FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 30: Douglas Jensen hugs his neighbor Emily Fisher after they saw each other when they came to visit what was left of their homes after Hurricane Ian passed through on September 30, 2022 in Fort Myers, Florida. Their homes were flooded with about 6 feet of water. The hurricane brought high winds, storm surges and rain to the area causing severe damage.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, you may have a hard time getting in touch with friends and family members in the Southwest Florida area. If that happens, you should consider requesting a “wellness check.” There are a few ways to do this:  you can call the local sheriff’s department to request a wellness check.

  • In Lee County: dial 911 for an emergency. For all other non-emergency issues, dial 239-477-1000.
  • In Collier County: dial 911 for an emergency. For all other non-emergency issues, dial 239-252-9300.
  • In Charlotte County: dial 911 for an emergency. For non-emergency issues in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, dial (941) 639-2101. For non-emergency issues in Englewood, dial (941) 474-3233.

You can also submit a request to find a missing person at FloridaDisaster.org.

The Miami Herald provides this list of phone numbers to call in different counties in the area if you are looking for someone.

  • If you are looking for someone in Collier County, try the county’s information line at 239-252-8444 and non-emergency line at 239-252-9300.
  • If you are looking for someone in Lee County, try the county’s non-emergency lines at 239-337-2000 (Option 3) and 239-477-1000.
  • If you are looking for someone in Charlotte County, try the county’s emergency operations call center at 941-743-1320.
  • If you are looking for someone in Sarasota County, try calling the county’s non-emergency line at 941-316-1201.
  • If you are looking for someone in Orange County, try using the county’s non-emergency line at 407-836-4357.
  • If you are looking for someone in Volusia County, try the non-emergency line most closely associated with their geographical location: 386-943-VCSO (8276) for the West Volusia area, 386-239-VCSO (8276) for the Daytona Beach area, 386-409-VCSO (8276) for the New Smyrna Beach area, and 407-323-0151 for the Osteen area.
  • If you are looking for someone in Flagler County, try hitting up the county’s non-emergency line at 386-313-4911.
  • If you are looking for someone in St. Johns County, try dialing the county’s non-emergency line at 904-824-8304.

Another option is FEMA’s National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS). The NEFRLS system is a Web-based system that, when activated, collects information from individuals to assist in reuniting family that has been displaced as a result of a presidentially-declared disaster or emergency. (President Biden has declared the areas of Florida affected by Hurricane Ian a disaster and has made federal funding available to affected individuals in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota.)

The NEFRLS system allows displaced individuals to register and provide information about their current location and situation and then allows them to designate individuals (called designees) who may view their information. Affected individuals, or those seeking information about friends or family, can visit the NEFRLS website or call their hotline to register themselves or inquire about another person.  Learn more about that system here and here. You can also dial 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for more information.