Major disaster declarations have been made by federal agencies in communities throughout Southwest Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, making a wide variety of programs available for emergency response, shelter, medical needs, financial assistance, and disaster relief for residents in need. Here are some of the programs available for you to find help.
Shelters and Emergency Response
If you're in need of immediate medical assistance, the best way to find it is to contact local emergency response by dialing 911. For other types of assistance, you can contact the local 211 Agency
by dialing 211 on your phone to be connected with a trained professional who can tell you more about the local emergency assistance programs and services available in your community.
The Red Cross
has responded to Hurricane Ian by opening shelters in a number of Southwest Florida communities and throughout the state. You can locate a shelter through the Red Cross Find Open Shelters Page
. Here are the open shelters located closest to Southwest Florida at the time of writing, according to the Red Cross:
- North Collier Regional Park – 15000 Livingston Rd., Naples, FL 34109
- South Fort Myers High School – 14020 Plantation Rd., Fort Myers, FL 33912
- Hertz Arena – 11000 Everglades Pkwy., Estero, FL 33928
- Venice High School – 1 Indian Ave., Venice, FL 34285
- John Marble Community Center – 3675 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton, FL 34203
FEMA Disaster Assistance Programs
Applying for Assistance
There are three primary ways to apply for assistance through FEMA. The fastest is to visit Disaster Assistance
to apply online. You can also download the FEMA mobile app
to make an application or apply by calling 1-800-621-3362.
FEMA offers a number of programs that provide direct or financial assistance for housing. These programs include rental assistance, lodging expense reimbursement, home repair, home replacement, and direct housing.
Other Needs Assistance
FEMA also has programs to assist with other key needs, including personal property repair/replacement, medical/dental care, childcare, transportation, moving, storage, and miscellaneous expenses.
Additional Individual Assistance Programs
FEMA offers a Crisis Counseling program to assist with the mental health needs of individuals and communities impacted by natural disasters. They also offer Disaster Unemployment, Disaster Legal Services, and Disaster Case Management programs that can assist with a wide variety of needs.
FEMA Food/Water Distribution Locations:
- Kelly Road Soccer Complex – 10750 Kelly Rd, Fort Myers, FL 33908
- Cape Coral Sports Complex – 1410 Sports Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33991
- Estero High School Ballfield Park – 21900 River Ranch Rd, Estero, FL 33928
- Veterans Park Recreation Center – 55 Homestead Rd S, Lehigh Acres, FL 33936
Other Food Resources:
Financial Assistance for Individuals, Families, and Small Businesses
With a major disaster declared, the federal government makes a diverse selection of financial disaster relief services
available to help with immediate and long-term following natural disasters like Hurricane Ian.
Disaster Unemployment and Small Business Assistance
Assistance with Food and Utility Bills
For emergency assistance with food costs, the federal D-SNAP
program can help cover the costs of food following Hurricane Ian. The LIHEAP
program can help with the costs of energy bills, repairs to heating/cooling systems, repairs to home insulation, and the purchase of generators.
Applying for a Disaster Recovery Loan
Financial assistance may also be available through Disaster Recovery Loans for homeowners and small businesses who are recovering after Hurricane Ian. You can learn more about the programs, find out if you're eligible, and apply online by visiting the US Small Business Association Disaster Assistance