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Hurricane Ian Physician Relief & Resources
last updated: 10.26.22

    The Lee County Medical Society is working to assist physicians with relief and disaster resource support. Below is a guide to services available to physician residents of Lee County, Florida. This page also includes information on member practice updates and reopening dates. We will add or modify data on this page daily. We have also built a communication network for members to request supplies, housing, and relief. Text Julie Ramirez at the number below with your questions. Please consider donating to help us replenish the Physician Wellness Program which will help local doctors combat burnout and storm trauma. Click the button on the right to provide a gift.

    Do you need temporary shelter, supplies, practice or surgery space? Text Julie Ramirez at (239) 340-6351. 


    Relief Resources

    FEMA: 800-621-3362

    Small Business Administration Disaster Loans: 800-659-2955

    Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program:
    Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, this program provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Ian. Apply before Dec. 2nd for loans up to $50,000. Apply HERE.

    Disaster Recovery Center:
    1 stop location for 10+ agencies. The first Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian is at the Lakes Regional Library located at 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919. Open 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily. The Disaster Recovery Center is where individuals or businesses that need help recovering from the storm can go for assistance.

    Uber is offering free round-trip rides, up to $30 each way, to and from the Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC).

    AOB FRAUD ALERT:
    Contact your property insurer or the Florida Department of Financial Services Disaster Assistance at 877-693-5236 before signing an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) agreement with a building contractor, roofer, etc. This agreement would give them the authority to make repair decisions, collect insurance payments, and sue your carrier in your name without your knowledge, consent or involvement.

    EMERGENCY ACCOMMODATIONS: 
    LCMS is working with area real estate agents, crisis agencies, and individual physician members who can provide temporary housing. Text Julie Ramirez at 239-340-6351 if you need housing or can provide a room to a displaced member.

    The Naples Area Board of REALTORS®, Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association, Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS®, Bonita Springs-Estero Realtors® and the Marco Island Area Association of REALTORS®, launched HurricaneHomes.org, a listing of over 6,000 home rentals in Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral and Fort Myers and Southwest Florida that are immediately available to those displaced from their homes.

    FloridaHousingSearch.org is a free, statewide search platform where you can search for affordable rental property. Search HERE or call 877-428-8844.

    The local State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) office may have recovery assistance available to help with temporary relocation, rental assistance, debris removal, and home repairs. Income qualification requirements must be met. Go HERE or call 239-321-7979

    Visit Florida has partnered with Expedia to set up an emergency accommodations page. Go HERE.

    Some local AirBNB hosts are offering reduced rates. Ask them if they are willing to reduce rates or are part of AirBNB's Open Homes Initiative before you book. 

    Lee County has suspended RV and storage ordinances through March 22, 2024. This allows residents to live in their RV on their property with no penalty. A temporary permit is required. However, once a certificate of occupancy is issued for the home, the RV must be removed within 10 days.

      WET DOCUMENT DISPOSAL:
      Physician practices that experienced flooding and need to securely dispose of wet documents can call Matt at 313-320-1877 to arrange for the documents to be incinerated. (verified by LCMS)

      FOOD, WATER, ICE:
      The following Points of Distribution are open and distributing food, water and ice to impacted Lee County residents (updated 10.26.22).

      • Fort Myers Beach, adjacent to Town Hall, 2525 Estero Blvd.
      • Pine Island, Beacon of Hope Church, 5090 Doug Taylor Cir., St. James City
      • Sanibel Elementary School, 3840 Sanibel Captiva Road
      • Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way
      • A map of community organizations located in Lee County that are providing food through food banks is available HERE.

      COUNSELING:
      The Florida Disaster Fund and Volunteer Florida are working with the Department of Children and Families and Sunshine Health to open Family Resource Support Centers with one-on-one support for impacted families, including counseling resources on site for those who are struggling and need help. Anyone who needs help can call the Hope Line at 850-300-HOPE!

      Mental health resources for individuals and communities are also available at MyFLFamilies.com/HurricaneIan. All Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian can find someone to talk to today through the Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 800-985-5990.

      Lee County Medical Society's Physician Wellness Program

      CLOSED COUNTY PARKS:
      The following Lee County parks remain closed to the public (10.26.22): 

      • Lakes Park
      • Punta Rassa Boat Ramp
      • Rutenberg Park
      • Lee County Sports Complex
      • JetBlue Park

      DEBRIS REMOVAL DASHBOARD:
      Use this handy interactive dashboard to view the status of collection in an area of the county or search for an address

      CLOSED BRIDGES:
      The following bridges remain closed (10.26.22):

      • Sanibel Causeway
      • Matlacha Bridge
      • New Pass
      • Big Carlos Pass Bridge
      • Big Hickory Pass Bridge
      WORK NOT REQUIRING A PERMIT: 
      • Removal of debris from on or inside a structure
      • Minor demolition to prevent injury or prevent further damage to buildings
      • Structural shoring and bracing
      • Replacement of broken glass within existing framing for windows and doors
      • Repair/Replacement of soffit and gutters
      • Roof Shingle replacement of one square of shingles (10-foot by 10-foot area, or less)
      • Minor non-structural repairs made to the exterior of structures
      • Repair of minor water leaks that do not involve structural, mechanical or electrical systems
      • Previously permitted fences destroyed due to the storm may be re-installed, like for like, in the exact same location

        MALPRACTICE PREMIUM GRACE PERIOD:
        As requested from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, The Doctors Company is providing its Florida members with a premium payment grace period that runs until November 28, 2022. The grace period is provided without interest or penalty, so that members can focus on their patients and their practices in the aftermath of the storm.

        VITAL DOCUMENTS & ID REPLACEMENT: 
        Birth and Death certificates are being provided at no cost to individuals impacted by the hurricane. Also, FLHSMV has deployed Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units to provide no-fee replacements for driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations, and titles at:

        • Disaster Recovery Center, Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919
        • Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero, FL 33928 (FLHSMV only)
        • Joseph P. D’Alessandro Office Complex, 2295 Victoria Ave., Ft. Myers, FL 33901

        VEHICLE/VESSEL TAGS & TITLES:
        The Lee County Tax Collector's website has information on obtaining replacement tags (plates), titles for vehicles, motorhomes and marine vessels lost as a result of the hurricane HERE.  

        PROPERTY TAX DEADLINE EXTENSION:
        An executive order to suspend deadlines for payment of property taxes was signed by the Governor. However, new extension dates have not been released. For 2023, Lee County property appraiser will assess all properties. This assessment will reflect the change in value based on the damage by Hurricane Ian. 

        The Lee County Tax Collector's website has information on obtaining property tax bills if you've been displaced and information regarding homestead or financial resources to help you pay for property taxes HERE.  

        UNITED STATES POST OFFICE TEMPORARY LOCATIONS:
        Follow this link to find alternate mail pick-up locations for SWFL residents.

        CARS:
        Sutherlin Nissan in Fort Myers and Cape Coral have 100s of used cars. Ask for Store Manager Mike Spinazze and tell him Julie Ramirez from the Medical Society referred you, 239-610-4988.

        Holman Motors in Fort Lauderdale, a partner with the Broward County Medical Association, has cars available. Ask for Jeff Duecker at 954-417-3948. 

        INFANT SUPPLIES:
        The Department of Health’s Children’s Medical Services Plan and partners have setup the following locations in Lee County for individuals to receive free hygiene and infant supplies, in addition to other essentials. Open to the public:

        • Family Initiative located at 734 SW 4th St., Cape Coral, Florida 33991. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
        • Sunshine Fort Myers located at 4901 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33905. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

        MOLD REMEDIATION:
        The Florida Department of Health in Lee County addresses some of the most common questions concerning indoor mold. DOWNLOAD

        MARINE TRANSPORT:
        Pure Florida has vessels to get individuals onto islands. Call 239-263-4949.

        MEDICAL CARE FOR PETS:
        The University of Florida Mobile Veterinary Team is providing FREE triage and medical care for any Lee County pet owner at 3140 Palm Beach Blvd. Pet food is also being distributed.

        FREE LAUNDRY SERVICES:
        Tide Loads of Hope is providing free laundry services from 9:00am - 5:00pm in a mobile unit located at the Walmart Supercenter at 545 Pine Island Rd., in North Ft. Myers. Limit 2 loads per household (no heaving bedding).

        DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE:

        Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is providing Disaster Unemployment Assistance to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian. Individuals affected in the designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by December 30, 2022. Go HERE to start the application process.

          AREA HOSPITAL STATUS:

          • Lee Health: 
            • All hospital campuses have power/water restored. 
            • Lee Health Telehealth Services are free, 855-635-1393.
            • DispatchHealth in-home urgent, non-emergency care, 239-322-3435.
            • Daily updates HERE

          • HCA Florida Cape Coral Hospital:
            • All services at the facility are available 24 hours a day
            • Repairs still underway at Fawcett Hospital - closed
            • NCH Healthcare System:
              • Accepting emergency patients only.
              • Virtual Care Service fees are free
              • Daily updates HERE

            A mobile field hospital with 100 beds has been set up at Edison Mall (old Sears). For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.

            IRS RELIEF EFFORTS:
            Hurricane Ian victims throughout Florida now have until February 15, 2023, to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. As such, i
            ndividuals who had a valid extension to file their 2021 return due to run out on October 17, 2022, will now have until February 15, 2023, to file. The February 15, 2023, deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on January 17, 2023, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on October 31, 2022, and January 31, 2023. Businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on October 17, 2022. Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after September 23, 2022, and before October 11, 2022, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by October 11, 2022.

            UPDATE: Eligible taxpayers that file Florida corporate income tax returns, as well as Florida corporate income tax installment payments, with original due dates or extended due dates falling on or after September 23, 2022 and before March 2, 2023 will now have a due date of March 2, 2023. This tax relief is applicable to affected businesses anywhere in Florida. Taxpayers needing assistance with corporate income tax filing may contact DOR’s Taxpayer Assistance at (850) 488-6800. 

            OIR EMERGENCY ORDER:
            The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has issued an emergency order that prevents property and casualty insurance cancellations or nonrenewals until Nov. 28th.

            EMERGENCY SHELTERS (updated 10.26.22):

            • Del Tura Plaza, 18900 North Tamiami Trail, N Ft. Myers, FL 

            STORM CLEANUP:
            The Operation Blue Roof program, a FREE service for Charlotte & Lee County residents, will provide temporary blue covering with fiber-reinforced sheeting to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made. Requests must be made before Oct. 23rd at 888-766-3258. Start application HERE. (for shingled roofs). 

            Crisis Cleanup will connect you with volunteers from local relief organizations, community groups and faith communities who may be able to assist with:

            • Cutting up fallen trees
            • Drywall, flooring and appliance removal to curb
            • Tarping Roofs
            • Debris removal to curb
            • Mold mitigation

            All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to overwhelming need. The 1-800-451-1954 hotline will remain open through Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

            EMERGENCY ORDINANCES, DECLARATIONS & ORDERS:

            PROPERTY REASSESSMENTS:
            Lee County Property Appraiser's office will be evaluating all 550,000 properties in Lee County during the next couple of months to assess damage and redetermine values. Residents can help streamline the process by submitting information including damage details and photographs on LeePa.org.

            Help/Donate

            VOLUNTEER:
            The Florida Department of Health is seeking licensed healthcare practitioners to support recovery efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Ian. 
            It is important for healthcare practitioners to not self-deploy, but to instead register with trusted organizations so response efforts can be coordinated properly.

            If you are able to volunteer, please register with Volunteer Florida to ensure you are placed where the greatest needs exist. Steps to get started are listed below:

            STEP 1: Go to www.VolunteerFlorida.org
            STEP 2: Select “Volunteer”
            STEP 3: View volunteer opportunities posted on the page
            STEP 4: Select “Express Interest”
            STEP 5: Create a volunteer account or log into an existing account.

            Non-medical volunteers are also needed at area shelters, food distribution points, cleanup location - go to volunteer.unitedwaylee.org.

            DONATE:
            LCMS FOUNDATION - PHYSICIANS HELPING PHYSICIANS
            Many physicians' homes and possessions were lost in the storm. Donations will be used to provide assistance for emergency relief and recovery services. DONATE NOW!

            In partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry & Glades County, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation (Collaboratory) has set up the Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund. 100% of funds support Southwest Florida nonprofits helping people affected by Hurricane Ian. DONATE HERE!

            The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to our communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with public, private, and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.

            Practice Reopenings

            Advocate Radiation Oncology offices in Southwest Florida are open for treatment for both existing and new patients in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs; Naples, and Port Charlotte

            Associates in Digestive Health - Fort Myers and Cape Coral will reopen on Monday, October 10th

              Barkley Surgicenter will reopen on Monday, October 10th

              Cape Health Surgery Center will reopen on Monday, October 10th

              Florida Heart Associates has reopened

              Fort Myers Surgery Center has reopened

                Gastroenterology Associates of Southwest Florida offices in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral will reopen on Monday, October 10th

                Gulfshore Behavioral Health has reopened

                Gulfcoast Certified Primary Care has reopened

                Lee Physician Group - Gastroenterology offices in HealthPark Commons and Coconut Point are reopen. The LPG Endoscopy centers are providing outpatient procedures

                Precision Pain Medical Center has reopened

                Pulmonology Critical Care Specialists has reopened

                Physicians Primary Care - as of 10/10/22 all offices are open except Cay West Adult Medicine and Peds South in Fort Myers

                Specialists In Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, P.A., Craig R. Sweet, M.D. reopened on Monday, October 3, 2022

                Summit Maternity Care Center is providing free providing prenatal appointments for women who are unable to find accessible care with their doctors due to Hurricane Ian and closures. It opened Monday and will remain so from 10:00am to 3:00pm through Friday at 950 Tamiami Trail, Suite 101, in Port Charlotte








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                Fax: (239) 936-0533 
                Email: admin@lcmsfl.org

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                Mailing Address:
                5781 Lee Blvd. Suite 208-104
                Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

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