Skip to content
Hurricane Guide Banner (1)

Disaster Preparendess is

Local resources for businesses in the Greater Estero Area.

Purpose and Scope

This collection of links and resources is meant to supplement the already excellent guides available, not replace them. We focus on resources specifically for businesses and on the emotional health of business owners and their staff.


Before the Storm

Did you know that 40 percent of businesses never re-open their doors post-disaster? Don't become a statistic. Protect your business by developing a business disaster plan.

Florida Department of Emergency Management

Businesses need disaster supply kits year round, because hurricanes are not the only emergency we may encounter. Prepare enough supplies to survive without outside assistance long enough for emergency rescue workers to reach your area (up to 5 days).

You should also have supplies for safe clean up, quick travel, and items you will need if surrounding areas have no power, fuel or communication. Don’t expect to have internet or phone service after a storm.

Don’t forget to plan for pets, livestock, or live supplies. You’ll need to accommodate feeding, security and waste.

Official Preparation Guides

These two preparation guides are aimed primarily at residents and are the official publications of the agencies in charge of handling emergencies in our area.

Business Specific Guides from Authorities

Businesses have additional things to consider when preparing for disasters, such as asset protection, data backup, employee contact information, and more. These guides address those issues.

Emergency Information Sources

While we have multiple levels of agencies that respond in an emergency, it is helpful to know that they all get their official information and instructions from the same source. Here are ways to stay informed directly from the agencies making decisions in a disaster.


Lee County Emergency Operations Center declares evacuations, shelter openings, and road closures. They are active on various social media accounts and have an alert system you can subscribe to.  9-1-1 remains open during storms even when they cannot respond. They take calls and respond as soon as it is safe to do so. 

The State can declare a state of emergency, deploy SERT, issue executive orders, and provides links to official resources.

FEMA provides emergency response, financial assistance, and recovery loans to businesses.

Bookmark these Helpful Information Pages

FL 511: The Florida Department of Transportation has an interactive map showing traffic delays, construction, and road closures.

NOAA National Hurricane Center is the official source of the forecast cone used by all agencies to prepare for storms.

Local Weather Radar is provided online by NBC-2 with locally generated maps.

Have on Hand



  • Insurance Policies & Phone Number
  • Contact Information for Staff (including emergency contacts, evacuation location)
  • Important Phone Numbers for utilities, vendors, property managers.


  • An antennae based tv or radio for emergency broadcasts with batteries
  • Back-up of business data in a secure format or location: include recent financials, tax documents, bank statements, inventory list, vehicle VINS and insurance info
  • A camera to document before/after condition and damage (take photos/video of your property before locking up)

After the Storm

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being...Your first concern after a disaster is your family’s health and safety. You need to consider possible safety issues and monitor family health and well-being.


Immediate Sources of Help

Emergencies: 9-1-1

Emergency services

Social Services & Information: 2-1-1

Before, during, and after the storm

Red Cross: (305) 644-1200

Our region is under the South Florida office.

NCF S. FL: (239) 240-8171

Referrals to churches providing assistance.

Recovering from Disaster

The guides listed above also include recovery sources and information. Listed below are a few sources for businesses that can be helpful after a storm. Federal assistance programs, guidance and how to apply for aid, and updates on disaster recovery efforts.

Florida Division of Consumer Services for issues with insurance, price-gouging, fraudulent contractors, etc. 1-877-693-5236

State Insurance USA Tips
Take photos of all damage, keep all receipts, contact your insurance carrier, beware of unlicensed contractors.

Internal Revenue Service

Disaster Hotline: 1-866-562-5227
State emergency contacts and relief for businesses.


Emotional Health

We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us — how we can take it, what we do with it — and that is what really counts in the end.


Taking Care of Your Emotional Health

Lee Health

Help Ease Anxiety

Develop a checklist and evacuation plan

  • AAA’s annual hurricane season survey shows 19% of Floridians do not prepare ahead of time
  • 24% would not evacuate

Get the facts

Reliable information is crucial to determining your risk

Don’t overexpose

yourself, staff and especially children, to the news.

Make connections

Healthy relationships and strong support systems with family and friends is vital.

Take care of your body

Avoid alcohol and drugs.

Practice self-care

Meditation is a great way to help reduce symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

Counseling Services

Contact NCF South Florida for a list of churches and ministries that provide Christian counseling services
(239) 240-8171

Lee Health Behavioral Health (239) 343-9180

Park Royal Hospital (833) 977-1672

Saluscare (239) 275-3222

Bonita Senior Center (239) 399-4881

David Lawrence Centers For Behavioral Health (239) 455-8500

Kids Minds Matter (239) 214-0921

FGCU Community Counseling Center (239) 745-4777


Help the Community

The Greater Estero Chamber of Commerce is a firm believer that a charitable and connected business community is one of the pillars that makes our Village strong and resilient. Businesses play an essential role in an area's recovery after a disaster. Here are a few ways your business can participate.

Distribute Hurricane Guides

Businesses, organizations and public facilities can distribute official All Hazards Guides. Contact Lee County EMS at (239) 533-0622.

Provide Non-Emergency Relief

Provide a location for those without power to cool down, obtain water, and recharge their phones.


United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties coordinates with local governments to match volunteers to needs. Please contact them rather than self-deploying to make sure resources go to areas of greatest need, and where volunteering is safe.

Focus on Re-Opening

The reopening of local businesses is one of the most important parts of a community's recovery after a disaster—not only to rebuild the local economy, but also to provide community services to impacted residents. [Fl. Dept of Business & Professional Regulation]


Offer your Resources

If your location has storage space or a commercial kitchen, let emergency management know ahead of time that they can utilize your facility to store supplies or feed emergency responders if needed.

Credits and Disclaimer

The Greater Estero Chamber of Commerce thanks the local contributors to this guide including State Insurance USA, NCF South Florida, United Way, Red Cross, The Village of Estero, FGCU, Lee Health, and the Florida Governor’s Office.

While the Greater Estero Chamber of Commerce has attempted to verify the information and links herein as of June 2024, please verify information with your insurance carrier, attorneys, and government agencies before taking action. We do not claim to give any official or legal advice by way of sharing this information.