FDEM provides 6-month post Ian update

Hatchett Creek Boulevard in Venice
Hatchett Creek Boulevard in Venice(WWSB-TV)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 2:29 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Florida Department of Emergency Management has highlighted recovery efforts six months after Hurricane Ian made landfall.

The storm made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 28, 2022 and caused devastation across Southwest Florida, including the Suncoast.

Six months later, FDEM worked alongside the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Coast Guard, and local governments to identify and remove vessels and other debris from waterways and upland private and commercial properties. More than 1-Million cubic yards of upland debris and nearly 530,000 cubic yards of wet debris has been removed by FDEM and its partners. This includes nearly 4,000 white goods, 337,000 cubic yards of construction debris, and 281,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the State of Florida and FEMA reached an agreement to allow for the waiver of some requirements for debris removal on private and commercial properties, including damaged slabs on private property. Additionally, the state engaged the use of satellite imagery and other technology platforms to expedite damage assessments, a process that FEMA typically does by going door to door to physically inspect structures.

The State Debris Cleanup Program was designed to assist Hurricane Ian survivors with the removal of displaced and abandoned titled property. Residents can still request the removal of debris by visiting IanDebrisCleanup.com by March 29, 2023 to report the presence of debris.

To supplement FEMA’s temporary housing solution and expedite the recovery process, FDEM initiated the first ever State Led Non-Congregate Sheltering Program to provide trailers and recreational vehicles to impacted Floridians who may not be eligible for FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing Program. To date, 585 households have received travel trailers through this program.

The state has also led the Sheltering in Home for Recovery Continuation Program, which provides temporary repairs to homes from Hurricane Ian damage with the support of volunteer organizations and a partnership with Home Depot. Through this program, work orders have been issued to volunteer organizations for 182 homes totaling more than $1.3 million.

The Florida Disaster Fund is the state’s private fund overseen by Volunteer Florida that continues to provide financial assistance to communities and support response and recovery activities, spearheaded by First Lady Casey DeSantis. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222. Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax-deductible.