Storm Smart, the recognized leader in hurricane protection, wants to ensure Southwest Florida residents have everything they need during the remainder of the storm by providing parts needed to help secure screens and shutters.

Storm Smart has hurricane shutter and screen parts available at its supply store, including the following:

Wingnuts with Washer and Drill Bit Power Wingnut Driver (for Panels)

  • Used on a stud-mounted panel (panel extrudes from Home) 

Sidewalk Bolts (for Panels)

  • Used to directly mount to a wall with a pre-existing anchor in the concrete Track Bolts & Wingnuts (for Panels)
  • Designed to slide into a track for hurricane panels.  This is for a direct mount with the stud sticking out of the wall

Track Bolts & Wingnuts (for Panels)

  • Designed to slide into a track for hurricane panels.  This is for a direct mount with the stud sticking out of the wall

Boat Hole Plug ~5/8” – Live Well Plug (for Slide Screens)

  • Secures Slide Screens from sliding out of the track

10’ Handle W/Bell Coupling (for Roll Downs)

  • Used for Manual or Electric override for Rolldown Screens (fabric and aluminum)

The parts are available at the Storm Smart facility at 11040 Plantation Road in Fort Myers. The store’s hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The store can also be reached by calling 239-938-1000 ext. 2001.

The supply store is Storm Smart’s way of making sure residents are not short on all the necessary equipment needed for the best possible protection in case of severe weather.

“We continue to help protect our communities with our high-quality shutters and screens, and the supplies are another way we stay dedicated to making sure Southwest Florida residents are as safe as they possibly can be,” said Scot Burris, CEO of Storm Smart.

Labor Day weekend offers opportunity for yard preparations before peak hurricane season

Labor Day weekend offers opportunity for yard preparations before peak hurricane season

Lee County Solid Waste is encouraging residents to use the Labor Day weekend to prepare their properties for peak hurricane season.

Pruning trees and shrubs now can mitigate damage to your home or pool cage. Survey your property for any items that could become projectiles during a storm. Secure them or set them out for disposal in the coming weeks.

Yard waste or debris generated as a result of preparations must be prepared in accordance with county ordinance (for example, tied, bundled or put in containers) prior to setting out for collection.  Yard trimmings can be set out in waste cans, paper lawn and leaf bags, or tied with cotton string into bundles weighing 50 pounds or less. Palm fronds do not need to be tied if they are stacked neatly at the curb in piles weighing less than 50 pounds.

However, it is important to note that residents should not cut down trees and do not do any major yard work if a storm is approaching. Mass cutting produces a burden on the normal collection process.

Lee County encourages residents to stay hydrated and take steps to protect yourself from the sun when working in the yard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends people working in the summer drink a cup of water every 20 minutes, wear a hat and light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing and take frequent breaks in a shaded area or indoors.

For more information on preparing your property for a storm, visit

Brian Hamman named new president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

Brian Hamman named new president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce has announced Commissioner Brian Hamman as the organization’s new president and CEO.

In this role, Hamman will direct all business, programs, projects and events of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and its Foundation to promote the growth of businesses and the community.

He will continue to serve as Lee County Commissioner for District 4.

“Our board of directors has been continually impressed by Brian’s leadership in business and within our community, and his expertise will be an invaluable asset to the growth and continued impact of the Chamber,” said Michele Hoover, chair of the board of directors for the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. “This is an exciting new chapter for the Chamber, and we are confident in having Brian at the helm to lead in our mission of connecting, empowering and unifying our members and community across the region.”

Hamman is a proud Lee County native and has served as Lee County Commissioner for District 4 for nearly nine years with a passion for making Lee County a great place to live, work and raise a family. In the private sector, he spent 10 years in television working his way up from the “camera guy” to a news anchor on the nightly news. In addition, he worked as a financial advisor for Edward Jones and oversaw market development for CenturyLink.

He is a graduate of Cape Coral High School, earned an associate degree from Florida Southwestern State College (formerly Edison State College) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Gulf Coast University. He is also active in the community, serving on various boards and volunteering at his church, Crosspoint Christian.

Dianna Ryan served as interim president and CEO during this time of transition following the departure of the Chamber’s former president and CEO. Ryan will continue to serve the Chamber as director of operations.  

Back-to-School Treat – Kids Eat Free at Jason’s Deli from Aug. 5-7

Back-to-School Treat – Kids Eat Free at Jason’s Deli from Aug. 5-7

Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida, a leading family-owned deli restaurant, is hosting its 13th annual ‘Kids Eat Free’ event from Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7, offering complimentary meals to children aged 12 and under at four Southwest Florida restaurant locations.

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $864 on school items, approximately $15 more than last year. Back-to-school spending has increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic, as families adjusted to changes from virtual and hybrid learning. Compared to 2019, back-to-school shoppers are expected to spend $168 more on average, and total spending is up $11 billion.    

“As inflation continues to rise and back-to-school shopping begins, we are happy to provide a reprieve for active families as they prepare for the school year ahead,” said Diana Willis, owner-operator of Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida. “Coinciding with the State of Florida Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, in our thirteenth year of providing free kids meals with an adult entrée, we are pleased to offer parents and kids healthier meal options and savings on costs incurred at this time of year. As a bonus, our ice cream is free!”

From Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7, diners will receive up to two complimentary kid’s meals with each adult entree and drink purchase. Children must be present, and the ‘Kids Eat Free’ special may not be combined with other offers. The offer is valid for dine-in, to-go and curbside pickup, and not valid for deliveries.

In Southwest Florida, participating Jason’s Deli locations include Fort Myers: 13550 Reflections Parkway at Cypress Lake Drive and 16441 Corporate Commerce Way at Alico Road; Naples: 2700 Immokalee Road at Airport Pulling Road; and Cape Coral: 2311 Santa Barbara Blvd. near Veterans Parkway.

Gulf Coast Village resident, veteran Halden Wernsing, honored by Hope Hospice

Gulf Coast Village resident, veteran Halden Wernsing, honored by Hope Hospice

Gulf Coast Village resident Halden Wernsing was recognized Wednesday, July 27 by the Hope Hospice Honor Guard for his military service in the United States Navy. The ceremony included remarks by the Hope Hospice Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance and a presentation of mementos recognizing gratitude for Wernsing’s service in the Navy.

Wernsing was presented with a certificate, American flag lapel pin, star from a retired American flag, handmade patriotic quilt and a handmade “battle buddy” teddy bear, which represents the military sentiment of you are never alone in battle and always have a fellow sailor to rely on.

Wernsing’s daughter Sheri Botner and son-in-law Kevin joined him for the ceremony along with his life partner Carloyn Johnston, who is also a Gulf Coast Village resident.

“Having our father at Gulf Coast Village has given me and my siblings great peace of mind,” shared Sheri. “All of our family is out of state, so it is so important to know he is safe and cared for and it is great to see the time they have taken to honor our dad’s military service.”

Wernsing served seven years in the United States Navy first as a seaman before becoming a pipefitter. He spent time aboard the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea. Originally from Harvel, IL., Wernsing was a lifelong farmer and found his love of boating while in the Navy. He earned his master captain’s license through the merchant marines. Wernsing was also an avid traveler and diver making over 2,000 dives across the world.

Wernsing and his partner have been part-time residents of southwest Florida for over 35 years and have been full-time area residents for the past 15 years. He entered Gulf Coast Village as a resident four years ago and currently resides in their Palmview Memory Care community.

“It is very important for us to honor our residents’ contribution to our nation and make sure we assist with coordinating with local organizations for ceremonies such as the one for Mr. Wernsing,” said Stephanie Smith, Gulf Coast Village memory support program manager.

“The ceremony was such a beautiful tribute for both Mr. Wernsing and his family and we are proud to have been a part of it.”

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