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September 2017

Disaster Relief for Southwest Florida after Hurricane Irma

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Disaster Relief for Southwest Florida after Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma devastated the Southwest Florida area.  High winds and flooding left many in Naples, Marco Island, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral and surrounding areas in financial crisis.  However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  There are numerous groups in the area that are helping people recover after the storm!  Not only are there organizations that will help you personally get back on your feet, but also provide funding assistance for your business!

 

This blog will focus on several organizations you can reach out to receive assistance.  Most applications can be done online or over the telephone.  Some of these particular programs are time sensitive so be sure to file your application as soon as possible.  Here are a few organizations that can help you after Hurricane Irma.

FEMA otherwise known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering disaster assistance via their website or by telephone.  Currently, they are helping in areas like car expenses, medical costs, flood damage, and even lost food in your refrigerator.  These funds are time sensitive so its important to fill out your application ASAP.  You can fill out your FEMA application at Www.DisasterAssistance.Gov or Call 1800 621-3362.

SBA better know as the Small Business administration is offering both businesses and homeowners the opportunity to rebuild at low interests rates.  (Starting at just over 1.6%).  If your business, property, or rental was damaged during the storm, this may be a good option for you.  For more information about the SBA program, you can call 1800 659-2955 or visit their website at www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance

The American Red Cross is providing assistance after Hurricane Irma.  Whether you are in need of food, water, clothing, or shelter, the American Red Cross is here to help!  You can call the American Red Cross at phone number 1866 438-6693

Southwest Florida International Airport Re-Opens after Hurricane Irma

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Southwest Florida International Airport Re-Opens after Hurricane Irma

Southwest Florida International Airport, RSW, is officially back open for business!  Hurricane Irma rocked the Southwest Florida area, (Especially areas like The Florida Keys, Marco Island and Naples).  Even areas like Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, and Alva were socked with high speed winds that took down 50 Plus foot tall trees.  Coastal areas such as Captiva Island, Sanibel Island, and Pine Island lucked out as the storm was not nearly as bad as Hurricane Charlie back in 2004.

The clean-up process is underway and there is a lot of work to do.  If you are ready to fly back into Southwest Florida to your home and need transportation, Palm-Air Transportation is here to help!  We will focus our upcoming immediate blogs on more post hurricane Irma assistance as there are many organizations which can help you in your time of need.  One day at a time and we will all make it through this.

Last Minute Hurricane Irma Preparation For Fort Myers & SWFL

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Last Minute Hurricane Irma Preparation for Fort Myers and SWFL

Hurricane Irma is still in the Florida Keys; however, the wind is picking up and the rain is starting to come down harder.  I am writing the blog in Fort Myers right around 11 AM and there is still power.  Anytime soon, power will cut out and Southwest Florida will be dark.

While the conditions will only worsen, there are some last minute things you can do around your house.   Its important that if you haven’t already now, you run through this list to be sure you are keeping your house secure and family as safe as possible.  Currently, it looks like Hurricane Irma will hit the Fort Myers Airport, RSW, and Southwest Florida area as a Category 4 hurricane which will back winds up to around 150 MPH and a tremendous amount of water which can create dangerous storm surge.   Here are some tips that will help you out through the storm.

Flashlight – Yes, its important to have multiples flashlights.  Yet with all the preparation, we sometimes forget where we put them.  Be sure to carry a flashlight on you.

Fill your Bathtub with water – When Hurricane Irma hits, the water will be tainted or even possibly not accessible.  Take the time to fill your bathtub right now so you have the water to drink, flush toilets, or use for whatever purposes you desire.

Close all door inside your house –  When you close all the doors in your house, there is less of a chance of your roof blowing off.  Be sure to do this simple task.

Secure your Garage Door –  Most garage doors have two lock latches on each side.  Be sure to put these in a locking state right now.  Also, if you have a 2 by 4 laying in the garage, wedge it from the ground to the ceiling right up against the door.  This will act as extra support when the high winds come.  You can even park your vehicle in front of your garage to minimize wind against the door.

Charge Everything – This may be your last opportunity to charge devices such as computer, cell phones, and tablets.  Take the time right now to plug these in!

Talk to your neighbors – Communication is KEY. Be sure to have a plan just in case their is damage to your house.  Its possible something catastrophic can happen like your roof coming off.  Have a plan to immediately evacuate to your neighbors house.

Bring an axe into the attic –  Storm surge is expected to rise and rise quickly.  In some areas of Fort Myers, Sanibel, Marco Island, Captiva Island, Pine Island, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Estero, San Carlos Park, Port Charlotte, North Fort Myers, Naples, and Punta Gorda, Storm Surge can possibly reach 15 feet!  And it DOES NOT matter what the elevation of your property is so don’t think that if you are at 15 feet of elevation, you will be fine.  Take an axe right now and put it up into your attic just in case water rises so quick and you have to go to higher ground.  You can go into the attic and if need be, use the axe to cut through the roof.

Put your valuable papers and cash in plastic – Important documents like your birth certificate, insurances, passport, titles, and even things like cash should be put into water tight plastic bags.

Pick up any potential projectiles –  You have a few hours to make one last run around your property and eliminate any potential projectiles.  With the guaranteed high winds in Fort Myers and the Southwest Florida area, its imperative to pick up any potential hazards.

Stay Calm and think logically – This may be the worst storm ever to hit Fort Myers and the Southwest Florida Area.  While it can be stress and intense, its important to stay calm and think rational.  Take deep breaths in through your nose and out of your mouth.  If you get fluster, try a breathing exercise at a 1-4-2 ratio.  1 second inhale, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale for 2 seconds.  Do this 10 times if you get flustered.

Have your life preserver or inflatables ready to go – If the waters get high as expected, be sure to have your life preserver and/or inflatable devices ready to go!  While the waters are still fairly know before noon in Fort Myers, they will rise and potentially at a tremendous rate.

Roads like the one pictured above may look like canals and you don’t know how deep the water is.  If you must travel at the last minute, be careful as you do not know how deep the water is.  If you are living in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Bonita Beach, San Carlos Park, Ester, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, North Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, please use these last minute Hurricane Irma Tips.  Many of these areas have a mandatory evacuation orders in place already; however, there are many people that stay behind trying to “ride it out.”  Use these tips above to stay safe during the storm.  Everyone at Palm-Air Transportation is committed to everyone staying safe during this Hurricane Irma Super Storm.  Together, we will all make it through this stronger and better than ever!  Once the storm passes, Palm-Air Transportation will resume Airport Ground Transportation services to and from Southwest Florida International Airport, RSW, Punta Gorda Airport, and all surrounding SWFL airports.  If you have evacuated the area and need assistance getting back from the airport to your property, we are hear for you!  Please stay safe and vigilant.