Before and during the storm

We hope that you are safe and well after Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. Below you’ll find preparation and recovery resources. Hurricane season goes through Nov. 30.

Hurricane preparedness checklist

  • Check out FLASH Hurricane Strong for do-it-yourself ways to strengthen your homes against flooding, high winds, and lightning.
  • Make/update your plan:
  • Assemble or replenish a hurricane survival kit or review your hurricane supply list.
  • Secure your property:
    • Trim trees and shrubs around your home so that they are more wind-resistant.
    • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
    • Reinforce garage doors so wind doesn’t enter and cause structural damage.
    • Bring in outdoor objects (furniture, toys, tools, etc.), anchor objects that cannot be brought inside, and remove outside antennas.
  • Listen to a NOAA weather radio or TV for updated information.
  • Keep valuables and important documents with you in a waterproof container. Consider scanning and sending copies of documents to yourself via email so that you have an electronic version available after the storm.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting, and keep its doors closed. If you suspect flooding, duct tape your refrigerator shut.
  • If electricity is lost, turn off appliances to avoid power surge when electricity is restored.
  • Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water to ensure a supply for sanitary purposes.
  • If necessary, take refuge in a small interior room (closet/hallway/bathroom) on the lowest level and away from windows and glass doors.

After the storm

As we all work together to recover from this disaster, here’s some guidance on working with your home insurance company, as well as where to find county and city updates, apply for financial assistance, and additional services, including food and housing assistance and mental health support.

Homeowners insurance guide:

If your home sustained storm-related damage:

  • Please reach out to your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. (Don’t know who your insurance provider is? Reach out to your mortgage holder to get their information.)
  • Document the damage with detailed photos, video, and a list.
  • Once the damage is documented, make emergency repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Keep all receipts related to the repairs.
  • For more information, review SBP’s Post-Disaster Insurance Guide
    • SBP also has resources that provide easy, actionable steps to mitigate risk and prepare for disaster and navigate a prompt, predictable recovery. Visit the hurricane recovery page for tools in English and Spanish on:
      • Navigating disaster assistance
      • Protect yourself from contractor fraud
      • Mold remediation guide
      • Muck and gut guide
      • Navigating FEMA and the SBA process

County and city updates:

Find information on trash/storm debris pickup, water alerts, school and park closures, power outages, and more.

Disaster Recovery Centers:

Impacted survivors from the approved designated counties can visit the nearest DRC for help to apply for assistance. Representatives from FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration are available at these centers to explain disaster assistance programs, answer questions about written correspondence and provide literature about repairs and rebuilding to make homes more disaster resistant. Residents who previously registered for assistance do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC in addition to online or by phone.

  • Orange County Barnett Park 4801 W. Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32808 Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily
  • Osceola County Hart Memorial Central Library 211 E. Dakin Ave. Kissimmee, FL 34741 Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily

Home Cleanup:

  • Crisis Cleanup Hurricane Ian Home Cleanup Hotline: 800-451-1954. Call to be connected with local volunteer organizations that can help with things like fallen trees, drywall, flooring, appliance removal, tarping roofs, and mold mitigation.

Health & wellness:

Financial assistance:

Service referral databases

  • Services – My Florida My Family: Search and connect to support such as financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free or reduced-cost help.
  • 2-1-1: Heart of Florida United Way provides food and housing assistance, mental health and suicide prevention, family support services, and health and wellness
  • Neighborhood Centers for Families (NCF): one-stop centers that provide Orange County residents with counseling programs, tutoring, employment skills, case management, senior activities, limited health services, and more at 13 locations.

D-SNAP

  • The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) provides food assistance for individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Ian and who are not receiving food assistance benefits through the regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). More information on the program, eligibility requirements, and important dates can be found by visiting myflfamilies.com/DSNAP

Important deadlines

  • FEMA Application Deadline: Monday, November 28, 2022
  • Apply for Disaster Unemployment: Friday, December 30, 2022
  • Appeal Your FEMA Decision: To appeal FEMA’s determination on assistance, you have 60 days from the date on the determination letter to do so.
  • Early SNAP benefits: No deadline. The Department of Children and Families is releasing food assistance benefits earlier than scheduled to Floridians that may be impacted by Hurricane Ian. This is an early release of regular benefits, not a distribution of additional funds. Click here for more info.
  • SNAP Hot Food Purchase: Use of SNAP to buy prepared “hot food” has been authorized through October 31, 2022. Click here for more info.

We will continue to update this page with resources. If there is a local resource not listed here yet, please email it to jbabcock@habitatorlandoosceola.org