Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Updates on State Preparedness for Hurricane Ian

This evening, Governor Ron DeSantis issued updates on Hurricane Ian at the State Emergency Operations Center with Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. Full remarks are available here
Ian made landfall earlier today in Cayo Costa with winds of 155 miles per hour, two miles per hour short of a Category 5 hurricane. Reports of major flooding and tornado-like damage are occurring in areas across the state. Ian will slowly move across central Florida before exiting tomorrow afternoon. Floridians should continue to take shelter indoors and heed local weather warnings. 
Earlier today, Governor DeSantis requested a Major Disaster Declaration for all 67 counties and asked the federal government for 100% reimbursement up front for 60 days to ensure we can quickly move forward into response and recovery. Typically, this request is not made until disaster assessments have been made after the storm.
Current Watches and Warnings in Effect:
  • Hurricane Warnings: Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades, Hardee, Desoto, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola, Polk, Lake, Orange, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia
  • Hurricane Watches: Coastal Flagler, St. Johns, Duval, Nassau
  • Tropical Storm Warnings: Mainland Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Levy, Dixie, Marion, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Clay, Duval, coastal Nassau, coastal Taylor, coastal Jefferson, coastal Wakulla, coastal Franklin
  • Tropical Storm Watches: Inland Nassau, Baker, Union, Bradford, Alachua, Gilchrist
  • Tornado Watches: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie  
  • Storm Surge Warnings: Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Clay, Putnam, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier
  • Storm Surge – Heights above ground
    • Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor – 12-18 ft
    • Middle of Longboat Key to Englewood – 6-10 ft
    • Bonita Beach to Chokoloskee – 8-12 ft
    • Chokoloskee to East Cape Sable – 5-8 ft
    • Anclote River to Middle of Longboat Key, including Tampa Bay – 4-6 ft
    • Flagler/Volusia County Line to Altamaha Sound – 4-6 ft
    • Altamaha Sound to South Santee River – 3-5 ft
    • Suwannee River to Anclote River – 3-5 ft
    • St. Johns River north of Julington – 3-5 ft
    • St. Johns River south of Julington – 2-4 ft
    • East Cape Sable to Card Sound Bridge – 2-4 ft
    • South Santee River to Little River Inlet – 2-4 ft
    • Patrick Air Force Base to Flagler/Volusia County Line – 1-3 ft
    • East of Little River Inlet to Cape Lookout – 1-3 ft
    • Dry Tortugas and Florida Keys – 1-3 ft
State preparation and response efforts include:
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)
  • FDEM has compiled a Shelter in Place Survey to provide critical information to first responders during and after the anticipated landfall of Hurricane Ian. We are asking all individuals in the impact area of Hurricane Ian that made the decision to shelter in place to complete the survey. Please visit to find the Shelter in Place Survey.
  • FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Ian. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
  • FDEM Liaisons have been identified and deployed to counties to provide on-site response assistance and to conduct damage assessments after the storm.
  • At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, Incident Management Teams (IMT) from Ohio and Colorado are on-scene to ensure additional support for response and recovery efforts after the storm.
  • FDEM is deploying several hundred shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that have opened their Special Needs hurricane shelters. Currently, more than 200 public shelters are open and available to impacted residents, with more than 50 of these being Special Needs Shelters.
  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Ian response, with more than 350 SERT members staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
  • FDEM has received more than 1,100 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled. Over 900 of these requests are currently being processed and are either en route or being mobilized. This includes the coordination of resources such as: trucks of food and water, generators and water pumps.
  • FDEM has loaded 360 trailers with over 3.5 million meals and over 1.8 million gallons of bottled water in preparation for distribution to impacted areas.
  • Several hundred generators and pumps, in addition to debris equipment, have been staged for response and recovery efforts.
  • 100,000 tarps to protect homes and allow more residents to stay at home rather than in a public shelter.
  • Five Florida Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Teams are activated and will be prepared to deploy to impacted areas. Federal USAR Teams from Virginia, Texas, Ohio and Indiana are on-scene and stand ready to assist in response and recovery efforts.
    • FDEM is currently coordinating the provision of meals for first responders staged in Orange County.
  • FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate protective actions and needed resources ahead of potential storm impacts.
  • FDEM is coordinating with utilities to ensure crews are prepared to respond and restore power. As of 3 p.m., the Division has received reports of 756,450 outages due to Hurricane Ian. Utility providers have more than 42,000 linemen staged and prepared for power restoration efforts as soon as conditions are safe to do so.
Florida National Guard
  • A total of 5,000 Florida Guardsmen are being activated to State Active Duty and pre-positioned at armories across the state for Tropical Storm Ian response operations. Up to 2,000 Guardsmen from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina are also being activated to assist.
  • In addition, the Florida Guard has mobilized and is on standby with five Route Clearance Teams and aviation assets.
  • The Florida National Guard is well-equipped, with assets including high-wheeled vehicles, helicopters, boats, generators and more.
  • Ten rotary wing assets positioned to respond immediately after the storm makes landfall including three CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The number of aircraft available is expected to increase to support operations in the next 24 hours, to include several from other states, as well as other assets available from Department of Defense agencies.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
  • FDLE regional support and logistics teams throughout the state are preparing to deploy personnel and equipment for a ready response to the aftermath of the storm. FDLE has started pre-staging equipment and mobile command posts at strategic locations. Teams with chainsaws, tarps, and other supplies are assembling.
Florida Department of Health (DOH)
  • The State Surgeon General signed Emergency Order 22-004 authorizing licensed health care professionals in good standing from out of state to practice in Florida for the duration of the EO. These professionals include: Physicians, Osteopathic Physicians, Physician Assistants, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, Paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians. In addition, the following licensed health care professionals are authorized to practice in Florida via Telehealth: Physicians, Osteopathic Physicians, Physician Assistants, and Advanced Practice Nurses. The EO can be found here.
  • DOH and Agency for Health Care Administration have initiated Patient Movement Mission to support medical transport and evacuations of health care facilities. 
    • This mission is evacuating 15 hospitals in areas of anticipated landfall. DOH continues to assess and support any additional necessary evacuations.
    • This mission also supports the evacuation of over 100 health care facilities. 
  • Over 400 ambulances, paratransit busses, and support vehicles are responding to areas of Ian’s path.
  • DOH has prepared for Special Needs Shelter operations to begin in areas of Ian’s path. A press release has been deployed statewide for additional information on special needs shelters.
  • The State Surgeon General has signed Emergency Order 22-001 waiving statutory procurement requirements to ensure DOH is able to deploy necessary action due to Hurricane Ian. This can be found here.
  • The State Surgeon General has signed a letter to allow staff of the Department and Agency for Health Care Administration to travel past curfews across state lines to conduct any necessary health and safety actions. 
  • DOH has coordinated with the Office of Insurance Regulation to distribute an alert regarding permitted early prescription refills during a State of Emergency. This alert was sent to health insurers, managed care organizations, health entities, and licensed health care providers. The alert can be found here.
  • DOH has coordinated with Federal partners to support the deployment of nearly 100 individuals through various health and medical teams. These teams stand ready in Orlando, Atlanta, and Warner Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia. 
  • DOH continues to coordinate across 67 county health departments on any necessary preparation resources, in coordination with county emergency managers.  
Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)
  • AHCA has activated reporting in the Health Facility Reporting System (HFRS) and is requesting all health care providers report their census, available beds, evacuation status and generator status information. This information allows AHCA to assist health care providers in transferring patients if needed and ensure health care providers in impacted areas have the necessary resources and adequate power.
  • Patient Movement Mission (DOH 4052) is activated. This mission is a combined effort by AHCA along with FHA, FHCA, LeadingAge, Florida Senior Living and Florida Assisted Living Associations.
  • This mission also supports the evacuation of nearly 8,000 patients and residents from more than 180 health care facilities. 
  • AHCA sent a Medicaid Provider Alert outlining Key Medicaid Information for Fee-For-Service and Managed Care Providers during Hurricane Ian, this can be found here.
  • AHCA has activated the Emergency Patient Look-Up System (E-PLUS).  Special needs shelters for 16 counties are able to utilize the system to retrieve patient medical records. E-PLUS is also available to assist medical providers and emergency response personnel with locating missing or displaced persons after the storm.
  • 84.25% of all facilities have reported into the Health Facility Reporting System.
  • AHCA has completed 355 onsite visits in Nursing Homes and ALFs that were previously identified as out of compliance with generator requirements.
  • AHCA has identified Home Medical Equipment providers that can assist with supplying oxygen supplies to Special Needs Shelters.
  • AHCA partnered with Florida Health Care Association and Florida Hospital Association to initiate statewide calls with long term care facilities and hospitals.
  • 100% of operating long-term care facilities have a generator on-site. The Generator Status Map for long-term care facilities is available here.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD)
  • APD is tracking 100 APD-licensed group homes which have evacuated to ensure client safety from Hurricane Ian. APD will provide necessary guidance for reentry when it is appropriate to do so.
Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)
  • DCF’s federal waiver request to release SNAP benefits early in preparation for Hurricane Ian was approved, and food assistance benefits were released on Septmeber 27 to Floridians that may be impacted by Hurricane Ian. More information here: ACCESS Florida – Florida Department of Children and Families (
    • 33 licensed group homes have been evacuated across the state.
    • DCF is maintaining contact with contracted partners, including, Managing Entities, Community Based Care lead agencies, and child-care providers to ensure Florida’s communities remain apprised of all storm updates.
    • DCF is ensuring all Mental Health Treatment Facilities and methadone treatment programs are prepared for the storm.
Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)
  • DOEA service providers around the state are in progress or have completed check-in and informational calls to their senior clients.
  • Area Agencies on Aging that are expected to be impacted by Hurricane Ian have been distributing shelf-stable meals to their home delivery meal clients.
  • The Department of Economic Opportunity released emergency funds for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program that will allow the Department of Elder Affair’s providers to assist low-income seniors with a variety of expenses, including reestablishing electricity, assisting with transportation costs, and more.
  • Area Agencies on Aging in the affected areas are coordinating with other agencies to answer local Elder Helpline calls during power outages (1-800-96-ELDER).
Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA)
  • Veterans enrolled in VA Health Care in need of routine or urgent care services in the projected path of the storm can contact VA Health Connect, also known as the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center, at 1-877-741-3400.
  • The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will close the following locations for in person and procedure appointments:
    • C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center: Monday, September 26 through Thursday, September 29. This closure extends to the Emergency Department.
    • North Pinellas and St. Petersburg VA Clinics: Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29.
    • Sarasota, Bradenton, and Port Charlotte VA Clinics: Wednesday, September 28.
Florida Department of Education (DOE)
  • Early Learning Coalitions have closed in the following counties: Bradford, Baker, Brevard, Broward, Citrus, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Hendry, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Levy, Martin, Manatee, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Putnam, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Volusia. 
  • The Florida Department of Education is consistently updating their website with school district closures, as well as State University System and Florida College System Closures.
  • As of 5 p.m. closures have been announced in 59 school districts, 24 Florida College System institutions and 11 State Universities. For a full list of closures, visit
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
  • Current conditions are highly hazardous. Floridians should stay indoors and stay off the roads until it is confirmed safe to travel.
  • FDOT has bridge inspectors staged and ready to inspect bridges as soon as it is safe to do so. Note: For safety, bridges must be inspected in daylight.
  • FDOT Cut and Toss Crews are staged and ready to begin clearing the path for first responders as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Bridges have been closed in Central Florida. The complete list of closures includes:
    • Manatee County
    • Bridge at S.R. 64 / Manatee Ave East 
    • Cortez Bridge
    • Sarasota County
    • John Ringling Causeway
    • Pinellas County
    • Sunshine Skyway Bridge
  • Tolls have now been suspended on roadways in Central Florida. The complete list of toll facilities include: 
    • SR 91 Turnpike Mainline from Osceola Parkway (MP249) north to I-75 
    • SR 417 – Southern Connector Extension, Central Florida Greeneway and Seminole Expressway   
    • SR429 – Western Beltway   
    • SR429 – Wekiva Parkway  
    • SR408 – Holland East-West Expressway   
    • SR528 – Beachline Expressway    
    • SR414 – John Land Apopka Expressway    
    • SR538 – Poinciana Parkway   
    • SR453
    • SR551 – Goldenrod Road Extension
    • I-4 Express
    • Polk Parkway in Polk County
    • Suncoast Parkway in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus County
    • Veterans Expressway, the I-4 Connector, and the Selmon Expressway in Hillsborough County
    • Pinellas Bayway and Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Pinellas County
    • Alligator Alley in Collier and Broward Counties
  • Updated toll suspension information, including those west coast roadways whose tolls have already been suspended, can be found at
  • All ports currently have adequate fuel supplies and are staging appropriate measures to be well-positioned after the storm in order to quickly reinstate operations and keep fuel supplies moving.
    • Ports that are currently closed: Port Tampa Bay, Port of St. Petersburg Seaport Manatee, Port of Fort Pierce, Port of Palm Beach, and Port of Key West, Port Canaveral.
    • Ports that are open while preparing for storm impacts: Port Everglades, PortMiami, Port Fernandina, JAXPORT (closure expected Wednesday), Port of Pensacola (with restrictions), Port Panama City, and Port St. Joe 
  • Current status is listed below. While some facilities have scheduled closures, individual airlines may decide to cease flights earlier than that. 
    • Tampa International Airport will suspend operations at 5pm Tuesday September 27 and will not reopen before Friday, September 30
    • St.Pete/Clearwater International Airport will close at 2pm Tuesday September 27
    • Sarasota Bradenton International Airport- Airport will close 8pm local Tuesday September 27 through 8pm Thursday September 29
    • Southwest Florida International Airport – All flight operations are cancelled at Southwest Florida International Airport for Wednesday, September 28. Many flights have also been cancelled for Thursday.
    • Tallahassee International Airport- Currently open and continuing storm preparations
    • Pensacola International Airport- Currently open and continuing storm preparations
    • Punta Gorda Airport- Currently open and continuing storm preparations
    • Orlando International Airport- Closing Wednesday, September 28 at 10:30 am
    • Orlando Sanford International Airport- Passenger terminal closing at 5pm. Airport Facility closing at 11PM. Flights on Wednesday and Thursday are cancelled
Transit and Rail 
  • HART suspended all transit service
  • HART, Pasco, and LeeTRAN suspended fares  
  • Transit agencies focused on life-sustaining trips  
  • Amtrak service cancelled south of Jax September 27-29  
  • Regional Rail (Florida Central, Florida Midland, Florida Northern and Port Manatee Railroads) will shut down operations beginning today, September 27 at midnight. 
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)
  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is prepared to escort large convoys of utility and initial response crews into impacted areas as soon as weather allows.
  • FHP is continuing to fulfill missions as they are received, such as critical response team escorts, traffic control, bridge closures, and requests for high water vehicles.
  • FHP is assisting FDOT with bridge closures across impacted areas, including the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
  • FHP is placing Troopers at open service plazas on the Florida Turnpike to support motorists.
  • FHP completed an escort of volunteer shelter workers convoying from out of state to Pinellas County to support sheltering efforts in Florida due to Hurricane Ian.
  • FHP has deployed a mobile command center to the State Emergency operations Center to provide enhanced communication capabilities and additional resources.
  • More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are ready to assist with enhanced evacuation and response efforts.
  • FHP has activated 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts for more than 500 Troopers across Florida gulf coast. 
  • FHP has placed 330 Quick Reactionary Force troopers on standby, ready to move into affected areas quickly to provide immediate relief.
  • FHP has strategically staged high-water rescue vehicles to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
  • FHP has strategically staged its fixed-wing aircraft to monitor traffic routes and to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
  • FHP has placed its unmanned aerial vehicle teams on standby to assist in search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
  • FHP Regional Communications Centers are preparing to perform take-over services for other impacted FHP dispatch centers to ensure all state law enforcement officers continue to receive dispatch services.
  • FHP is providing liaisons to affected county emergency operations centers.
  • FHP encourages evacuating motorists to report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
  • FLHSMV driver license and motor vehicle service center closures can be found here.
  • FLHSMV has issued Emergency Order 092422, which:
    • Waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief; and
    • Waives the replacement fees for driver’s license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
  • 25 FWC officers from the Northwest Region are standing by to augment the first wave of response units, with additional four-wheel drive vehicles, vessels, UTVs, ATVs and other equipment.
  • 81 FWC officers and 2 vehicle and vessel mechanics are prepared to deploy following the storm’s passing, anticipated Thursday morning.
  • 15 FWC Special Operations Group officers from the Northwest Region are staged in Orlando with Urban Search and Rescue Teams for pre-landfall briefings and preparation for immediate insertion into the affected area following the storm’s passing.
  • The FWC will be deploying 1 mobile command trailer and 3 BERG units to provide communications and operational support in the event lodging, power and water may not be available to responding units.
  • FWC officers in all 67 Florida counties are on heightened alert status, in anticipation of strong winds, heavy rains and flooding because of Hurricane Ian.
  • FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) teams will serve as reconnaissance units for the State EOC and report back on damage after the storm has made landfall. 
  • FWC Aviation Section has readied all appropriate aircraft for deployment for EOC aerial assistance, reconnaissance, and post-storm damage assessments.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)
  • DEO has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Inquiries may also be emailed to
  • DEO is working with its private-sector partners

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