Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Ian. As you probably know, Southwest Florida bore the brunt of the storm and has suffered catastrophic losses. At this time, power remains down for more than 50% of the residents from Manatee County down to Collier County. First and foremost, as Southwest Florida mitigates the damage and dangers post-storm, a few things to keep in mind are:
- Avoid downed power lines: Do not touch or drive over downed power lines. Always assume a downed power line is unsafe and contact the power company and emergency personnel.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded: Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Use a generator safely: Keep generators far from your home. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open as these could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
- Stay out of buildings that have structural damage: Do not enter into buildings that have had any structural damage until it has been professionally inspected to ensure its safety.
Our National and State Agencies have resources available to those who have suffered loss due to the storm. Below are some links to the many resources that are available:
- FEMA Disaster Assistance: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
- SBA DISASTER LOAN INFO: Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to businesses and residents in Florida following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to Hurricane Ian beginning Sept. 23.
- Message from SBA on disaster assistance
- SBA Fact Sheets on disaster loans
- SBDC Florida: The SBDC landing page has links to many important resources for recovery.
- ENTERPRISE FLORIDA DISASTER RESPONSE RESOURCE PAGE: This landing page includes a list of state and federal resources available for businesses to utilize in their mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.
Together we will make it through this disaster. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.