ICYMI: Search and Rescue Efforts Underway Following Hurricane Ian

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis issued updates on Hurricane Ian at the State Emergency Operations Center with Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. Earlier today, Governor DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis and Director Guthrie surveyed the damage in Charlotte and Lee counties. Full remarks are available here.

More than 700 individuals have been rescued in Charlotte & Lee counties since search and rescue operations began this morning. There are currently 42,000 linemen responding to the more than 2.5 million reported power outages. They have already restored power to more than 200,000 accounts in Southwest Florida.

Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis also announced that donations have poured in to the Florida Disaster Fund, surpassing $10 million in just 24 hours of being activated. 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 or text DISASTER to 20222.

The Federal Government has also added the following counties to the major disaster declaration, meaning they will receive individual assistance and category A (debris removal) funding at 100% for 30 days: Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Polk.

Full updates on the state’s preparation and response efforts can be found here.


The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol’s (FHP) response efforts include:

  • FHP has deployed mobile command centers to the State Emergency Operations Center and southwest Florida to provide enhanced communication capabilities and additional resources.
  • More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are available to assist with enhanced response efforts.
  • FHP has activated 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts for more than 700 Troopers across the Florida gulf coast.
  • FHP has deployed approximately 125 of the 330 identified Quick Response Force Troopers to affected areas to aid search and rescue efforts.
  • FHP is strategically utilizing high-water rescue vehicles to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
  • FHP has strategically placed its fixed-wing aircraft to monitor traffic routes and to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
  • FHP has deployed its unmanned aerial vehicle teams 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 has provided liaisons to affected county emergency operations centers.
  • FHP encourages motorists to report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
  • FLHSMV Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units are preparing to deploy to provide no-fee driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, and vessel registrations and titles to impacted individuals.
  • 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.


The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education, and enforcement. Florida is leading the way to A Safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about FLHSMV and the services offered, visit, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV, find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram.