Hurricane Ian Recovery Resources

The Town of Fort Myers Beach took a catastrophic direct hit from Hurricane Ian on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. Ian was a category 4-plus hurricane. Sustained winds were clocked just a few miles per hour short of a category 5. 

The storm wreaked widespread damage throughout the Town. Nearly every structure on the Island was impacted in some way. This storm has been described as being in the top five of most catastrophic natural disasters in the world. 

However, the Town has progressed rapidly in its recovery and all indications are that this progress will continue! This page is intended as a central location for information and resources as we move through our recovery from Hurricane Ian.

STAY CONNECTED

The Town’s main phone line - 239-765-0202 - is back in service though transferring calls to extensions is not possible at this time. If there is no answer, you can leave a message by pressing “O” when prompted. The extensions of staff are not operational. Email contacts are best:

  1. Building Services – buildingpermits@fmbgov.com 
  2. Debris – publicworks@fmbgov.com
  3. Drinking water, sewer, stormwater - utilities@fmbgov.com
  4. General - Publicinfo@fmbgov.com
  5. Visit www.fmbgov.com
  6. Follow the Town of Fort Myers Beach, FL on Facebook, Twitter, Instgram, LinkedIn, YouTube
  7. Sign up for text or email alerts - enter your email and cell phone number, then select News Flash/Advisories 

FEMA will only reach out if you have already applied for assistance. If you are contacted by someone asking you to apply for FEMA assistance or if you question someone’s intent, contact your local law enforcement agency.  

Be cautious if somebody asks for your nine-digit application number. A FEMA inspector will not ask for this. They already have it in their records and may provide it to you to confirm they are interacting with the correct person. FEMA inspectors never ask for or confirm banking information. Ask the inspector to show you their identification badge. Federal and contracted employees always wear an official government badge to identify themselves.  

Do not let someone into your home who claims to be a FEMA employee but does not have a FEMA photo ID. All FEMA representatives carry a laminated photo ID.  

Don’t trust someone who asks for money. Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money. FEMA and staff from the Small Business Administration never charge for inspections or help in filling out a disaster assistance application. 

Don’t believe anyone who promises a disaster grant and asks for large cash deposits or advance payments in full. 

More information here.  

BUILDING SERVICES DIVISION

The Building Services Division is currently receiving a high volume of permit applications and questions and our team is working diligently to help everyone as quickly as possible. To help us serve you and all customers more effectively, we are requesting that all those with questions first review the answers to our most frequently asked questions. 

Read them here: Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered after reading the FAQs, Building Services staff can be contacted by email at buildingpermits@fmbgov.com, by telephone at 239-765-0202 choose option 2 or in-person at the east gate of the temporary Town government camp at 2545 Estero Blvd (located just south of the damaged Town Hall).

Steve Poposki - Building Official,Community Dev. Director  Spoposki@fmbgov.com

Andrew Garry - Permit Supervisor Andrew.garry@fmbgov.com

Kristin Schumacher - Floodplain Coordinator Kristin.schumacher@fmbgov.com

PERMITS - DO I NEED A PERMIT?

Visit our Building Services page for information on permits, what activities require a permit, and how to get a permit. 

Still have questions? Email buildingpermits@fmbgov.com

The Town is currently accepting rebuild permits. Find forms for submitting rebuild information.

For updated permitting information, please continue to check the Town's Building Services Webpage at www.fmbgov.com/building.  Only permits submitted through the website will be accepted.

HOW DO I ACQUIRE A DEMOLITION PERMIT?

A demolition (demo) permit must be obtained before any structure is demolished/removed. A demo permit is secured through the Town by the demolition contractor. The demo permit application is located at the Building Services Applications and Forms page. 

After issuance of a demo permit, the contractor must request and pass inspections from the Lee County Utilities Department, the Town of Fort Myers Beach (FMB) Utilities Department, and the FMB Building Services Division. The purpose is to ensure that the sewer lateral and water meter are properly capped off before demolition begins. 

After obtaining a demolition permit, the following steps must be completed by the demolition contractor:

A copy of the permit inspection board and all approved permitting documents must remain posted in a weather-protected condition at the job site, visible from the street. 

The existing sewer lateral must be capped off and the Lee County Utilities Department must conduct an inspection before it is covered. Email the Lee County Sewer Disconnect Form to LCUNewinstalls@leegov.com;  

The capping of the existing sewer lateral and the associated inspection is to be requested by the contractor and passed by Town Utilities prior to commencing demolition work on the structure. A copy of an approval letter from Lee County Utilities must be received by the Town Building Services Division at buildingpermits@fmbgov.com prior to commencing demolition work on the structure. For additional questions contact Lee County Utilities at 239-533-8399.  The existing water meter must be capped off on the customer’s side of right of way. The FMB Utilities Department must conduct an inspection before it is covered. Email the Town of Fort Myers Beach Utilities Department at utilities@fmbgov.com or call 239-463-9914 to request an inspection and approval. The capping of the existing water meter and the associated inspection is to be requested by the contractor and passed by FMB Utilities prior to covering the work and commencing demolition work on the structure. 

It is the contractor’s responsibility to request and pass all inspections from Lee County Utilities, FMB Utilities, and the FMB Building Services Division when the associated work steps are complete. The contractor is solely responsible for any damages to sewer or water systems.

TEMPORARY USE PERMIT

HOW TO APPLY FOR A TEMPORARY ELECTRIC SERVICE POLE?

If you need temporary electric service for a temporary trailer/RV or for re-construction or renovations, follow these steps to get started:

  1. Visit FPL.com/construction to request a temporary electric service (a Florida-licensed electrical contractor can complete this step for you). Refer to: Creating Project Application One-Pager for Temporary Service Only  and upload your W2 form for billing and invoice purposes.
  2. An FP&L representative will assess the power requirements and provide you or your contractor with the requirements and the cost of installation. You can then make payment for the installation on fpl.com/construction. Refer to Project Portal Paying Construction Invoices Online   for more information. 
  3. Obtain a trade permit from the Town of Fort Myers Beach. Before service can be run, a Florida-licensed electrical contractor must acquire a trade permit through the IWorQ online permitting system at http://www.fmbgov.com/building. The trade permit application form is located at the Town of Fort Myers Beach Applications & Forms page at https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/1069/Building-Services-Applications-Forms. After the permit application is approved and the permit is issued, the contractor may install the temporary electric service pole. The contractor must then request a building code inspection from the Town, using their contractor code, through the IWorQ request portal at https://portal.iworq.net/FORTMYERSBEACH/permits/600. Once the inspection is passed, the Town will notify FP&L with authorization to energize the service.
  4. For more details on constructing a temporary electric service, see also the following FPL electric service standards:  

FPL electric service standards for underground service

FPL electric service standards for overhead service

Once FPL is notified of approval from the Town of Fort Myers Beach work request to install temporary service will be completed within 10 business days.  

If you have questions on either this info or any other restoration related concerns, please call 833-FPL-4IAN

CALCULATING THE 50% RULE

The Town has released a revised FAQ document to assist residents in calculating the 50% rule, based on a decision by Town Council at the October 25 meeting to add an adjustment pursuant to the Town’s ordinances. Link to more information: Click here Version OptionsHurricane Ian Recovery ResourcesHeadline Version OptionsHurricane Ian Recovery ResourcesHeadline

COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER 

A Community Resource Center is located at Beach Baptist Church, 130 Connecticut Street. This location is open 24 hours a day. Services provided are ice, non-perishable food, water, showers, laundry, restrooms. 

Starting on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, the Town will adjust its curfew hours to Midnight to 6 a.m. on the Matanzas Pass Bridge and the Big Carlos Pass Bridge. Residents need to be prepared to show proof of residency and visitors need to be prepared to show proof of reservations if they are travelling during the curfew hours. For the Big Carlos Pass Bridge on the south end, contractors need to continue to adhere to the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. 

The Disaster Recovery Center is located at Beach Baptist Church, 130 Connecticut Street. Representatives from FEMA are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday to help you sign up for services and get questions answered.

APPLY for debris removal services on your property at iandebriscleanup.com

  1. Gov. DeSantis has developed the “Unite Florida Portal” for state sheltering and housing assistance. People must be registered with FEMA for individual assistance at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/. The deadline IS January 12 but this new portal is a way to connect residents with additional resources. The portal is at: https://ianrecovery.fl.gov/ and the news release about the portal can be found here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/11/21/governor-ron-desantis-announces-unite-florida-portal-for-state-sheltering-and-housing-assistance/
  2. The state launched awhile ago https://iandebriscleanup.com/ to help with property cleanup, be it a vessel or mobile home, or commercial or private property. View the fact sheet: https://iandebriscleanup.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/FDEM_Info-Sheet_11.15.22.pdf
  3. Lee County has a Hurricane Ian Debris website to better provide information to residents. Visit www.leegov.com/debris
  • Debris clean up from the waterways is underway
    hurricane ian wet debris removal

    Contractors vetted by the Florida Department of Emergency Management have been cleaning Hurricane Ian debris from public waterways for awhile now. Watch this video to learn more.

    Learn more about the State of Florida's support for our recovery from Hurricane Ian.

  • NEED A NEW RECYCLE BIN?

For any questions, missing recycle bin, pick-up or holiday information, contact Waste Management at (239) 334-1224. If possible, place household waste in a trash can. Bagged material will be picked up if separated from debris. Please put bagged household waste in a separate pile at the end of your driveway away from storm debris. Household waste is picked every Thursday morning , recycling Wednesday morning. 

Florida's First Lady Casey DeSantis has a website for donations and volunteers

HOW TO APPLY FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE IF YOUR HOME IS A BOAT

If a boat was your primary residence before and during Hurricane Ian making landfall in Florida – and the boat sustained hurricane damage - FEMA may be able to help. Survivors living in one of the 26 counties designated for federal assistance are encouraged to apply. You can begin your application online at DisasterAssistance.gov, visit a Disaster Recovery Center or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. The line is open every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Be ready to provide the physical and complete address of the dock or marina and the slip or mooring number, if the boat was not located on private property. There are multiple Disaster Recovery Centers operating throughout the impacted area. To find a center close to you, go online to: DRC Locator or floridadisaster.org, or text DRC along with your ZIP Code to 43362. 

Century Link  (866-460-4355)

Comcast  (1-800-XFINITY)

KEY QUESTIONS WITH KEY STAFFERS

FMB residents can pick up mail in Fort Myers Beach temporary Post Office located next to pre hurricane destroyed office. 

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mail and package pickup, as well as Post Office Box service, will also be available on Saturday from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Post Office Box customers who had a box at the original Post Office can pick up their new key by showing a photo ID during retail hours. Their Post Office Box numbers will remain the same.  As a reminder, customers must show a picture ID when picking up mail and packages.

Read details:  Temporary Post Office Opens in Fort Myers Beach 

MOBILE CRISIS RESPONSE TEAM

The Center for Progress and Excellence’s Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) has resources available for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Call 844-395-4432 to connect with a mental health professional who can assist you during this time of recovery.

PARKING

A very limited amount of parking has been restored in the Town after Hurricane Ian that hit on September 28, 2022.  Effective January 9, 2023, parking and thus parking fees $5 per hour resumed in these locations:

  • Under the Matanzas Pass Bridge in lots numbered 1-4;
  • In the Downtown District including Old San Carlos Boulevard, Center Street, and Estero Boulevard;
  • Waistina Way beach access parking lot on Estero Boulevard just south of Crescent Street. 

The Town uses the PassPort pay by phone app. Motorists can use the app to monitor their parking session, extend time remotely, view payment history, and receive email receipts. The app is free to download through the App Store or Google Play. Parking can also be managed at www.ppprk.com. Town parking zones are 2390, 2391, 2392 and 2393. Zone and space number should be selected accordingly.  

Click here Version OptionsHurricane Ian Recovery ResourcesHeadline for more information about parking.

PROPERTY APPRAISALS

For information about property appraisals following the hurricane, visit www.leepa.org.

SAFETY INFORMATION FROM THE FMB FIRE DISTRICT

Carbon monoxide detectors are now available at Community Resource Centers. Safety Tips include:

  • Do not attempt to move any leaking or damaged propane cylinders. If you encounter a leaking or damaged propane cylinder, call 911. For non-emergency removal of intact propane cylinders, call the Town of Fort Myers Beach at 239-765-0202 and have the address of the propane cylinder ready. 
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and conditions as you return to your home.
  • As the temperature rises, remember to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade when possible. 
  • Keep the road and fire hydrants clear of debris piles. If a hydrant is opened, contact the Fire District. 
  • Wear proper footwear (closed-toe, sturdy shoes). Debris piles cause uneven walking surfaces and tripping hazards. 
  • Treat all downed wires as live and electrified; do not touch downed wires. 
  • Point the exhaust of gas-powered machines away from any activity. 
  • If possible, avoid walking or working in high-dust areas or wear at least a N-95 mask.

SAND REMOVAL

Sand is considered debris. However, it is a resource that the Town wants to conserve to restore beaches. Keep sand debris separate from other types of debris as you stage it. There are two options for sand removal:

  • Use the sand to restore your beach property.
    • Separate and remove manmade debris from sand and sift it prior to returning to the beach.
    • Vehicles used on the beach to return sand should be permitted with the Town.
  • Stage the sand in the sidewalk right of way, keeping it separate from other types of debris.
    • Know that this sand may not be returned to you after debris contractors remove it

For more information: visit https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/1250/Hurricane-Ian-Resources

STATE AND NATIONAL RESOURCES

General Info & Resources: FloridaDisaster.org/Info
SAIL: 1-800-342-3557
Disaster Assistance: DisasterAssistance.gov
Donate: Volunteerflorida.org/donatefdf
Volunteer: Volunteerflorida.org
Debris Removal: IanDebrisCleanUp.com

Click here STATE AND NATIONAL RESOURCES STATE AND NATIONAL RESOURCES STATE AND NATIONAL RESOURCES STATE AND NATIONAL RESOURCES STATE AND NATIONAL RESOURCES STATE AND NATIONAL RESOURCES for a listing of other state and national resources available.

SWIM ADVISORY

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH-Lee) has issued a countywide precautionary swim advisory for all public beaches and swimming pools and is advising the public to not enter the water due to the possible increase of waterborne illnesses. The water quality has been affected by Hurricane Ian, and swimming is not recommended.

TRASH AND RECYCLING

Recycling and trash collection services are provided by Waste Management. For questions about trash or recycling pickup, holiday hours, or to request a new recycle bin, contact Waste Management at (239) 334-1224. 

If possible, place household waste in a trash can that you provide. Bagged material will be picked up if separated from storm debris. Put bagged household waste in a separate pile at the end of your driveway away from storm debris. Household waste is picked up every Thursday morning. Recycling is picked up on Wednesday mornings. 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

United Way is working with local emergency managers to coordinate volunteer opportunities. Please do not self-deploy. Check the United Way site to register as a volunteer, and they will contact you with available opportunities. The areas impacted by Hurricane Ian are considered hazardous at this time. To learn more and to register as a volunteer, click here VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce also has ways you can help. Click here VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES for more information.

The State of Florida is also coordinating volunteers:  Volunteerflorida.org

WATER AND POWER RESTORATION

Residents must have an inspection from a Florida-licensed structural engineer and a Florida-licensed electrician for power to be turned on. Email inspection reports along with the property address and the contractor’s  Florida license number to buildingpermits@fmbgov.com. To have water service restored to your home: 

  1. Secure structural and electrical inspections.
  2. Submit the inspections by email to buildingpermits@fmbgov.com
  3. The Town’s Utility Department will notify you when your home is scheduled for water restoration. 
  4. You MUST be present when water is restored.

WATER UTILITIES

To arrange to have water service restored to your home, or for questions about utility billing, contact Utilities at utilities@fmbgov.com.