Disaster Resources

Relief and Recovery Resource Listing

At United Way, we believe that we are better together. This page contains relevant resources for Charlotte County residents who are affected by recent hurricanes.

As the relief and recovery needs evolve, so will this listing, so be sure to check back regularly.

Free Legal Aid for Hurricane Ian

Free Legal Aid for Hurricane Ian.

View the flyer here!

Charlotte County Disaster Resources

For life-threatening emergencies, call or text 9-1-1.
Sheriff non-emergencies can call 941-833-4161

  • Alert Charlotte - Get alerted about emergencies by signing up HERE
  • For additional storm information, visit Emergency Management or call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000.
  • County press releases (boil water notices, curfews, etc.) - www.charlottecountyfl.gov/news/

Storm Refuge

Shelters are closed.

Charlotte County has no certified Red Cross shelters. In the event of a hurricane Charlotte County staffed shelters may be opened for citizens to take shelter. All are pet friendly. Charlotte County shelters of last resort may not be able to open depending on the size and direction of an approaching storm. Check local media and this website to ascertain which location may be open.

FEMA | Disaster Loans | Disaster Guide

When can I apply for FEMA? 

  • To apply for assistance, the president must make a major disaster declaration for your state. The declaration must also name the county or place you live in for Individual Assistance.

Can I apply for FEMA assistance if I have insurance?

  • Yes. You may qualify for FEMA assistance even if you have insurance. By law, FEMA can't provide benefits for losses covered by your insurance. So, you need to file an insurance claim as soon as possible.

Applying for FEMA -

  • Disaster survivors may apply for the Individual and Household Program or check their application status at https://www.disasterassistance.gov, or calling 1-800-621-3362, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (in your time zone), 7 days a week.

Local FEMA locations -

  • Representatives are available in person at the following locations: closed

Low-Interest Disaster Loans -

Denied and Need Help?

  • If you have been denied or under-awarded FEMA assistance, there is FREE help for a FEMA appeal.  Call 1-800-267-9511 or email FEMAhelp@sbpusa.org

Long-Term Recovery for Charlotte County Residents with Unmet Needs

Community Organization Active in a Disaster (COAD) 
For Charlotte County, completing the Long-Term Recovery Assistance Application is the first step in determining your eligibility to receive financial assistance, repair assistance, or case management. These may help in your recovery from the damage caused by Hurricane Ian, and most recently Hurricane Idalia. Our goal is to connect you with all the services available to you.

  • We are assisting those who are:
  • Low income (80% of the area median income)
  • Seniors (age 60+)
  • Displaced
  • Disabled
  • Renters

Visit, COAD to complete an application. 

United at Work

United Way of Charlotte County has created a program to help strengthen the local workforce following Hurricane Ian. United at Work was established to assist employees of Charlotte County businesses with unmet needs that are identified after other funds have been depleted or are no longer available. Funds will be distributed to fill unmet, hurricane-related needs for those who qualify. Call our office 941-627-3539 or click here to apply.

Additional Resources

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available 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. If you need assistance, call 1-800-385-3920.

Dislocated Worker Grant Program. National Dislocated Worker Grants are awarded for temporary employment to workers affected by major dislocations, including natural disasters. For information, visit your local CareerSource Center at www.careersourceflorida.com/your-local-team.

Encourage Your Employees to Apply for FEMA

It is very important that every resident applies for FEMA. You may not know exactly what they have available until you apply.
Some of the business loans available may also have zero interest options.

If you have employees that have been displaced, assistance with transitional housing assistance vouchers may be available, but they must apply.

3 ways to apply:

  1. Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  2. FEMA app
  3. Call 800-687-FEMA (3362)

Federal Business Recovery Resources
Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans

Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non- profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
Application filing deadlines:
Physical damage:  January 12, 2023
Economic injury:  June 29, 2023
More information is available on the SBA.gov website. 

The agency will waive the interest rate for the first year on new disaster loans and extend the initial payment deferment period automatically to 12 months.  

Disaster Legal Aid

National Disaster Legal Aid
Disaster Legal Services through the American Bar Association (ABA) 

Tax Relief

Call the IRS – 866-562-5227
FEMA Declaration Number – DR-4673-FL
Website Link

State of Florida Business Recovery Resources
State of Florida Business Damage Assessment Survey

Providing information in the Business Damage Assessment survey to determine damage related to disaster impacts in Florida, and does NOT serve as an application for resources, including the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. After filling out the survey, federal, state, or local agencies may reach out to you through the contact information provided if you indicate your interest. Surveys are public record and must be made available to the public and media upon request.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available 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. Applications filed after the deadline will be considered untimely, and DUA benefits may be denied unless the individual provides good cause.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program provides short-term, zero-interest working capital loans that are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer term recovery funding such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims or other resources.

Loans are available up to $50,000 per eligible applicant. Loans made under this program are short-term, personal loans using State of Florida funds – they are not grants and must be repaid. Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans require repayment by the approved applicant. Owners may utilize funding from longer term financial resources, such as U.S. Small Business Administration economic injury disaster loans, to repay the Emergency Bridge Loan.
Click here for more information / to apply.  

Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal for Job Seekers and Employers

U4F logo

Florida United Ways work together every day to meet the needs of our individual communities, as well as the entire state. When Hurricane Ian hit Florida, our thoughts immediately turned to concern for our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Now we are #United4Florida to help the communities devastated by the storm respond and recover. No matter where you live, a local United Way will be there to organize resources, connect those in need with those who can help, and ensure our neighbors have the support they need to recover.

Giving after Idalia:  The best way to help following a disaster is by making a financial donation to a reputable relief fund. Relief organizations can use your money to buy truly needed items in bulk, at wholesale prices, and have distribution systems to get those supplies to the areas in most need.

A financial donation prevents the “Second Disaster” which happens when a community is inundated with donated items.  Often, there’s little storage, limited manpower and no way to clean used goods.  Donated items may be stored uncovered, outside, which leads to mildew or items decaying in the heat.  Items that can’t be used, or even too many of those that can, are of no use to responders.

United Way of Florida has a Disaster Recovery Fund to assist impacted communities. Gifts may also be made directly to a local United Way impacted by Idalia. Follow this link to learn more regarding United Way recovery funds: https://www.uwof.org/disaster-recovery-fund