Home Tips October 6, 2022

Information to Help You in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ian

We have gathered resources and info to help you recover and rebuild — including FEMA help, small-business loans, unemployment assistance and more.


Latest disaster updates

Florida emergency bridge loans activated: Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to help companies deal with temporary operational gaps after Hurricane Ian. The maximum loan per business is $50,000 at zero interest, and owners have one year to pay the money back. Click here to learn more.

Office relocation fees waived: Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Melanie Griffin signed an Executive Order waiving application fees associated with relocating and reopening businesses and branch offices in specified areas impacted by Hurricane Ian. The waiver applies to additional locations for pre-existing brokerages and schools.

Disaster recovery centers opened in Southwest Florida: Residents of Ian’s hardest-hit counties can get direct help in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte. Citizens Property Ins. also offers insurance help. Click here to learn more.

License renewal extended: DeSantis approved an extension of the September license renewal through October 31, 2022.

FEMA assistance

Federal disaster assistance is available to affected individuals in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties following the impact of Hurricane Ian. Survivors can apply for disaster assistance at disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, or by using the FEMA mobile appClick here to learn more. 

Insurance companies

Click here for phone numbers, websites and email addresses for property insurance companies serving Florida. Unless they need emergency repairs, policyholders are urged to first contact their insurers with damage claims before signing over their benefits rights to repair contractors. Most of the companies listed enable policyholders to initiate claims at their websites.

Housing help

Florida Housing: This free state resource for renters and property managers in Florida features dynamic search options can help you find available rental housing that fits your needs and income.

(COMING SOON) HurricaneHomes.org: Local Realtor associations are building a safe platform for the community to access rentals for temporary housing in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island. The website, HurricaneHomes.org, will be available in the coming days and provides listings for housing whose properties have been vetted as reliable, safe, and clean. The listings are given by licensed Realtors in the area.

Operation Blue RoofOperated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Operation Blue Roof provides homeowners and permanently occupied rental properties in disaster areas with fiber-reinforced sheeting to cover their damaged roofs until arrangements can be made for permanent repairs.

Mortgage relief

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Federal Housing Administration loans (FHA) back the majority of U.S. mortgages – and each has some kind of program to help homeowners struggling to pay their monthly mortgage payment after a disaster. In all cases, however, a homeowner must initiate the process. Disaster relief options are offered to homeowners in declared major disaster areas. However, even homeowners outside those areas may have options if their home incurred a disaster-related loss that impacts their ability to make a mortgage payment. Foreclosure and other legal proceedings are also suspended while homeowners are on a forbearance plan. Click here to learn more.

Transactions and contract clauses

Click here for an overview of key bad weather provisions in the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar “AS IS” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase revised in October of 2021, along with one reference to the casualty provision contained in the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

Unemployment benefits

Disasater unemployment assistance (DUA)  is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian. Individuals affected in the designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by December 30, 2022. Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely, and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause. Click here to learn more and apply.

Small-business assistance loans

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans are now available to businesses and residents in Florida following the Hurricane Ian disaster declaration. Applicants may apply at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov under declaration #17644. For help, call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

Eligible counties include Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Volusia, Highlands, Lake, as well as the contiguous counties of Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Brevard, Lake, Volusia, Indian River, Okeechobee and Sumter.

The Florida SBDC Network can also help your business recover from a disaster. In addition, the SBDC and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity partner on the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, an interest-free, short-term loan program to help businesses recover quickly after a disaster.

Additional resources

FloridaDisaster.biz: Find the most recent information from the state on businesses offering services and assistance, including accommodation and lodging partners, major retailers offering assistance, state partnerships, including updates from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing),

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: The Section 203(h) program allows the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure mortgages made by qualified lenders to victims of a major disaster who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home. It helps victims in presidentially designated disaster areas recover by making it easier for them to get mortgages and become homeowners or re-establish themselves as homeowners.

Florida Disaster Contractors Network: Florida’s Disaster Contractors Network (DCN) has been activated to provide support to homeowners in need of post-Hurricane Ian home repairs. This is a free service founded in part by the state agency that regulates Florida’s construction industry, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Its mission is simple – connect homeowners needing emergency repairs with licensed contractors and construction suppliers.

State Emergency Response Team: Information includes road and bridge updates, shelter openings and statuses, power outages and boil-water notices.



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