Have questions about Hurricane Ian? The latest from a Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist on WMNF’s Tuesday Café.

storm warnings and watches
Hurricane Ian track as of 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. Via NOAA.

Florida is under a State of Emergency order as Hurricane Ian is expected to affect the Tampa Bay area through at least Thursday night. The Tampa Bay region is under a Hurricane Warning and a Storm Surge Warning. It is a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Evacuation orders

Hillsborough County has issued a mandatory evacuation for Level A and a voluntary evacuation order for Level B including all low-lying areas, mobile and manufactured homes.

Pinellas, Citrus, Sarasota and Manatee Counties have also issued mandatory evacuation orders for everyone in Zone A because of major Hurricane Ian.

In addition, Pinellas has also issued a mandatory evacuation for Zones B and C.

Hillsborough has issued voluntary evacuation orders for Zone B.

Pasco County has ordered evacuations in zones A, B and C, which includes everyone west of U.S. 19 and some neighborhoods to the east.

Hernando County: “Voluntary Evacuations have been issued for all areas west of US 19, which includes evacuation zones A, B, and C. All residents living in coastal and low-lying areas, as well as manufactured homes county wide, are included.”

FPREN meteorologist on WMNF’s Tuesday Café

We spoke with Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist Megan Borowski about Hurricane Ian on WMNF’s Tuesday Café on September 27, 2022.

Listen to the full show here:

Watch the interview with FPREN here:

WMNF’s Tuesday Café

WMNF’s Tuesday Café airs weekly beginning at 10:06 a.m. ET.

You can listen on 88.5 FM in Tampa Bay, on wmnf.org or on the WMNF Community Radio app.

School closures

  • Hillsborough County Schools will be closed Monday, September 26 through Thursday, September 29, 2022.
  • Pinellas County Schools will be closed Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28, 2022.
  • Sarasota County Schools will be closed Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
  • Polk County Schools will be closed Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28, 2022.
  • Pasco County Schools will be closed Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28, 2022.
  • Hernando County Schools will be closed Tuesday, September 27 through Friday, September 30, 2022.
  • Citrus County Schools will close Wednesday, September 28th, and Thursday, September 29th.
  • Levy County Schools will be closed Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29, 2022.
  • University of South Florida classes will be canceled Monday, September 26 until next Monday. Campuses will be closed starting Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
  • New College of Florida classes will be canceled Monday, September 26 through Friday, September 30, 2022.
  • The Stetson Law Gulfport and Tampa Law Center campuses will be closed Tuesday through Thursday, September 27-29.

The State of Florida keeps an updated list of school closures here.


Hillsborough shelters:

Hillsborough County has issued a mandatory evacuation for Evacuation Zone A as well as those in mobile and manufactured homes and residents in low-lying areas prone to flooding starting at 2 p.m. today, Monday, Sept. 26. The County has also issued a voluntary evacuation for Evacuation Zone B. Hillsborough County Administrator Bonnie Wise signed the evacuation order today in order to protect residents in coastal areas from expected storm surge. The County will open 43 shelters at 2 p.m. Monday.

Tuesday p.m. update: new shelter opens, one is full:

Hillsborough County has opened a new special-needs shelter at the Yuengling Center, located at 12499 USF Bull Run Drive, Tampa, FL 33617, on the University of South Florida campus.

This shelter accepts pets for those with special needs. Residents seeking a shelter are encouraged to make arrangements as soon as possible.

Erwin Technical College, a special-needs shelter located at 2010 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, is at capacity and is now closed.

Below is the list of shelters now open to residents:
General Population Shelters
  • Burnett Middle, 1010 N Kingsway Rd., Seffner
  • Durant High School, 4748 Cougar Path, Plant City
  • Lockhart Elementary, 3719 N 17TH St., Tampa
  • Middleton High School, 4801 N 22nd St., Tampa
  • Newsome High School, 16550 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia
  • Pizzo Elementary, 11701 Bull Run, Tampa
  • Reddick Elementary, 325 West Lake Dr., Wimauma
  • Sickles High School, 7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa
  • Steinbrenner High School, 5575 W. Lutz Lake Fern Rd., Lutz
  • Valrico Elementary, 609 S Miller Rd., Valrico
  • Benito Middle, 10101 Cross Creek Blvd., Tampa
  • Boyette Springs Elementary, 10141 Sedgebrook Dr., Riverview
  • Sessums Elementary, 11525 Ramble Creek Dr., Tampa
  • Cypress Creek Elementary, 4040 19th Ave. NE, Ruskin
  • Hammond Elementary, 8008 N. Mobley Rd., Odessa
  • Jennings Middle, 9325 Govenors Rd., Seffner
  • Marshall Middle, 18 S. Maryland Ave., Plant City
  • Mulrennan Middle, 4215 Durant Rd., Tampa
  • Nelson Elementary, 5413 Durant Rd., Tampa
  • Shields Middle, 15732 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin
  • Turner Elementary, 9020 Imperial Oaks Blvd., Tampa
  • Wharton High School, 20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa
  • Bartels Middle, 9190 Imperial Oaks Blvd., Tampa
  • Barrington Middle, 5925 Village Center Dr., Lithia
  • Brandon High School, 1101 Victoria St., Brandon
  • Cimino Elementary, 4329 Culbreath Rd., Valrico
  • Knights Elementary, 4815 N. Keene Rd., Plant City
  • Martinez Middle, 5601 W. Lutz Lake Fern Rd., Lutz
  • McKitrick Elementary, 5503 Lutz Lake Fern Rd., Lutz
  • Pride Elementary, 10310 Lions Den Dr., Tampa
  • Smith, Sgt. Paul Middle, 14303 Citrus Pointe Dr., Tampa
  • Summerfield Elementary, 11990 Big Bend Rd., Riverview
  • Tomlin Middle, 501 N. Woodrow Wilson, Plant City
  • Turkey Creek Middle, 5005 Turkey Creek Rd., Plant City
  • Dorothy York Innovation Academy , 5995 Covington Garden Drive, Apollo Beach
  • Bevis Elementary, 5720 Osprey Ridge Dr., Lithia
  • Bowers-Whitley Career Center, 13609 N. 22nd St., Tampa
  • Wilson Elementary, 702 English St., Plant City
  • Cannella Elementary, 10707 Nixon Rd., Tampa
Special-Needs Shelters and Pet-Friendly Shelters
  • Erwin Tech, 2010 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa
  • Sumner High School, 10650 County Road 672, Riverview
  • Strawberry Crest High School, 4691 Gallagher Rd., Dover
  • Riverview High School School, 11311 Boyette Rd., Riverview

The special-needs shelters are only for residents with medical issues that require electricity assistance or cognitive issues that would not be supported in a general population shelter.

Residents bringing pets to one of the four pet-friendly shelters need to bring a sturdy carrier for each pet that allows room for the pet to stand up and move around, as well as a collar with a leash and supplies for each pet to last seven days. More information on how residents can prepare their pets can be found here:

Residents are urged not to evacuate to hospitals, as they are not shelters.

HART Evacuation Routes

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) will continue to run the regular bus route service until further notice. Residents needing transportation assistance to a shelter should proceed to the nearest bus route. Bus drivers will transport evacuees to a bus transfer center, where they will be taken to the closest open shelter.
Get Connected. Stay Alert.

For more information on Hillsborough County’s response to Hurricane Ian, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates.

Residents without digital access are encouraged to call 833-HCSTORM or 833-427-8676, the County’s storm information line, for information on Hurricane Ian or visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe.

Link to order:

Pinellas shelters:

Special Needs Evacuation
Special needs shelters will open Monday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. Residents with special needs who require transportation to a safe location until the storm threat passes can still sign up by calling the County Information Center at 727-464-4333.

Emergency shelters
Residents should finalize their sheltering plans soon, whether it is in their non-evacuation zone home, in a hotel, or with a friend or family member.
Two general populations shelters will open Monday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. for those needing emergency shelter:

  • Ross Norton Recreation Center (1426 S M.L.K. Jr Ave, Clearwater, FL 33756)
  • Lealman Exchange (5175 45th St N, St. Petersburg)

Additional shelters will open Tuesday morning. More details will be provided at the press conference.
Follow the latest updates on Alert Pinellas, Ready Pinellas, www.pinellascounty.org, County social media and local media.

Polk shelters:

  • The following Polk County public shelters will be open on Tuesday, September 27 at 12:00 p.m.:
  • Horizons Elementary School 1700 Forest Lake Dr, Davenport
  • Sleepy Hill Elementary School 2285 Sleepy Hill Rd, Lakeland
  • R. Bruce Wagner Elementary School 5500 Yates Rd, Lakeland
  • Chain Of Lakes Elementary School 7001 Hwy 653, Winter Haven
  • Mulberry Middle School 500 SE Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Mulberry
  • Spessard Holland Elementary 2342 E.F. Griffin Rd, Bartow
  • Auburndale High School 1 Bloodhound Trail, Auburndale
  • Citrus Ridge Academy 1775 Sand Mine Rd, Davenport
  • George Jenkins High School 6000 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland
  • Highlands Grove Elementary 4510 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland
  • Kathleen High School 1100 Red Devil Way, Lakeland
  • Lake Marion Creek Middle School 3055 Lake Marion Creek Dr, Poinciana
  • Winter Haven High School 600 6th St SE, Winter Haven

Special Needs shelters will also open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, for those residents with special medical needs. Polk County Emergency Management’s Special Needs Program is designed to provide shelter and/or transportation for residents with medical or physical conditions and/or dependent on medical electrical equipment who require assistance during an emergency.

The Special Needs shelters are located at:

  • FDOH Polk Specialty Care Unit 1255 Brice Blvd., Bartow
  • McKeel Academy 1810 W. Parker St., Lakeland
  • Ridge Community High School 500 Orchid Dr., Davenport

Pet-friendly shelters that will be open Tuesday, September 27 at 112:00 p.m. will be at

  • Tenoroc High School 4905 Saddle Creek Rd., Lakeland
  • Lake Region High School 1995 Thunder Road, Eagle Lake
  • Haines City High School 2800 Hornet Drive, Haines City

Pet owners must bring shot records for their pets, an airline-approved carrying case or crate and pet food.
For the most updated information, please continue to monitor your local news media and check the county website for updates at www.polk-county.net.

Pasco shelters:

Pasco County is opening hurricane shelters for anyone who needs to leave their homes ahead of Hurricane Ian and has nowhere else to stay. The following shelters will open Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at 10 a.m.:

  • Centennial Middle School, 38505 Centennial Road, Dade City
  • Cypress Creek High School, 8701 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel
  • Cypress Creek Middle School, 8845 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel Fivay High School, 12115 Chicago Avenue, Hudson
  • Wesley Chapel High School, 30651 Wells Avenue, Wesley Chapel
  • Wiregrass Ranch High School, 2909 Mansfield Boulevard, Wesley Chapel
  • River Ridge Middle and High Schools, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey
  • Thomas E. Weightman Middle School, 30649 Wells Road, #3903, Wesley Chapel
  • Sunlake High School, 3023 Sunlake Boulevard, Land O’ Lakes
  • Pasco Middle School, 13925 14th Street, Dade City Fasano Regional Hurricane Center (Special Needs Only), 11611 Denton Avenue, Hudson

Fivay, River Ridge, Sunlake, Wiregrass Ranch and Fasano Regional Hurricane Center allow family pets. Learn what supplies you should bring with your pet:

Please plan to stay with family, friends or neighbors, if possible. If that’s not an option, please self-evacuate directly to an open shelter. Visit MyPasco.net to find an open shelter near you.

Pasco County also provides a shelter program for people with special needs – just contact Pasco County Customer Service at 727.847.2411 to register for a bed at the Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter or Wiregrass Ranch High School.

Visit MyPasco.net and follow Pasco County for the latest county updates on Hurricane Ian.

Hernando shelters:

A public shelter will open at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, for residents in these areas:

  • Challenger K-8 – Special Needs, 13400 Elgin Blvd.,, Spring Hill, FL 34609
  • The Mining Association Enrichment Center – General Population and Pet Friendly, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34601
  • Explorer K-8 – General Population and Pet Friendly, 10252 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill, FL 34608

Manatee shelters:

  • Braden River High School (pet friendly)
  • Harvey Elementary School
  • Manatee High School (pet friendly)
  • Myakka Elementary School
  • Mills Elementary School (pet friendly)
  • Bayshore Elementary School
  • Miller Elementary School
  • Freedom Elementary School
  • McNeal Elementary School
  • Gullett Elementary School
  • Rogers Garden Elementary School
  • Lee Middle School
  • Williams Elementary School
  • Willis Elementary School


City of St. Petersburg sandbags:

  • Lake Maggiore Park – 3601 Dr. MLK Jr. St. S.- prefilled bags
  • Mangrove Bay Golf Course – 875 62nd Avenue NE – prefilled bags
  • Northwest Pool – 2331 60th Street N .- prefilled bags
  • Azalea Park – 1600 72nd St N. – self-serve only
  • Lake Vista Park – 1401 62nd Ave S. – Tennis Court Parking Lot – self-serve only

Hernando County sandbags:

Sand and sandbags are available at Linda Pedersen Park (6300 Shoal Line Boulevard) and Anderson Snow Park (service road entrance between the park and gymnastics center)  from 9am-5pm. These self-serve sandbag sites will remain open until weather conditions begin to deteriorate. This is a self-serve sandbag site ONLY, please bring your own shovel.

Tips on how to properly fill and stack your sandbags Fill bags one-half to two-thirds of the way full Over-filled bags will result in a leaky sandbag wall Stack sandbags so that the seams between the bags are staggered Tuck the top of each bag under to ensure that that bag is sealed by its own weight

Citrus County sandbags:

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has issued a local state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Ian. No closures have been announced at this time. The regular BOCC meeting and final budget hearing will be held as scheduled on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.

Two self-serve sandbag sites are currently open:

  • Bicentennial Park, 501 N Baseball Point, Crystal River
  • Floral Park, 9530 S Parkside Ave, Floral City

Self-serve sites are open 24 hours but are not monitored overnight for availability of supplies. Sand and sandbags will be provided. Citizens wishing to take advantage of the self-serve sites will need to bring a shovel.

In addition, assistance will be provided at two staffed sandbag sites:

  • 4210 S Grandmarch Ave, Homosassa
    (Off of Grover Cleveland Blvd)
  • 7500 W Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River
    (SR44, across from Dan’s Clam Stand)

Full-service sandbag sites are currently open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Limit 12 bags per vehicle.

If you have any questions about sandbag sites, contact the Citrus County Road Maintenance Division at (352) 527-7610.

For the most current updates, please visit the Citrus County government Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CitrusCountyBOCC.

Courthouse closures

All “courthouses in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, which comprises Pinellas and Pasco counties, will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 27, Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29”

Below is the Tuesday evening update from the State of Florida:

Ian became a Category 3 hurricane early this morning and is located in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, roughly 180 miles south of Punta Gorda as of 8pm. Hurricane Ian will approach the southwest coast of Florida on Wednesday and storm impacts are expected to spread northward throughout the week.

Mandatory Evacuation Orders have been issued for coastal communities, mobile homes and low-lying areas in the following counties:

  • Charlotte
  • Citrus
  • Collier
  • Hernando
  • Hillsborough
  • Lee
  • Levy
  • Manatee
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Putnam
  • Sarasota

Current Watches and Warnings in Effect:

  • A Hurricane Warning has been issued for west central Florida including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Okeechobee, Hardee, Highlands, Desoto, Charlotte, Lee, Coastal Collier counties.
  • A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Glades, Hendry, Inland Collier counties.
  • Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Inland Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Brevard, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, Levy, Dixie, Coastal Taylor, Coastal Jefferson, Coastal Wakulla, Coastal Franklin, Marion, Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns, Duval, Coastal Nassau, Clay, Putnam counties.
  • Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Inland Nassau, Baker, Union, Bradford, Alachua, Gilchrist counties.
  • A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Suwannee River southward to Flamingo, including Tampa Bay, Dry Tortugas, as well as from the Flagler/Volusia Line to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River. A Surge Warning is also in effect along the St. Johns River.

State preparation and response efforts include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

  • FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Ian. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
  • FDEM Liaisons are being identified and deployed to counties to provide on-site response assistance and to conduct damage assessments after the storm.
  • At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, an Incident Management Team (IMT) from Ohio is en route to Florida to ensure additional support for response and recovery efforts after the storm.
  • FDEM is deploying several hundred shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that have opened their Special Needs hurricane shelters.
  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Ian response, with more than 350 SERT members staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
  • The Division has received more than 600 resource requests for Hurricane Ian and fulfilled 495. Requests are currently being processed and are either en route or being mobilized. This includes the coordination of resources such as: trucks of food and water, generators and water pumps.
    • 160 truckloads (85 loads of water and 75 loads of MREs) are ready to deploy, with some of this supply already en route to Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
    • Several hundred generators and pumps, in addition to debris equipment, have been staged for response and recovery efforts.
    • 100,000 tarps to protect homes and allow more residents to stay at home rather than in a public shelter.
  • Five Florida Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Teams are activated, and will be prepared to deploy to impacted areas. Federal USAR Teams from Virginia, Texas and Indiana stand ready to assist in response and recovery efforts, and a federal USAR Team from Ohio is currently mobilizing.
    • FDEM is currently coordinating the provision of meals for first responders staged in Orange County.
  • FDEM has begun setting up a Logistical Staging Area in Polk County and is identifying potential additional staging areas and points of distribution to ensure food and water are readily available if counties request it.
  • FDEM has loaded 360 trailers with over 2 million meals and over one million gallons of water in preparation for distribution to impacted areas.
  • FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate protective actions and needed resources ahead of potential storm impacts.
  • FDEM is coordinating with utilities to ensure crews are prepared to respond and restore power. Utility providers have more than 30,000 linemen staged and prepared for power restoration efforts.

Florida National Guard

  • Following Governor DeSantis’ authorization, a total of 5,000 Florida Guardsmen are being activated to State Active Duty and pre-positioned at armories across the state for Tropical Storm Ian response operations. 2,000 Guardsmen from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina are also being activated to assist.
  • In addition, the Florida Guard has mobilized and is on standby with five Route Clearance Teams and Aviation assets.
  • The Florida National Guard is well-equipped, with assets including high-wheeled vehicles, helicopters, boats, generators and more.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)

  • In advance of Hurricane Ian, FDLE regional support and logistics teams throughout the state are preparing to deploy personnel and equipment for a ready response to the aftermath of the storm. FDLE has started pre-staging equipment and mobile command posts at strategic locations. Teams with chainsaws, tarps, and other supplies are assembling.

Florida Department of Health (DOH)

  • The Department and Agency for Health Care Administration have initiated Patient Movement Mission to support medical transport and evacuations of health care facilities. 
    • This mission is evacuating 15 hospitals in areas of anticipated landfall. The Department continues to assess and support any additional necessary evacuations.
    • This mission also supports the evacuation of over 100 health care facilities. 
  • Nearly 400 ambulances, paratransit busses, and support vehicles are responding to areas of anticipated landfall. 
  • The Department has prepared for Special Needs Shelter operations to begin in areas of anticipated landfall. A press release has been deployed statewide for additional information on special needs shelters. 
  • The State Surgeon General has signed Emergency Order 22-001 waiving statutory procurement requirements to ensure the Department is able to deploy necessary action due to Hurricane Ian. This can be found here.
  • The State Surgeon General has signed a letter to allow staff of the Department and Agency for Health Care Administration to travel past curfews across state lines to conduct any necessary health and safety actions. 
  • The Department has coordinated with the Office of Insurance Regulation to distribute an alert regarding permitted early prescription refills during a State of Emergency. This alert was sent to health insurers, managed care organizations, health entities, and licensed health care providers. The alert can be found here.
  • The Department has coordinated with Federal partners to support the deployment of nearly 100 individuals through various health and medical teams. These teams stand ready in Orlando, Atlanta, and Warner Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia. 
  • The Florida Department of Health (Department) continues to coordinate across 67 county health departments on any necessary preparation resources, in coordination with county emergency managers.  

Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)

  • AHCA has activated reporting in the Health Facility Reporting System (HFRS) and is requesting all health care providers report their census, available beds, evacuation status and generator status information. This information allows AHCA to assist health care providers in transferring patients if needed and ensure health care providers in impacted areas have the necessary resources and adequate power.
  • Patient Movement Mission (DOH 4052) is activated. This mission is a combined by AHCA, along with FHA, FHCA, LeadingAge, Florida Senior Living and Florida Assisted Living Associations.
  • The Agency sent a Medicaid Provider Alert outlining Key Medicaid Information for Fee-For-Service and Managed Care Providers during Hurricane Ian, this can be found here.
  • AHCA has activated the Emergency Patient Look-Up System (E-PLUS).  Special needs shelters for 16 counties are able to utilize the system to retrieve patient medical records. E-PLUS is also available to assist medical providers and emergency response personnel with locating missing or displaced persons after the storm.
  • The State Surgeon General has signed a letter to allow staff of the Department and Agency for Health Care Administration to travel past curfews across state lines to conduct any necessary health and safety actions, this can be found here.
  • 80.13% of all facilities have reported into the Health Facility Reporting System.
  • AHCA has completed 296 onsite visits in Nursing Homes and ALFs that were previously identified as out of compliance with generator requirements.
  • AHCA is working to identify Home Medical Equipment providers that can assist with supplying oxygen supplies to Special Needs Shelters.
  • The Agency will be partnering with Florida Health Care Association and Florida Hospital Association to initiate statewide calls with long term care facilities and hospitals.
  • As of today, 100% of operating long-term care facilities have a generator on-site. The Generator Status Map for long-term care facilities is available here.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD)

  • APD hosted a virtual meeting with its partner associations to update them on storm activities and to offer assistance, if needed.
  • APD Regions have reached out to 2,135 group homes to ensure there are no unmet needs.
  • In APD’s Suncoast Region, more than 50 group homes are in mandatory Evacuation Zones have enacted their Emergency Preparedness plans and are evacuating.

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)

  • Early Learning Coalitions have closed in the following counties: Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Lee, Collier, Hendry, Glades, Manatee, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.
    • DCF has been working with contracted partners, including, Managing Entities, Community Based Care lead agencies, and child care providers to ensure Florida’s communities remain apprised of all storm updates and are making preparations for potential impacts.
    • DCF is also ensuring all Mental Health Treatment Facilities and methadone treatment programs are prepared for the storm.
  • DCF’s federal waiver request to release SNAP benefits early in preparation for Hurricane Ian was approved, and food assistance benefits will be released earlier than scheduled to Floridians that may be impacted by Hurricane Ian. More information here: ACCESS Florida – Florida Department of Children and Families (myflfamilies.com)

Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)

  • DOEA service providers around the state are in progress or have completed check-in and informational calls to their senior clients.
  • Area Agencies on Aging that are expected to be impacted by Hurricane Ian have been distributing shelf-stable meals to their home delivery meal clients.
  • Area Agencies on Aging in the affected areas are coordinating with other agencies to answer local Elder Helpline calls during power outages (1-800-96-ELDER).

Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA)

  • Veterans enrolled in VA Health Care in need of routine or urgent care services in the projected path of the storm can contact VA Health Connect, also known as the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center, at 1-877-741-3400.
  • The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will close the following locations for in person and procedure appointments:
    • C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center: Monday, September 26 through Thursday, Sept. 29. This closure extends to the Emergency Department.
    • North Pinellas and St. Petersburg VA Clinics: Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, September 29.
    • Sarasota, Bradenton, and Port Charlotte VA Clinics: Wednesday, September 28.

Florida Department of Education (DOE)

  • Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. communicated to all Superintendents and College Presidents that the DOE stands ready to assist if needed before, during, and after the storm.
  • The Florida Department of Education is consistently updating their website with school district closures, as well as State University System and Florida College System Closures.
  • As of 4 p.m. closures have been announced in 56 school districts, 23 Florida College System institutions and 10 State Universities. For a full list of closures, visit fldoe.org/storminfo.

State University System of Florida

  • Florida Gulf Coast University:  classes canceled Tuesday-Friday
  • University of North Florida:  classes canceled Wednesday-Friday
  • Florida International University:  classes canceled 5 pm Tuesday-Wednesday
  • Florida Atlantic University:  classes canceled 5 pm Tuesday-Wednesday

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)


  • Tolls have now been suspended on roadways in Central Florida. The complete list of toll facilities include: 

1.     SR 91 Turnpike Mainline from Osceola Parkway (MP249) north to I-75 

2.     SR 417 – Southern Connector Extension, Central Florida Greeneway and Seminole Expressway 

3.     SR429 – Western Beltway 

4.     SR429 – Wekiva Parkway 

5.     SR408 – Holland East-West Expressway 

6.     SR528 – Beachline Expressway 

7.     SR414 – John Land Apopka Expressway 

8.     SR538 – Poinciana Parkway 

9.     SR453 

10.  SR551 – Goldenrod Road Extension 

11.  I-4 Express 

12.  Garcon Point Bridge in Santa Rosa County

13.  Spence Parkway and Mid-Bay Bridge in Okaloosa County

14.  Polk Parkway in Polk County

15.  Suncoast Parkway in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus County

16.  Veterans Expressway, the I-4 Connector, and the Selmon Expressway in Hillsborough County

17.  Pinellas Bayway and Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Pinellas County

18.  Alligator Alley in Collier and Broward Counties

Updated toll suspension information, including those west coast roadways whose tolls have already been suspended, can be found at fdot.gov/IanTollSuspension

Emergency Shoulder Use 

  • Emergency Shoulder Use (ESU) has been implemented on the I-4 corridor to move people east. ESU is allowing motorists to use the left shoulder of I-4 from U.S. 41 to S.R. 417.  The extra lane of travel adds capacity to move higher volumes of traffic and helps to increase traffic flow.  
  • A major benefit of ESU is that it keeps both directions of travel open. This allows us to get people out of the area, but still keep supplies and resources coming in.   
  • The endpoint of the ESU has been strategically determined given the access to other major connections such as S.R. 429 and S.R. 417 or continue on I-4 in the regular lanes. 


All ports currently have adequate fuel supplies and are staging appropriate measures to be well-positioned after the storm in order to quickly reinstate operations and keep fuel supplies moving.  

  • Ports that are currently closed: Port Tampa Bay, Port of St. Petersburg Seaport Manatee, Port of Fort Pierce, Port of Palm Beach, and Port of Key West
  • Ports that are open while preparing for storm impacts: Port Everglades, PortMiami, Port Fernandina, JAXPORT (closure expected Wednesday) Port Canaveral (closure at midnight Tuesday) Port of Pensacola (with restrictions), Port Panama City, and Port St. Joe 


Current status is listed below. While some facilities have scheduled closures, individual airlines may decide to cease flights earlier than that. 

  • Tampa International Airport will suspend operations at 5pm Tues Sept 27  
  • St.Pete/Clearwater International Airport will close at 2pm Tues Sept 27 
  • Sarasota Bradenton International Airport- Airport will close 8pm local Tuesday Sept. 27 through 8pm Thursday Sept. 29   
  • Southwest Florida International Airport – All flight operations are cancelled at Southwest Florida International Airport for Wednesday, Sept.       28. Many flights have also been cancelled for Thursday. 
  • Tallahassee International Airport- Currently open and continuing storm preparations 
  • Pensacola International Airport- Currently open and continuing storm preparations 
  • Punta Gorda Airport- Currently open and continuing storm preparations
  • Orlando International Airport- Closing Wednesday, September 28 at 10:30 am
  • Orlando Sanford International Airport- Passenger terminal closing at 5pm. Airport Facility closing at 11PM. Flights on Wednesday and Thursday are cancelled

Transit and Rail 

  • HART suspending transit service in Zones A and B at 9 p.m. tonight, September 27 
  • HART, Pasco, and LeeTRAN suspended fares  
  • Transit agencies focused on life-sustaining trips  
  • Amtrak service cancelled south of Jax September 27-29  
  • Regional Rail (Florida Central, Florida Midland, Florida Northern and Port Manatee Railroads) will shut down operations beginning today, September 27 at midnight. 

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)

  • The Florida Highway Patrol is assisting FDOT with limited Emergency Shoulder Use on Interstate 4 from the 3-mile marker in Hillsborough County to the 63-mile marker in Osceola County to increase traffic capacity for evacuating motorists.
    • FHP has deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle team to augment traffic monitoring and traffic control for limited Emergency Shoulder Use.
    • FHP reminds motorists to only use the shoulder when directed by law enforcement and highway signs and to use extreme caution when driving on the shoulder.
  • FHP personnel, along with local first responders, continue to assist in evacuation efforts, including door-to-door notification of Cedar Key residents.
  • More than 1,700 sworn FHP members are ready to assist with enhanced evacuation and response efforts.
  • FHP is activating 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts for approximately 340 Troopers in Troop C (Tampa) and Troop F (Sarasota), Troop B (Gainesville) in response to Hurricane Ian.
  • FHP has deployed troopers along major roadways to assist with traffic control and evacuation efforts.
  • FHP has placed 330 Quick Reactionary Force troopers on standby, ready to move into affected areas quickly to provide immediate relief.
  • FHP has strategically staged its fixed-wing aircraft to monitor traffic routes and to aid search and rescue and damage assessment efforts.
  • FHP has placed its unmanned aerial vehicle teams on standby 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 is providing liaisons to affected county emergency operations centers.
  • FHP encourages evacuating motorists to report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347).
  • 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.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

  • 15 FWC Special Operations Group officers from the Northwest Region are enroute to Orlando to rendezvous with Urban Search and Rescue Teams for pre-landfall briefings and preparation for insertion into the affected area following Hurricane Ian’s passing.
  • Response teams from areas anticipated to be minimally affected by Hurricane Ian have been identified and are readying for deployment.
  • Officers are preparing a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, larger platform vessels, ATVs, airboats, and four-wheel drive vehicles to use in the response, and will likely stage Wednesday in safe locations, for immediate post-storm insertion. These assets do not include local FWC officers in potentially affected areas. 
  • FWC Aviation Section has readied all appropriate aircraft for deployment for EOC aerial assistance, reconnaissance, and post-storm damage assessments.
  • FWC is directing the public to myfwc.com/notices/ for information about wildlife management areas, fish management areas, shooting ranges and FWC office closures due to the forecasted effects of Hurricane Ian. 

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)

  • DEO has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Inquiries may also be emailed to [email protected].
  • DEO hosts an Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 private-sector call each day at 1:30 p.m., Eastern Time, at 888-585-9008. The participant code to join the call is 753 329 128.
  • DEO is working with its private-sector partners to provide updates on FloridaDisaster.biz related to supply chain concerns, inventory storages of emergency supplies, and general concerns and priorities of the business community.
  • Partners including Walmart and Publix have indicated that they are constantly bringing additional supplies into the state to restock inventory.
  • DEO is updating www.FloridaDisaster.biz with real-time information for business owners to prepare their businesses, families, and employees for Hurricane Ian.
  • Private-sector partner, Uber, is offering round-trip rides to and from Southwest Florida shelter locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Pasco counties listed at www.FloridaDisaster.org. Riders can enter promotional code IANRELIEF in the app to redeem a free round-trip up to $30 each way. Rides must be requested to or from any state-approved evacuation shelter in Florida.
  • Homeowner Assistance Fund in-person Customer Assistance Centers closed today, September 27, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. Applicants in need of assistance may contact the HAF Customer Assistance Center at 833-987-8997.
  • DEO is working with business, industry, and economic development partners to distribute informative flyers about disaster preparation, response, and recovery.
  • DEO has alerted the statewide Community Action Agency (CAA) Network to initiate disaster preparedness activities following the Emergency Order.
  • DEO will release $1.4 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistant Program (LIHEAP) set-aside emergency funding for use by LIHEAP providers across the state to support preparedness activities.
  • DEO’s Rebuild Florida team is mobilizing construction teams to secure construction sites on in-progress Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Irma construction projects.
  • DEO is preparing to administer the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program.
  • DEO is working with the Local Workforce Development Boards in the impacted areas to administer the Dislocated Worker Grant Program and provide mobile services, if required, as well as monitor office closures.  
  • Career centers in the following counties may experience temporary closures following county closure announcements:
  • CareerSource Northeast Florida
  • CareerSource North Central Florida
  • CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
  • CareerSource Flagler Volusia
  • CareerSource Central Florida
  • CareerSource Brevard
  • CareerSource Pinellas
  • CareerSource Tampa Bay
  • CareerSource Pasco Hernando
  • CareerSource Polk
  • CareerSource Suncoast
  • CareerSource Research Coast
  • CareerSource Palm Beach County
  • CareerSource Southwest Florida


  • VISIT FLORIDA has activated its Emergency Accommodations Module on Expedia to provide real-time hotel availability and lodging resources for impacted Floridians and visitors.

Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing)

  • Florida Housing has ensured that all current listings are up to date in the event that families need to quickly relocate at www.FloridaHousingSearch.org.
  • Each SHIP office has an adopted disaster strategy that allows for assistance in the immediate aftermath of a declared disaster. Strategies may include temporary relocation and rental assistance, debris removal and short-term repairs to prevent further damage to the structure or to allow for occupancy until further repairs are made.

Florida Lottery 

  • The Lottery’s Orlando District Office will be closed to employees and the public beginning Wednesday, September 28 until further notice.
  • The Lottery’s Tampa and Fort Myers District Offices remain closed to employees and the public until further notice.
  • Players are encouraged to visit www.flalottery.com for the most up-to-date information regarding Lottery office closures.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)

  • DBPR has published an emergency page at http://myfloridalicense.com/emergency for the current status of DBPR office locations, executive orders, board meeting updates, and other resources related to Hurricane Ian.
  • DBPR’s Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics is coordinating with wholesale distributors of prescription drugs and medical gases to provide information and support relating to exceptions for the emergency distribution of these critical supplies where needed.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • National Estuarine Research Reserve and Aquatic Preserve closures can be found at https://floridadep.gov/rcp/aquatic-preserve.
  • Following the issuance of the Governor’s Executive Order, DEP issued an Emergency Final Order waiving permitting requirements for the storage and processing of solid waste, including storm debris.
  • DEP has also issued an Emergency Final Order to expedite necessary repair, replacement and restoration of structures, equipment, surface water management systems, works and other systems damaged by the storm.
  • Inspectors completed pre-storm beach surveys in all shoreline counties.
  • Hazardous Area Response Teams are preparing for potential assessment and deployment to impacted areas.
  • All significant Hazardous Waste facilities within the affected counties have been contacted to ensure all pre-storm landfall preparations are being made.
  • Florida state park closures can be found at www.floridastateparks.org/StormUpdates.
  • Visitors with existing camping and cabin reservations at impacted parks will be notified of their reservation status.
  • WaterTracker is active, DEP’s online portal for wastewater and drinking water facilities to report their operational status.

Florida Department of Management Services (DMS)

  • The Telecommunications Division is working with telecom partners to ensure that the state’s communications networks have redundancies and remain operations for first responders to respond to Floridians during the storm.
  • State buildings in the following 25 counties are closed for Wednesday, September 28, 2022:
    • Alachua
    • Bradford
    • Brevard
    • Broward
    • Charlotte
    • Citrus
    • Clay
    • Collier
    • DeSoto
    • Duval
    • Flagler
    • Glades
    • Hardee
    • Hendry
    • Hernando
    • Highlands
    • Hillsborough
    • Indian River
    • Lake
    • Lee
    • Levy
    • Manatee
    • Marion
    • Martin
    • Monroe
    • Okeechobee
    • Orange
    • Osceola
    • Palm Beach
    • Pasco
    • Pinellas
    • Polk
    • Putnam
    • Sarasota
    • Seminole
    • St. Johns
    • St. Lucie
    • Sumter
    •      Volusia

An updated list of state building closures can be found here. Florida DMS Emergency Information Hotline is 888-336-7345.

Florida Department of Revenue

  • Florida’s temporary licensing program, which allows exporters, petroleum carriers, and importers to request a temporary license during a disaster or declared state of emergency, has been activated. Applicants are not required to submit a fee, secure bonding, or undergo a background check if they apply for and receive a temporary license.​

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)

DJJ facilities in the projected impacted areas have finalized storm preparations including having generators in the event of loss of power, and ensuring food, medicine, and emergency supplies are stocked and ready.

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