefits. To file a claim, click here, visit a local CareerSource Career Center or call 1-800-385-3920.

The Florida Department of Health in Collier County advises residents living in homes with private wells affected by flood waters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink. Drink only commercially bottled, both boiled and cooled, or water disinfected by another approved method until your water supply is tested and deemed safe. Use commercially bottled water for mixing baby formula.

To be safe, you can disinfect tap water using the procedures below. Do not rely on unverified methods for decontaminating water. If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paper towel or coffee filter. This will help the disinfection process. If you have any extra water, put it in containers that were properly disinfected.

• Page Field in Fort Myers opened to general aviation traffic. The hours of operation are  be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., which is the same time the air traffic control tower will be staffed, until further notice. Base Operations at Page Field reopened with reduced hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. No after-hours FBO service will be offered at this time, with the exception of government, medical service and humanitarian aid operations. Self-serve 100LL fueling is available on the Southeast Ramp. 

• Lee County opened an Emergency Building and Well Repair Permitting operation post-Hurricane Ian  at the Department of Community Development building in downtown Fort Myers. Unincorporated Lee County open limited Emergency Building and Well Repair Permitting Services. The temporary permitting office is set up at 2115 Second St. on the first floor. For building permits, hours and dates will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. For well-repair permits, hours and days will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice. Permitting is limited to repairs to existing habitable buildings and repair to wells due to Hurricane Ian. Permit applications must be storm related. Lee County is working to expedite permits for most types of work. Permit fees will be waived until further notice. A specific landing page has been set up for more information here. Contractors, who typically file for permits online, are asked to continue to use that process. This emergency operation is intended for homeowners.

• Allegiant’s flight operations resumed at Punta Gorda Airport.

• Collier County parks and libraries are open.

• Collier County curfew is midnight to 6 a.m. 

• City of Naples curfew is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

• Charlotte County curfew was amended to 10 p.m. to  6 a.m.

• Florida Licensing on Wheels will be stationed at Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, to assist Lee County residents who need replacement driver licenses, identification cards and titles. All fees will be waived, and no documents are necessary to issue replacements. The mobile unit is available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week.

DEBRIS COLLECTION 

• Garbage haulers this week are on Pine Island to collect household garbage and will begin collecting on Fort Myers Beach starting Wednesday, Oct. 12. Because of impacts to the islands from Hurricane Ian, residents may see trash pickup later than their normal collection day. Island residents are asked to leave the trash at the side of the road. For public health and safety reasons, Solid Waste requests residents prioritize setting out kitchen trash and food waste. If able, refrain from setting out dry household garbage until the following week. Residents living on a road that is inaccessible to truck traffic are asked to bring garbage sealed in plastic bags to the closest accessible point. Crews will handle it from there. Disaster debris is collected separately from household garbage by a specialized contractor.

Waste Pro, Lee County’s contracted hauler for Pine Island, will be on Pine Island on Monday to collect household garbage. This collection to help with the health and safety of residents. If residents live on a road that is inaccessible to truck traffic, they can bring garbage sealed in plastic bags to the closest accessible point. Waste Pro crews will handle it from there. Trucks will begin rolling at daylight and will spend the day on Pine Island to remove household garbage. Structural and vegetative debris will be collected in the near future by the county’s contracted emergency debris hauler.

Charlotte County Public Works contractors are removing vegetative storm debris. It is the home and business owner’s responsibility to bring the debris to the curb and to properly separate it. For this post-storm pickup, do not put vegetative debris in bags because it will not be picked up. Debris that is not properly separated will not be picked up. Residents should separate disaster debris into these six categories and place piles in the public right-of-way, off the road and not on private property:

  • Construction and demolition materials (non-recyclable building construction materials – drywall, asphalt shingles, plastic sinks/tubs, floor tiles, etc.; non-recyclable building contents and personal property – carpeting / rugs, furnishings, clothing, etc.)
  • Electronic Waste – e-waste discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for refurbishment, reuse, resale, salvage recycling through material recovery.
  • Household hazardous waste (paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, pesticides, etc.); please be sure these materials are in a secured container and are not leaking in any way.
  • White Goods – large home appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, driers, etc. (please follow the (name of the jurisdiction) guidelines for disposal of refrigerators. Place refrigerators curbside free of putrescent waste.Vegetative materials (trees, limbs, brush, leaves, etc.) Please be advised that debris removal crews will, enter onto private property to collect or remove debris.
  • Normal Household Trash – normal household waste, recyclables and bagged debris of any kind will not be collected with your storm debris. Please continue to follow the normal garbage removal schedule.

Please do not attempt to place garbage or other household refuse with the disaster debris, as it will not be accepted, and will delay your storm debris collections

Collier County residents now have the option to take their hurricane yard debris, free of charge, to four recycling drop-off centers. These locations are open only to Collier County residents with proper identification. Debris will not be accepted from businesses or contractors. The locations, which are open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, are the Marco Island Recycling Drop-Off Center, 990 Chalmer Drive; Naples Airport Recycling Drop-Off Center, 2640 Corporate Flight Road; Tim Nance Collier County Recycling Center, 825 39th Ave NE; and Immokalee Transfer Station, 700 Stockade Road. Residents can also choose to leave hurricane debris curbside for collection. Hurricane debris should be placed in separate piles of yard waste, construction and demolition (furniture, carpet), household hazardous waste, electronic waste and appliances. 

The Charlotte County Landfill is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Located at 29751 Zemel Road in Punta Gorda, the landfill accepts credit cards only. Mid-County Mini-Transfer and Recycling Facility, 19765 Kenilworth Blvd., in Port Charlotte opened Thursday and will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for residential drop-off only. This facility accepts white goods, storm-related yard or vegetation debris and construction and demolition debris from residential properties. Due to limited maneuvering space, trailers cannot exceed 12 feet in length. The West Charlotte Mini-Transfer and Recycling Facility in Englewood remains closed.  

Lee County opened four sites for residents who want to haul yard waste or construction and demolition debris; go to leegov.com/storm and scroll to Solid Waste. Those who do not want to haul their own will receive pickup from the county’s contracted debris hauler as part of post-storm recovery.

Lee County commercial businesses are encouraged to take storm debris to the Waste-to-Energy Facility, 10500 Buckingham Road, where it will be charged by weight. It will be open regular hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Landscaping companies hauling vegetative storm debris cleared from residential properties will need a signed declaration from the resident indicating the address where the debris was generated. No debris will be accepted without a signed declaration.

Lee County Solid Waste garbage collection resumed on the normally scheduled day for all routes in Lee County franchise areas that are accessible to collection trucks. This collection is for household garbage only such as everyday trash items and spoiled food. Collection of recycling will resume at a later time. 

Charlotte County residents needing assistance cleaning up damage from Hurricane Ian can call 1-800-451-1954. Crisis Cleanup will connect them with volunteers from local relief organizations, community groups and faith communities who may be able to assist with cutting up fallen trees, drywall, flooring and appliance removal to curb, tarping roofs, debris removal to curb and mold mitigation. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to overwhelming need. The 1-800-451-1954 hotline will remain open through Oct. 28.

 INFRASTRUCTURE / UTILITIES 

Lee County reports 75% of its roughly 450 traffic signals are functioning.

• Crews from Lee County Department of Transportation continue to assess area roads and bridges. The following bridges are closed: Sanibel Causeway, New Pass, Big Carlos Pass Bridge and Big Hickory Pass Bridge.

• In the interest of rebuilding Matlacha-Pine Island as quickly as possible, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office removed processes that slowed westbound traffic Thursday when the road and bridges to the island reopened. Those processes reduced the efficiency of rebuilding the infrastructure of the island for residents in need. The sheriff’s office said residents should not be concerned about safety or property, as it has reallocated additional resources to the island for the protection of life and property beginning Friday. LCSO will also coordinate with its multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partners to further enhance safety for Pine Island residents. Those on the island may be asked by law enforcement for documentation. Law enforcement will not be checking public safety personnel or utility providers, tele-communications companies and garbage/debris haulers. As needed, the sheriff’s office will evaluate the need to implement further restrictions to meet the needs of the island residents. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis along with the Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue announced the early completion of emergency road and bridge repairs for Pine Island. Governor DeSantis directed FDOT to work with Lee County to expedite work and complete repairs by Oct. 8. Work began on Monday and FDOT crews worked to finish the repairs in monumental timing in less than three days.

Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Transportation to prioritize repairs to the Sanibel Causeway. These are needed for first responders and Sanibel residents to access the island, as well as other recovery efforts such as power restoration and debris removal. The contract for the bridge repair was awarded Tuesday. It is anticipated to have the Sanibel Causeway accessible by the end of the month. Once immediate recovery efforts have subsided, permanent long-term repairs will be made to the causeway. The emergency repairs being done now will offer a safe passage for immediate access and will also be incorporated into long-term repair plans. This means that repairs being done now will tie into work that will be needed for permanent repairs. 

Lee County uses LeeTran to shuttle islanders to hurricane shelters, where food, water and connections to services are available. Details are available at leegov.com/storm.  

• FPL power outage map: FPLmaps.com. 

Motorist tips: If a traffic signal is out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop. Do not drive through flood waters. 

 FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 

Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded an initial $2.5 million to businesses through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. The program was activated by the state following Hurricane Ian, to provide short-term, zerointerest loans to small businesses that experienced financial impacts or physical damage due to Hurricane Ian. Interested applicants can apply now through Dec. 2, or until all available funds are expended. In Lee County, 28 businesses received loans totaling $1.27 million while eight Collier County businesses received loans totaling $355,000. Charlotte County had four businesses awarded $175,000 in loans. The loans are intended to bridge the gap between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business can secure long-term recovery funding. Loans are available up to $50,000 per eligible applicant and are short-term, personal loans. It was authorized for a total of $50 million, of which $10 million is dedicated to agricultural businesses that sustained impacts. Small businesses in the most impacted counties — Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota — will be escalated and prioritized as they are received. 

• Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie announced the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program has been activated by Florida, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for impacted residents in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. Impacted residents from eligible counties who have applied for disaster assistance may be eligible to shelter in a hotel or motel paid for by FEMA. They may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home and their housing needs cannot be met by insurance, shelters or rental assistance provided by FEMA or another agency. Eligible individuals can apply for FEMA assistance by visiting clicking here, calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362, or using the FEMA mobile app. Individuals will be notified of their eligibility through an automated phone call, text message and/or email, depending upon the method of communication they selected when they applied for assistance. Continued eligibility is determined on an individual basis. When eligibility ends, survivors will be notified by FEMA seven days prior to checkout date. TSA is limited to participating lodging properties in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. 

• The Federal Emergency Management Agency opened a disaster recovery center at Home Depot, 12621 S. McCall Road in Englewood.

Florida and the Federal Emergency Management Agency activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance 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. They may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home and their housing needs cannot be met by insurance, shelters or rental assistance provided by FEMA or another agency (federal, state or nonprofit).

Survivors will be notified of their eligibility through an automated phone call, text message and/or email, depending upon the method of communication they selected when they applied for assistance. Under the TSA program, FEMA pays the cost of room, taxes and non-refundable pet fees directly to participating hotels and motels. Survivors are responsible for all other costs, including laundry, room service, parking, telephone, food, transportation and other services.

• Lee BIA Builders Care is rallying local builders and support from the community to provide emergency construction services at no cost to needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian. Builders Care is providing a range of services to homeowners in need, including roof tarping, water damage mitigation, window replacement, AC repair, roof repairs, property debris and tree cleanup, plumbing repairs, electrical repairs, wheelchair ramp rebuilds and delivery of food, water and other essentials. The nonprofit has established a Hurricane Ian Builders Care Relief Fund to support hurricane relief efforts and is accepting donations at www.leebuilderscare.com/hurricanerelief. All donations will go directly to serving elderly and/or disabled homeowners in need of critical home repairs following Hurricane Ian.  

The Pendas Law Firm is providing an outreach with their disaster relief center. The firm specializes in helping Floridians with property damage claims, arising from the recent hurricane and other natural disasters. The Pendas Law Firm relief center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 4244 Evans Ave in Fort Myers. The staff is available to answer questions, set up intakes, provide valuable information, assist with calculating damages from the storm and sign up new clients. Water and supplies will be supplied on a first come, first serve basis.  

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program policyholders are beginning to receive funds to help jumpstart their recovery. To date, FEMA has provided $3.5 million in advance payments to policyholders who have started the claim process. There are NFIP policies in Florida where the renewal date has passed, but policyholders may be able to take steps that will reinstate their policy and receive coverage for flood damage from Hurricane Ian. Policyholders based in Florida who had flood damage from the hurricane now have a 90-day grace period to renew their policies. The extension applies to policies with renewal dates beginning Aug. 25, 2022, through and including Oct. 23, 2022.  Policyholders whose NFIP policy renewal date is within this range should contact their agent or insurance company. Additionally, the NFIP extended the proof of loss requirement for policyholders who suffered flood damage from Hurricane Ian from the standard 60 days to 365 days from the date of loss. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, making $50 million available with at least $10 million going to small businesses that are agricultural producers impacted by Hurricane Ian in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties. Small businesses in the most impacted counties — Charlotte, Collier, Lee, and Sarasota — will be escalated and prioritized as they are received. The program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Ian. Interested applicants can apply through Dec. 2, or until all available funds are expended. Eligible small businesses may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program by clicking here.

Those who’ve been affected by Hurricane Ian who live in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Seminole counties can apply for federal assistance by clicking here, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or by using the FEMA App. Survivors using a relay service, such as a video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, can give the FEMA operator the number for that service. When you applying for assistance, provide a current phone number, an address at the time of the disaster and an address where the survivor is staying now, a Social Security number, a general list of damage and losses, banking information if choosing direct deposit and, if insured, a policy number or the insurance agent and/or company name. 

FOOD/WATER DISTRIBUTION

Lee County closed the remaining inland food and water Points of Distribution as water and power are restored, businesses reopen and nonprofits reopen, making additional food and meals available. Locations at Old Bonita Library, Cape Coral Leonard Street, Estero High School Ballfield Park, North Fort Myers Recreation Center, Fleamasters Fleamarket and Veterans Park Recreation Center closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The county will continue to work with state and federal partners as well as its network of nonprofit organizations in its island communities to provide continued food and water supplies for residents on Fort Myers Beach, adjacent to Town Hall at 2525 Estero Blvd.; Pine Island at Beacon of Hope Church, 5090 Doug Taylor Circle in St. James City; and Sanibel Island at Sanibel Elementary School, 3840 Sanibel Captiva Road; and Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 

The Humane Society of America is operating an animal needs supplies drive-thru in the Mid County Regional Library parking lot until Oct. 14. Residents can pick up foods for a variety of pets between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd. In Port Charlotte. 

The Red Cross is distributing water, food and cleanup kits at St. Mary’s Baptist Church, 605 Mary St., in Punta Gorda from noon to 6 p.m. every day while supplies last.

• The city of Cape Coral is offering free potable water to Cape Coral residents from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at both Diplomat Middle School, 1039 NE 16th Terrace, and Mariner Middle School, 425 Chiquita Boulevard N. The purpose is to provide residents with potable water. Residents must also bring their own containers to fill up. Containers are not available at either location.

Cape Coral Caring Center is distributing bags of non-perishable food to those in need at 1420 SE 47th St. and volunteers will provide the supplies. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The center also offers assistance in paying utility bills. Other items, like baby wipes, also can be provided. People can also drop off non-perishable food to the center during business hours. There also is a need for bottled water and for money donations.

• Gulfshore Life’s list of food and water distribution sites in Southwest Florida.

HEALTH CARE/VETERINARY CARE

• After two weeks of disruption following Hurricane Ian, Lee Health’s visiting hours returned to normal operations for most hospitals Wednesday. Visitation resumed at HealthPark Medical Center, Cape Coral Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center. Because of elevator damage at Lee Memorial Hospital, visitation will remain restricted to compassionate care cases only for at least another week while it sorts through the safe navigation of people through its facility, including the additional capacity visitation would bring. 

• Cape Coral Pet Vet will be holding a free urgent care clinic each Wednesday this month on Pine Island, starting today.  The Cape Coral Animal Shelter & Veterinary Clinic will also be there assisting and handing out pet food and supplies. From 10 a.m. to noon the clinic will be at the Aiden Pines Country Club parking lot in Bookeelia and from 1 to 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot in St. James City. For pets in need of medical care, the clinic accepts walk-ins only, first come, first serve. 

HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital reopened its emergency services Monday following repairs at the 238-bed acute care hospital at 21298 Olean Blvd. in Port Charlotte. The remaining hospital services will open in the coming weeks, hospital officials said.

• The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County, 1100 Loveland Blvd. in Port Charlotte, is open from 8 a.m. to 5. p.m. Monday through Friday. Services include AIDS Drug Assistance Program, birth and death certificates, dental, environmental health and family planning, along with free Tetanus, COVID-19, Hepatitis A, Monkeypox and flu vaccines. 

Winn-Dixie enhanced its relief efforts to include mobile pharmacies at two Winn-Dixie locations for Englewood and Port Charlotte community members. The Englewood location, 4100 McCall Road, offers curbside service and emergency prescription refills. The Port Charlotte location, 2000 Kings Highweay, offers full-service amenities including emergency refills, vaccines and COVID-19 testing. Both mobile pharmacies are open 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

• The mobile veterinary team for the University of Florida arrived in Fort Myers on Tuesday, ready to assist Lee County residents and their pets. The team will be located in Terry Park at 3140 Palm Beach Blvd. and are offering triage and medical care free of charge to any resident in need. Pet food is also available on site.

HCA Florida Cape Coral Emergency at 322 SW Pine Island Road reopened upon the completion of repairs following Hurricane Ian. All services at the facility are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with emergency care, including laboratory, X-rays, CT scanning and ultrasound. Repairs are underway at HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital which remains temporarily closed. A reopening date will be announced soon. Patients from HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital have been transferred to other hospitals where they are receiving care. 

Lee Convenient Care at Bonita Community Health Center reopened and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice. Over the weekend, Lee Convenient Care at Page Field and Pine Island Road also reopened with operating hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.

• All NCH Healthcare System patients are now allowed two visitors per patient, according to a release from the Naples-based hospital. Outpatient elective procedures resumed Monday, while inpatient elective procedures scheduled for both NCH Hospitals are postponed until Wednesday. Vanderbilt Immediate Care and Bonita Immediate Care resumed business Monday with operating hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Both NCH Wellness Centers, Downtown Naples and Greentree Plaza, will be open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Most NCH Physician Group offices in Collier and south Lee counties open Tuesday. Patients should contact their doctor’s office to reschedule any appointments that may have been canceled due to the storm.  Likewise, NPG patients can also visit NCH’s Ian storm update page on our website for a detailed list of open facilities.

Family Initiative’s Autism Support Center in Cape Coral reopened to provide basic food supplies and bottled water for Southwest Florida families with autism. The Autism Support Center, 734 SW 4th St., is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To continue providing services to families with autism in need, Family Initiative is seeking donations of nonperishable food items, cases of water, batteries, or financial contributions. If donors are unable to deliver items, Family Initiative can arrange pick up as well as the distribution of goods to families, if possible. For more information about donation needs, contact Rachel Fecteau by calling 239-220-1387 or emailing [email protected]

Advocate Radiation Oncology offices in Southwest Florida are open for treatment for both existing and new patients at 15681 New Hampshire Court in Fort Myers, 909 Del Prado Blvd. S. in Cape Coral, 25243 Elementary Way in Bonita Springs, 1775 Davis Blvd. in Naples and 3080 Harbor Blvd. in Port Charlotte.

Summit Maternity Care Center is providing free providing prenatal appointments for women who are unable to find accessible care with their doctors due to Hurricane Ian and closures. It opened Monday and will remain so from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday at 950 Tamiami Trail, Suite 101, in Port Charlotte.

Hope Healthcare

  • Hope Hospice, Hope Palliative Care, Hope Kids Care and Hope PACE are continuing to serve patients and families. Admissions are ongoing.
  • Phone: 239-482-4673
  • Website: www.HopeHCS.org
  • Hope is accepting donations to support hurricane recovery efforts at MoreHope.org.

•Avow Hospice

  • Address: 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples
  • Phone: Avow is always open to help. Call 239-261-4404 or toll free 888-484-AVOW (2869) any time to speak to a team member
  • Website: avowcares.org
  • Donations: In-kind donations are now being accepted at the Avow campus to supply necessities to Avow employees, patients and families. Needs include towels, sheets, air mattresses, pillows, personal hygiene supplies of toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, deodorant, wipes, non-perishable food, water, Gatorade, cleaning supplies, trash bags, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, battery and cell phone chargers, portable fans, blue tarps, paper towels and toilet paper. Gift cards ($25 denominations best) are also appreciated for gas, grocery, Walmart, and Target. Any support will make a difference. To donate cash, visit avowcares.org.

•Elite DNA Behavioral Health

  • Elite DNA Behavioral Health, a comprehensive behavioral and mental health care provider, has reopened the following locations:
    • Fort Myers – Metro: 4310 Metro Parkway, Suite 205, 239-223-2751
    • Port Charlotte: 3191 Harbor Blvd., Suites A-B, 941-883-4518
  • Website: EliteDNA.com

•Healthcare Network

  • Locations:
    • Marion E. Fether (MEF), 1454 Madison Ave. W., Immokalee
    • FSU College of Medicine and iTech, 1441 Heritage Blvd., Immokalee
    • Nichols Community Health Center Golden Gate, 12655 Collier Blvd., Naples
    • Children’s Care East (CCE ), 6350 Davis Blvd., Unit 1001, Naples
    • Dental Care East (DCE) located in Naples, 1749 Heritage Trail, #801, Naples
    • Children’s Care North (CCN), 1265 Creekside Parkway, #208, Naples
    • Family Care North (FCN), 1265 Creekside Parkway, #206, Naples
    • Family Care iTech (FCIT), 508 North Ninth St., Unit 142, Immokalee
    • Total Women’s Care (TWC), 1890 SW Health Parkway, Unit 203, Naples
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Phone: 239-658-3000 to schedule or make an appointment. Telehealth services are also available.
  • Website: https://healthcareswfl.org/
  • Donations: Anyone interested in assisting our work is encouraged to make a donation to the Community Outreach Fund. Funds will be used to purchase much-needed supplies, including bottled water, canned goods, personal care items (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste), baby diapers and adult briefs for our elderly. Visit healthcareswfl.org/donate.

NAMI Collier County

  • Sarah Ann Drop-In Center is closed due to damage
  • We know one in five people live with mental illnesses daily; with the widespread devastation that has occurred, the stressors and triggers are magnified. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need to speak to some of NAMI’s Peer Operators, call the Wam Line at 800-945-1355 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, or the National Suicide Hotline at 988.
  • Donations: https://www.namicollier.org/donate/

• SalusCare

  • Located at 3763 Evans Ave., Fort Myers
  • Phone: 239.275.3222
  • Website: https://www.saluscareflorida.org/
  • Hours: Appointments only for MAT clinic at the Evans location
  • If you have an appointment scheduled for any time before Oct. 7, it may be rescheduled, unless you have an appointment in the MAT clinic, which is operating on schedule.

BUSINESS/NONPROFIT REOPENINGS

Edison Mall in Fort Myers will reopen Saturday.

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank reopened banking operations in the parking lot of its main office at 2406 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. Bank staff will be on-site Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m., to provide Sanibel residents who are existing customers with limited cash services and access to safety deposit boxes. All banks are closed on Monday for Columbus Day. The bank will continue to provide these services in the following weeks and anticipates expanding operations to multiple days with extended hours, as necessary. Customers will need to present a form of identification, as well as a key if accessing safe deposit boxes.

Naples Grande Beach Resort announced it will reopen Oct. 10 following a brief closure due to Hurricane Ian. Starting Monday, hotel guests and locals will be able to experience all the resort’s amenities and services including six on-site restaurants, spa and fitness center, three pools and tennis club.  At this time, Rhode’s End and access to Clam Pass Beach will remain closed until further notice as the resort works closely with local officials to reopen in the near future.

Luminary Hotel & Co. reopened following Hurricane Ian and is ready to welcome guests back to all of its dining outlets with the exception of The Silver King Ocean Brasserie with limited menus and hours. Guest rooms at Luminary Hotel are currently occupied by emergency response personnel working to restore the area’s power and infrastructure as quickly as possible.

Fort Myers Brewing Co. reopened its doors with beer available onsite and to-go. Temporarily adjusted brewery hours are 2 to 7 p.m. through Friday and noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Starting next week, hours are 2 to 7 p.m. daily. Fort Myers Brewing Co. is located at 12811 Commerce Lakes Drive, Suite 28, in Fort Myers.

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank opened five of its eight Lee County locations: Gateway Branch, 11691 Gateway Blvd. in Fort Myers; Downtown Branch, 1533 Hendry St., Unit 100, in Fort Myers; College Parkway Branch, 7500 College Parkway in Fort Myers; 7040 Winkler Road in Fort Myers and Bridge Branch, 9311 College Parkway in Fort Myers. Lobbies are open for regular business hours and on-site ATMs are available and operable.

Hodges University will reopen on Monday, Oct. 10 for all regularly scheduled classes and activities.

Supercuts reopened eight locations Monday: 3300 Bonita Beach Road, Unit 156, in Bonita Springs; 5100 Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers, 3650 Fiddlesticks Blvd., Unit 105, in Fort Myers; 11861 Palm Beach Blvd., Unit 105, in Fort Myers; 15880 Summerlin Road, Suite 112, in Fort Myers; 10580 Colonial Blvd., Suite 105, in Fort Myers; 6654 Collier Blvd., Unit 102, in Naples; and 2610 N. Ninth St. in Naples.

Naples Senior Center, a nonprofit organization serving older adults in Collier and southern Lee counties, reopened on Monday. Seniors seeking to combat isolation or loneliness, or just cool air-conditioning, following Hurricane Ian are invited to visit the center at 5025 Castello Drive in Naples.

Lee BIA Builders Care

  • Local nonprofit providing emergency construction services at no cost to needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian.
  • Phone: 239-938-0056
  • Website: https://leebuilderscare.com/

• United Way

  • United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties offers a 24-hour helpline for local information and services.
  • Phone: 2-1-1 or 239-433-2000
  • Website: unitedwaylee.org
  • Additional notes:
    • United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties, in partnership with the Collaboratory, is asking for the community’s support, not just locally but nationally and globally. The needs are greater than you can imagine, and the resources are limited.
    • In collaboration with Lee County Government, FEMA and local partner agencies, our priority right now is short-term, immediate needs. We are asking for monetary donations, which will give United Way the flexibility to properly vet and meet families where they are with what they need. Donated funds give much-needed assistance to the victims of Hurricane Ian so families can purchase new, clean clothes and necessary personal essentials. All donations stay local to provide direct support to communities including Pine Island, Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach and throughout Lee County. Visit www.leegov.com/storm and click the red “Donate” button to contribute to the SWFL Emergency Relief Fund.

• Sunshine Ace Hardware

  • All nine locations in Southwest Florida have reopened:
    • Naples – 141 Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) North; (239) 262-2940
    • East Naples – 4433 Tamiami Trail E.; (239) 775-2150
    • Marco Island – 1720 San Marco Road; (239) 642-7444
    • Golden Gate – 11673 Collier Blvd.; (239) 455-3400
    • Bonita Springs – 9100 Bonita Beach Road; (239) 992-0169
    • San Carlos – 18911 Tamiami Trail S.; (239) 415-1161
    • Port Charlotte – 3035 Tamiami Trail; (941) 627-5558
    • Port Charlotte – 912a Kings Highway; (941) 629-4455
  • Website: SunshineAce.com
  • Additional notes: Stores are receiving truckloads of generators, chainsaws, batteries, bottled water and other supplies throughout the day.

Community Cooperative

• Fireservice

  • 24Hour Emergency Response Team providing remediation, restoration and remodeling services from Marco Island to Sarasota.
  • Phone: 239-936-1033
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: fireserviceusa.com

Global Roofing & Contracting

  • A Southwest Florida-based residential roofer with 30 years of experience, providing free, no-obligation roof inspections as well as emergency services, detailed estimates and can meet with insurance adjusters to help customers navigate the insurance claim process.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Phone: 844-611-0745
  • Website: goglobalroofing.com

Lloyd Roofing

  • Lloyd Roofing specializes in emergency roofing services for commercial and residential buildings.
  • Address: 10970 S. Cleveland Ave., Unit 404; Fort Myers
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
  • Phone: 239-284-6748

Florida Storm Windows

  • Locally owned and operated, Florida Storm Windows is a trusted PGT storm windows, doors and shutters supplier and installer serving Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties.
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • Address: 12581 Metro Parkway, Suite #14, Fort Myers
  • Phone: 239-313-7809
  • Website: floridastormwindows.com

• Raymond Building Supply

  • Raymond Building Supply provides a wide range of building materials, including lumber, trusses, garage doors, windows, residentials doors, commercial doors, cabinets, appliances and custom millwork, to residential and commercial customers.
  • Hours: 7AM-3:30PM (hours may vary) Monday-Friday
  • Locations:
    • North Fort Myers: 7751 Bayshore Road, 239-731-8300
    • Naples: 3455 Beck Blvd., 239-348-7272
    • The company’s product showroom, Design Studio by Raymond, is also open in Naples: 990 First Ave. N., 239-278-1334
    • https://www.rbsc.net/

Strayhorn & Persons, P.L.

  • Strayhorn and Persons attorneys serve private sector clients in Fort Myers, Lee County and Southwest Florida in land use, zoning, real estate law, administrative, business, commercial and multifamily real estate transactions and other matters.
  • Address: 2125 First St., Suite 201, Fort Myers
  • Phone: 239-334-1260
  • Website: https://strayhornlaw.com/

Better Together

  • Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to families and children, has vetted and background-checked host volunteer families available to provide short term childcare to first responders, essential workers and families in need of getting their children into a safe environment.
  • Better Together is partnering with Cape Christian, Mission Church and churches across the state and country to distribute supplies to Southwest Florida families in need. Partners are distributing supplies ranging from tarps, batteries, gas cans, water and non-perishable food to family items including diapers, baby formula and personal hygiene kits.
  • Better Together is also working with local employers to find workers to assist with damage. Employers and job seekers can contact Better Together for assistance.
  • Needs:
    • Volunteers are needed across Southwest Florida and Sarasota to serve as host families and to help deliver resources to families.
    • Donations of supplies are also being accepted at Cape Christian, 2110 Chiquita Blvd. S. in Cape Coral.
  • Give Help: bettertogetherus.org/give-help
  • Get Help: bettertogetherus.org/better-families/apply-for-help
  • Donate:

 Boys & Girls Club of Collier County

  • Locations:
    • Nichols Club: 7500 Davis Blvd. in Naples
      • Phone: 239-325-1700
    • Bolch Club: 1155 Roberts Ave. West in Immokalee
      • Phone: 239-675-7003
  • Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Website: https://bgccc.com/
  • Additional notes: Clubs will operate full-day programs until Collier County public schools resume on Thursday. Then, regular after-school programs will resume.

 Child Care of Southwest Florida

Family Initiative

  • A nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to supporting children with autism and strengthening their families.
  • Located at 734 SW 4th St. Cape Coral, FL 33991
    • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday
  • Phone: 239-910-0712
  • Website: https://www.fi-florida.org/
  • Additional notes:
    • To continue providing services to families with autism in need, Family Initiative is seeking donations of nonperishable food items, cases of water, batteries, or financial contributions. If donors are unable to deliver items, Family Initiative can arrange pick up as well as the distribution of goods to families, if possible.
    • Donations will be collected at the Autism Support Center. If donors are unable to deliver items, Family Initiative can make other arrangements to pick up items.
    • For more information about donation needs, contact Rachel Fecteau by calling 239-220-1387 or emailing [email protected].

 Guardian ad Litem Foundation – 20th Judicial Circuit

 Guadalupe Center

  • Address: Morgridge Family Early Childhood Education Campus (509 Hope Circle in Immokalee), Monaghan Family Early Childhood Education Campus (1170 Harvest Drive in Immokalee) and van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning (3655 Westclox St. in Immokalee)
  • Hours: Regular hours
  • Phone: 239-657-7711
  • Website: GuadalupeCenter.org
  • Additional notes: The three Early Childhood Education Program campuses reopen Tuesday. After-school and Tutor Corps programs will resume on Thursday.

Gulfshore Life’s list of what’s open after Hurricane Ian.

• Gulfshore Life’s list of restaurants open in Lee and Collier counties

Gulfshore Life’s list of Furniture stores, warehouses and showrooms with in-stock inventory after the storm

WINK News’ list of stores, gas stations and food distribution centers that are open.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

• Gulfshore Life’s list of places to donate or volunteer for storm recovery.

 OTHER RESOURCES 

• For Lee County storm resource information, go to leegov.com/storm.

Collier County information hotline: Call 311 within the county or 239252-8444 outside of the area.  

Pure Florida, a water attraction company helmed by father-and-son duo Captains Lance H. and Harry Julian, has available vessels for those needing water access. All Pure Florida vessels survived Hurricane Ian. Pure Florida is docked at Tin City in downtown Naples and can get vessels up to Lee County within 90 minutes. The company remains in touch with government officials to stand ready to assist emergency operations center officials in both Lee and Collier counties. News crews and government officials should contact Pure Florida Director of Marketing Communications Merry Coffman at 239-793-7529 or email at [email protected] Families looking to try and get on an island should contact 239-263-4949 or email [email protected] to speak to a Pure Florida Team Member.Chicken Salad Chick in Fort Myers

BUSINESSES HIRING IN SWFL

Better Together  

  • Summary – Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to families and children, is working with local employers to find workers to assist with damage. The nonprofit will host a community job fair on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Christ Community Church. 
  • Experience- All experience levels  
  • Contact- Employers and job seekers can contact Better Together for assistance. 

 Chicken Salad Chick 

  • Summary – Chicken Salad Chick is a fast-casual restaurant chain and franchise of chicken salad.  
  • Open Positions – team member, cashier, shift lead 
  • Experience- Entry level 
  • Contact-  They can apply in the store (once it opens) or online by texting 0EHU TO 31063 or by visiting  https://got.work/8c4b3798

Elite DNA Behavioral Health 

  • Summary- Elite DNA Behavioral Health provides comprehensive mental health services for adults, children and families in Florida to help them build happier and healthier lives. 
  • Open Positions-  
  • Cape Coral: Front Desk Receptionist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Medical Assistant 
  • Fort Myers: Clinical Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Speech Language Pathologist, Speech Therapist Assistant, Bilingual Care Coordinator (Spanish and English), IT Specialist, Occupational Therapist, Medical Billing Specialist, Behavior Analyst, Medical Coder, Registered Behavioral Technician, Insurance Authorization Specialist, Junior Staff Accountant, Teacher, Targeted Case Manager, BHDV Virtual Therapist, Credentialing Supervisor, HR Payroll Specialist, New Patient Liaison, Director of Guided Pathways, Insurance Verifier 
  • Lehigh Acres: Licensed Social Worker 
  • Naples: Licensed Social Worker, Clinic Manager, Medical Assistant 
  • Port Charlotte: Care Coordinator, TMS Technician, Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Global Roofing and Contracting 

  • Summary- Global Roofing and Contracting has more than 30 years of expertise in efficient, high-quality residential roof replacements for Florida homeowners and property managers. 
  • Positions– Sales and office positions 
  • Experience- Varies by position 
  • Contact- Call 844-611-0745 

Healthcare Network

  • Summary- With providers throughout Collier County, Healthcare Network coordinates care to effectively address every patient’s needs – regardless of job, income or insurance status. As a result, we are making healthcare more accessible to all. Services include women’s care, children’s care, senior care, adult care, dental care, pharmacy, integrated behavioral health and specialty services.
  • Positions– Creole Call Center Patient Service Representatives, Medical Assistants, Patient Service Representatives, Expanded Functions Dental Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Medical providers including physicians and nurse practitioners, and more.
  • Experience- Varies by position. Bilingual candidates are preferred, as the majority of our patients’ first language is not English.
  • Contact- Visit www.healthcareswfl.org/careers

Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers 

  • Summary- The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers provides attainable housing for families and seniors in the City of Fort Myers. 
  • Open Positions- HCVP Program Coordinator Quality Control, Senior Property Manager, Maintenance Technician Lead, Regional Manager, Property Clerk, Maintenance Mechanic II, Leasing Specialist, additional positions are being added 
  • Experience- Varies by position 
  • Contact- Visit https://www.hacfm.org/about-hacfm/careers/. 

Immokalee Fair House Alliance  

  • Summary- Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance’s mission is to eliminate substandard and overcrowded rental housing for farmworker families and other low-income residents in Immokalee, FL.  
  • Open Position- Development Officer 
  • Experience- Five or more years of development experience in all functional areas of fundraising within the Southwest Florida market  

The Library Pizza & Pub (Gulf Coast Town Center) and Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza, Estero (Coconut Point) 

  • Summary- Casual, quick service pizza restaurants welcome hospitality professionals for all positions with a heightened need for kitchen staff and cooks  
  • Open Positions– Hiring for all front of house and back of house positions including servers, hostesses, bartenders, cooks and management.  
  • Experience– Varies by position  
  • Apply- Visit location for application and ask for Allison 
  • Contact- 
  • The Library: 9909 Gulf Coast Main St, Fort Myers, FL 33913 
  • 239-771-8601 
  • Tony Sacco’s: 8001 Plaza del Lago Dr, Estero, FL 33928 
  • 239-948-6697 

Lloyd Roofing 

  • Summary- Lloyd Roofing is an experienced and reliable roofing company, providing repairs, replacements and installations to commercial and residential properties across Southwest Florida. 
  • Open Positions- Sales, production manager, laborers 

Norman Love Confections 

  • Summary – Norman Love Confections is currently hiring for multiple positions including full-time supervisors, part-time retail associates, bakery cooks, pastry production and dishwashers.  

Raymond Building Supply 

  • Summary- Raymond Building Supply provides a wide range of building materials, including lumber, trusses, garage doors, windows, residentials doors, commercial doors, cabinets, appliances and custom millwork, to residential and commercial customers. The company is hosting open interviews at its North Fort Myers location (7751 Bayshore Road) on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon. 
  • Open Positions- All available positions can be found at https://www.rbsc.net/company/careers/  
  • Experience- Varies by position 
  • Contact- Apply online at https://www.rbsc.net/company/careers/ 

Volunteers of America 

  • Summary – Senior living communities Gulf Coast Village, located in Cape Coral, and The Preserve, located in Fort Myers, both have open positions for healthcare workers and support staff.  
  • Open Position – Multiple positions open at The Preserve and Gulf Coast Village. Job listings are available at both locations visit: https://voa.jobs.net/jobs?keywords=&location=33912 
  • Experience- Varying levels of experience accepted 
  • Contact- Hiring point of contact for Preserve Jobs: Tamika Thomas- HR Assistant 

Windward Construction 

  • Summary – Custom home builder 
  • Open Positions- fieldsman, superintendents, and project managers 
  • Experience- Some experience required 
  • Contact- Anyone interested, please text Jennifer Pentico  
  • 239-989-2099 

MAIL PICK-UP LOCATIONS FOR SWFL RESIDENTS

Due to Hurricane Ian, some post offices in Southwest Florida have been temporarily suspended. Retail and some mail service for customers of those offices have been temporarily relocated, as detailed below:

Everglades City: Customers normally served by the Everglades City Post Office can obtain retail services at the Mobile Retail Unit in the Everglades City Post Office parking lot,  601 Collier Ave., in Everglades City. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday.

Balm: Customers normally served by the Balm Post Office can obtain retail services at the Mobile Retail Unit in the post office parking lot at 15036 Balm Road in Balm. Hours: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturday and Sunday.

Bokeelia: Customers normally served by the Bokeelia Post Office can obtain retail service at the North Fort Myers Post Office, 1882 N. Tamiami Trail, in North Fort Myers. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturday and Sunday.

Captiva: Customers normally served by the Captiva Post Office should temporarily pick up their mail at the Six Mile Cypress Annex Building, 14651 Ben C. Pratt/6 Mile Cypress Parkway, in Fort Myers. Hours for pick-up are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays. Customers must present a photo ID for mail pick-up. Retail services are available at the Mobile Retail Unit at the Six Mile Cypress Annex parking lot. Retail hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Downtown Fort Myers: Customers normally served by the Downtown Fort Myers Post Office can obtain retail services at the Page Field Post Office, 2655 N. Airport Road, in Fort Myers. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Downtown Naples: Customers normally served by the Downtown Naples Post Office can obtain retail services at the Naples Post Office, 1200 Goodlette-Frank Road N., in Naples. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Fort Myers Beach:  Customers normally served by the Fort Myers Beach Post Office should temporarily pick up their mail at the Six Mile Cypress Annex Building, 14651 Ben C. Pratt/6 Mile Cypress Parkway, in Fort Myers. Hours for pick up are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays. Customers must present a photo ID for mail pick-up. Retail services are available at the Mobile Retail Unit at the Six Mile Cypress Annex parking lot. Retail hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

Pineland:  Customers normally served by the Pineland Post Office can obtain retail services at the North Fort Myers Post Office, 1882 N. Tamiami Trail. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Placida: Customers normally served by the Placida Post Office can obtain retail services at the Englewood Post Office, 950 S. Rover Road. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sundays.

St. James City: Customers normally served by the St. James City Post Office can obtain retail services at the North Fort Myers Post Office, 1882 N. Tamiami Trail. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Sanibel Main: Customers normally served by the Sanibel Main Post Office should temporarily pick up their mail at the Six Mile Cypress Annex Building, 14651 Ben C. Pratt/6 Mile Cypress Pkwy, in Fort Myers. Hours for pick-up are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, closed Sunday. Customers must present a photo ID for mail pick-up. Retail services are available at the Mobile Retail Unit at the Six Mile Cypress Annex parking lot. Retail hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, closed Sundays.