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Hurricane Ian Disaster Recovery Timeline: SBA Loan Assistance, SpaceX Starlink Internet Service Details

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Hurricane Ian disaster recovery efforts in Florida and South Carolina have revealed a trail of death and critical infrastructure destruction.

The confirmed death toll is now around 101 people, CNN reported. In addition to the human toll, the hurricane ripped apart critical infrastructure. Power outages continue to affect 435,000 homes and businesses in Florida, according to PowerOutage.US.

Those figures have improved dramatically since September 29 -- when Hurricane Ian slammed southwestern Florida and left 2.55 million in the dark. Still, Restoring power in some areas could take days or weeks, Florida Power & Light told USA Today.

MSPs, channel partners and IT organizations impacted by the storm should closely track disaster assistance updates from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA began to announce  such assistance before Ian's wrath had even ended. Moreover, those SBA loans are also available to residents who don't necessarily have small businesses, according to NBC news.

Meanwhile, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) offered these links and updates to assist those impacted by Ian. Also, the U.S. federal government outlined Ian-related financial assistance programs here.

Hurricane Ian: Timeline and Disaster Recovery Updates

Key developments include...

  • Monday, October 3: The city of Fort Myers -- hard hit by Ian -- continues to enforce an emergency citywide curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily. Also, only 18% of Florida homes have food insurance, Bloomberg Radio says. Damage estimates from the hurricane are as high as $120 billion.
  • Saturday, October 1, 7:00 p.m. ET: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk agreed to provide the company's satellite Internet service, Starlink, for help in response to Hurricane Ian in areas of Southwest Florida still without connectivity, Reuters reported.
  • Saturday, October 1, 9:15 a.m. ET: Power remains out to roughly 1.6 million customers across Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Power restoration within some portions of Florida could require weeks of work. The U.S. Small Business Administration has introduced Disaster Loan Assistance for many areas of Florida.
  • Friday, September 30, 7:30 a.m. ET: Major Florida airports in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and St. Pete-Clearwater are set to reopen today. Check in with your airline for flight status information.
  • Friday, September 30, 7:15 a.m. ET: The South Carolina coast is under a hurricane warning, with the National Weather Service predicting wind speeds between 50 and 60 mph in the Columbia area, according to The State.
  • Thursday, September 29, 8:15 a.m. ET: President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Florida. The declaration brings with it federal aid to supplement state, local and tribal recovery efforts in areas affected by the storm, as well as individual assistance to residents of nine counties, Politico reported.
  • Thursday, September 29, 6:50 a.m. ET: The hurricane is now a tropical storm that's dumping record amounts of flooding that may generate catastrophic flooding across Florida, The Orlando Sentinel reported. The storm regained hurricane status later in the day.
  • Thursday, September 29, 12:50 a.m. ET: Hurricane Ian has weakened to a Category 1 storm, a sharp downgrade from the strong Category 4 storm it was when it made landfall on September 28, 2022. Forecasters say the storm will soon be downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves east across Florida. The center of the hurricane is expected to move over central Florida overnight, approaching Florida's east coast Thur. It will then turn north-northwest into the Atlantic Ocean and back toward Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Source: USA Today.

Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall

Key developments include...

  • Wednesday, September 28 at 5:20 p.m. ET: Hurricane Ian made landfall with early images showing devastating effects in the Fort Myers area and other parts of southwest Florida, Tampa Bay Times reported. Also, a 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center placed the eyewall of the storm near Port Charlotte, about 5 miles east of Punta Gorda, the Tampa Bay Times added.
  • Wednesday, September 28 at 7:50 a.m. ET: The storm’s maximum sustained winds are 155 mph — which is nearly a Category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Ian is expected to move onshore Wednesday and then over Central Florida on Thursday morning, and emerge over the western Atlantic late Thursday. In addition to high winds and heavy rains, forecasters are particularly concerned about a storm surge potentially causing catastrophic coastal flooding.

Hurricane Ian: Businesses and Technology Infrastructure to Watch

Several major MSP- and channel-friendly companies are located in and around the Tampa, Florida, area. Names to know include ConnectWise, KnowBe4, Rapid7 and Tech Data (now TD Synnex). Additional businesses headquartered in the region include:

Hurricane Ian: Airports, Flight Cancelations, Travel Destination Updates

Thousands of flights to and from Florida's West Coast have been canceled and several airports have shut down. Among the updates to note:

Major theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando and Legoland are closed September 28 and September 29.

Also, InfoSec World -- a conference hosted by ChannelE2E's parent -- will end at 11:30 a.m. today. Afternoon sessions at the conference -- hosted on a Disney property -- are cancelled. Also of note: CISA has postponed its National Cybersecurity Summit, which was scheduled for October 4.

Note: Check this blog regularly for Hurricane Ian disaster recovery updates, especially as they pertain to businesses and residents in the storm's path.

Sources: Tampa Bay Times, third-party reports and ChannelE2E.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.