FORT MYERS, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis introduced new efforts to help residents and businesses remove vessels and debris from waterways and other areas hit by Hurricane Ian. It will include the use of technology platforms and satellite imagery to help FEMA make faster determinations regarding eligibility for the program.
The governor also announced the approval of the FEMA Direct Temporary Housing Program for the hardest-hit counties. For Florida residents who may not be eligible for FEMA Direct Temporary Housing, DeSantis presented a state-led housing program.
“By addressing private and commercial debris removal far sooner than in prior disasters, we are building the foundation for a swift recovery,” Governor DeSantis said. “I am also happy to announce temporary housing that will give displaced individuals the time they need to take a breath and evaluate their next steps without worrying about where they will sleep at night.”
All in all, the cleanup and recovery after Ian, including assistance to those whose homes have been destroyed, is a highly complex and collaborative effort with multiple agencies involved – local, state and federal.
Kevin Guthrie, Director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, confirmed that this work is progressing as planned. “Our continued coordination between local, state, and federal partners has led to a record-breaking speed in the state’s response to Hurricane Ian,” he said and added: “Under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, my team has been empowered to work on innovative solutions to debris removal and housing just weeks after landfall, which is unheard of in prior disaster responses.”
Guthrie’s agency is working closely with the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard and local governments to identify and remove vessels and other debris from waterways. The newly formed State Debris Cleanup Program will help Hurricane Ian survivors with removal of displaced and abandoned titled property.
HELP WITH HOUSING
When it comes to housing assistance, FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing program is approved for individuals whose homes are uninhabitable in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto and Lee counties. The program includes 18 months of assistance for manufactured housing units, non-motorized recreational vehicles and other temporary, move-in-ready housing for those impacted.
For those who may not be eligible for the FEMA program, the state will be able to help with providing trailers and RVs to impacted Floridians. This program will allow hurricane victims to stay in temporary housing on their own property while repairs are made to their homes.
To report vehicles, vessels, debris and other objects that need to be removed, go to IanDebrisCleanup.com and make a report.