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October 5, 2022

New Damage Assessment Link

The City of Sanibel released an updated link to view damage assessments of properties on Sanibel and Captiva. The assessments of structures were completed by Urban Search and Rescue Teams.

The City will issue a new press release providing a link to an updated map once additional data is uploaded to the host site. 

Please note that this can give misconceptions on the level of damage to the home. It does not take into consideration the interior damage and the continued deterioration from lack of electricity and the damage from heat and humidity.  

Hurricane Ian Resource Links

If you are a resident or business affected by Hurricane Ian, here is a printable pdf of resources. We are trying to keep it updated, and it isn't in great order, but they are there in hopes of helping. 

If you have links you have found helpful, please let us know and we will add them to the list. 

Boat transportation needed for people without boats

Boat transportation is needed to coordinate getting onto the island, as many residents have no way to access the island and do not have boats. If anyone has anything organized or has a boat, please contact Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566. 

We understand the City of Sanibel is working on something to provide boat transportation via a ferry service or allowing captains to charter people across to the island. Unfortunately, this is not inexpensive and will cost money and we hope those with boats will consider only charging for their gas.  People with no access just want to see the damage to their home personally.  Please consider helping and call Birgie Miller at the number above. 

Hurricane Ian Recovery – Access to Sanibel

The City of Sanibel clarified the following points about access to the island post-Hurricane Ian: 

  • Re-entry began today, Wednesday, October 5, for resident access to survey their home, take photos etc..

  • Those who wish to travel to, from, or about the island must do so with their own resources and at their own risk

  • The boat ramps at Punta Rassa and Port Comfort are NOT available for launch. Individuals attempting to access those locations will be turned away.

  • The City of Sanibel has no information on other locations where residents/business owners may launch their watercraft from the mainland.

  • The Sanibel Boat Ramp and the ramp within the J.N. "Ding" Darling Nat'l Wildlife Refuge (Tarpon Bay Explorers) are NOT available for landing and debarking. Individuals attempting to access those locations will be turned away.

  • There is no ground transportation on Sanibel.

  • Private barges may not access the island at this time, unless explicitly authorized by the City Manager. No motorized equipment or generators are permitted on island at this time.





Requirements to Obtain a Hurricane Reentry Pass: 

  •  Residents – Must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass or a valid Florida driver’s license showing a Sanibel address. Sanibel residents who do not have a Hurricane reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall (Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers)

  • Business Owners – Must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass (commercial.) Sanibel business owners that do not have a Hurricane Reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall (Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers) A valid 2022 or 2023 Sanibel Business Tax Receipt (BTR) must be presented to receive a pass.

  • Property Owners – Owners of residential properties with a permanent Sanibel address or an out-of-state permanent address must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass. Owners who do not have a Sanibel hurricane reentry pass may obtain a pass at Temporary City Hall (Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers) Proof of residency and a government-issued ID must be presented for staff to verify ownership of property with the Lee County Property Appraiser.

  • Renters – Renters of residential properties must provide a government-issued ID, as well as a rental agreement or utility bill verifying residency on island. 

  • Contractors – Must have a Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass (commercial) or be accompanied at all times by a resident, property owner, or business owner with a Sanibel reentry pass. The City is not issuing new passes to contractors at this time, unless explicitly authorized by the City Manager or his designee.

  • Other individuals — Anyone who is on the island to assist City residents, property owners, or business owners must be accompanied at all times by a city resident, a property owner, or a business owner while on island.


Statement of Dangerous Conditions:


  • Navigating the waters around Sanibel and within its canals and other territorial waters is hazardous.
  • Traversing the island poses many dangers, including but not limited to, damaged or destroyed bridges, roadways, and other infrastructure; damaged or destroyed public and private structures; and displaced wildlife, including alligators. Those hazards exist on public property and rights of way. 
  • Individuals accessing any structures should assume those structures are unstable and dangerous.
  • Structures assessed by the Urban Search and Rescue Teams (USAR) as destroyed, with major damage, or inaccessible SHOULD BE CONSIDERED UNSAFE.
  • Irrespective of any USAR assessment information, individuals are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED from coming to and traveling within the territorial limits of the City of Sanibel at this time, and those who ignore those warnings DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.  

Cars Needed

Do you have a car in Lee County you are not using and would be willing to let "Ding" family (volunteers included) who lost their cars in the storm and have no means of transportation?  Are you willing to sell your used car?  There are so many people inside our "Ding" family and so many others who have lost their homes, have lost their cars, have no access to the island, still have mortgages and car payments. . . as one can imagine, the need is great.  

Please call Birgie Miller, Executive Director of the DDWS at 239.292.0566 if you have a car available to use or sell.  

Photo of Roseate Spoonbills by David Jeffrey


The J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge has been a part of peoples lives in ways we don't even know. Please use #dingstrong in your social media posts regarding the Refuge, your happy memories or current thoughts. Thank you for caring. 

We are #SanibelStrong' #SamCapStrong and certainly #DingStrong.

Any updates, news, links to resources, or ways to support the Refuge as well as other organizations who are helping island residents directly can be found at  Everyone has been impacted and please consider supporting those organizations important to you directly via their online giving pages.  Please NO mail.  

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