(The Center Square) – Multiple companies are providing assistance to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle said the state is holding daily private-sector calls to keep Floridians informed, and a full list of updates on closures, inventory supply, and supply chain information can be found at the Florida Disaster website.
Businesses with updates or that want to help are encouraged to call 850-815-4925 or email ESF18@em.myflorida.com.
Businesses providing technological services for free or at reduced charges include AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, SpaceX, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
AT&T is waiving talk, text and data overage charges for AT&T Postpaid & PREPAID customers with billing addresses in all 828 zip codes across Florida through Oct. 28. It’s also welcoming other carriers’ customers to roam on its network even if their carrier’s service isn’t available after the storm.
Charter Communications has opened nearly 175,000 Spectrum Out-of-Home WiFi access points across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Comcast has opened Xfinity WiFi hotspots in Central, North and Southwest Florida, and the Panhandle for Xfinity customers and non-customers.
SpaceX is supporting the Florida Division of Emergency Management with Starlink high-speed satellite internet service to enable connectivity for recovery and first response efforts.
T-Mobile has four community support trucks loaded with supplies including chargers, charging cords and cell phones. It has three wi-fi trailers with the ability to charge up to 80 phones each staged outside of the impact area ready for deployment. It’s also offering unlimited talk, text and data through Oct. 3 for impacted customers who don’t have these features as part of their plans. Text to Give opportunities are also available here.
Verizon customers in affected ZIP codes have access to unlimited domestic talk, text and data through Oct. 4. Verizon's crisis response teams are also providing free communications support to public safety agencies responding to the hurricane, setting up portable cell sites, Wi-Fi hotspots, free charging stations and other services.
Transportation and Storage
When it comes to transportation, Uber and U-Haul are providing assistance.
Uber is providing free round-trip rides to central Florida shelter locations in Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties.
It’s also providing discounted round-trip rides to and from Southwest Florida shelter locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco, Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties. Riders can enter promotional code IANRELIEF in the app to redeem a free round-trip up to $30 each way. A list of shelters in all 67 counties can be found here.
U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage and U-Box container usage at 43 Florida locations. Information is available at www.uhaul.com/about/ under “Top Stories.”
When it comes to lodging, Expedia, Rosen Hotels and Trump International Beach Resort are offering assistance.
Expedia, in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, is providing an updated list of hotels at Expedia.com/Florida. It’s also reached out to its partners to waive fees and pet restrictions.
Rosen Hotels & Resorts activated a distress rate, free WiFie and isn’t charging pet fees. Displaced Floridians can call 866-33-ROSEN (76736).
Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles is offering a special discounted rate. Displaced Floridians can call 1-866-976-0383 or book online.
Food, Water, Disaster Resources
Publix Supermarkets has delivered more than 700 truckloads or nearly one million cases of water, more than three million pounds of ice, and is storing double inventory volumes. It also donated perishable products to local police, firefighters, emergency response teams, and their associates, among others.
Walmart activated its Disaster Displacement Assistance to help its associates and positioned 400 drivers in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to help support recovery efforts.
Walmart and Sam’s Club also delivered to stores near impact areas more than $23 million worth of over 660 truckloads of additional water and disaster related merchandise.
Home Depot Command Center has been sending additional supplies to Florida, including more than 450 truckloads of emergency product (generators, gas cans, extension cords, batteries, tarps, lanterns, plywood, dry wall, water) to stores near the impact areas.
Lowe’s Command Center mobilized teams “to respond to what has turned out to be unprecedented demand in generators, water, gas cans, sand, plywood, batteries and flashlights.” Since Friday, 700 trucks have been moved into impact zones, with another 400 ready for deployment or on the way.
PayPal’s Giving Fundis also providing assistance covering all transaction costs for donations made to ensure that 100% of every gift made is available to charity. Paypal's Hurricane Ian Relief Campaign is raising funds for charities that are providing resources and assistance to Floridians, including American Red Cross, Direct Relief, Save The Children AmeriCares Foundation, GlobalGiving Foundation and World Central Kitchen.