Outreach workers continue with community recovery efforts to help households impacted by Ian

Fort Myers, FL – Outreach workers wearing “How Can I Help?” shirts began visiting Hurricane Ian-impacted neighborhoods and areas of Lee County today as part of the Lee Board of County Commissioners’ and State of Florida’s continued efforts toward community recovery.

The workers will be in a dozen impacted areas today through Jan. 12, and likely beyond. They work for a contracted vendor called Indelible, who was hired by the Florida Division of Emergency Management to put boots on the ground and encourage people to meet the Jan. 12 FEMA individual assistance deadline as well as help connect residents with Unite Florida and other housing, rental and homeowner assistance.

Lee County’s Human & Veteran Services staff has connected Indelible workers with community contacts. The workers will be on the streets 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily for the next week. Residents, who the county recognizes may be weary from abundant visits from prospective contractors, are encouraged to be aware that Indelible outreach workers will be in gray or blue shirts with “How Can I Help?” across the back.

The workers will distribute flyers to help connect residents with the resources listed at the county’s specialized landing page, www.leegov.com/storm/housing.

The goal is to continue to ensure residents are aware of the different resources available by FEMA, the State of Florida and Lee County Government. Regardless of the level of damage residents experienced, residents are encouraged to apply to FEMA. Future disaster-related federal funding is based on the number of actual applications generated to FEMA by a storm. 

The workers will be in areas such as Pine Island – including Matlacha and St. James City – and San Carlos Island, Island Park, Iona-McGregor, Dunbar, Tice, Suncoast and others.

To apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance go online to disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362. Assistance is available in most languages. Calls are answered every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Survivors can also register at any Disaster Recovery Center operating throughout Florida’s disaster-damaged counties. To find one nearby, go online to: DRC Locator.

Individuals who have insurance are encouraged to file a claim for disaster-caused damage before they apply for FEMA assistance. You do not need to wait for your insurance settlement to submit a disaster assistance application. Anyone who has already filed a FEMA application should review it to be certain the information is current, especially their contact information which may have changed following the storm.

The Lee County Department of Human & Veteran Services serves as a hub for government, private and nonprofit resources designated to aid individuals and families. For more information on Lee County Human & Veterans Services programs, log on to www.leegov.com/dhs. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, call the department’s coordinated entry help line at 239-533-7996.

For more response and recovery information about Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in Lee County on Sept. 28, visit www.leegov.com/storm. To receive updates from Lee County Government, sign up for the newsletter at www.leegov.com/resources/newsletters. Follow Lee County Government on Facebook, www.facebook.com/leecountyflbocc.