Governor Ron DeSantis Announces FEMA Approval of Emergency Declaration for Surfside Building Collapse
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited the site of the Surfside Building Collapse and received a briefing on latest efforts from Florida Division of Emergency Management Director (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie. Governor DeSantis also met with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and had a call with President Joe Biden.
Following the briefing, Governor DeSantis joined state and local officials to provide an update on state response efforts and announce that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved an Emergency Declaration for the Surfside Building Collapse, which provides access to additional critical resources.
Following the local declaration of emergency by Miami-Dade County, Governor DeSantis issued a State of Emergency for Miami-Dade County and requested that FEMA declare an emergency as a result of the major residential building collapse. With this announcement, individuals impacted by the Surfside Building Collapse will have access to FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.
FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie remains on-scene at the collapse to ensure all resources are available to aid search and rescue efforts in Surfside and coordinate the state’s response. The State Emergency Operations Center has activated to a Level 2, to assist with the coordination of additional state and federal resources. At this time, all resource requests are being met.
State response efforts include:
- FDEM is deploying the state Individual Assistance Officer and the state Mental Health Coordinator to assist with coordinating available resources for impacted individuals.
- FDEM is preparing personal protective equipment and Comfort Kits to support Urban Search and Rescue Teams. The kits include items like face shields, gloves, Tyvek suits, meals and bottled water.
- FDEM is deploying a Mobile Incident Management Unit to provide additional support for state personnel on-scene.
- FDEM is coordinating with Florida State University to deploy drones to the site and assist with color imagery and 3D mapping for search and rescue efforts.
- Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces 4 (Central Florida) and 6 (Southwest Florida) are mobilizing to support current search and rescue efforts.
- The Agency for Health Care Administration is preparing the Emergency Census Missing Persons to cross-reference individuals who have not yet been accounted for with health care facilities’ censuses.
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is coordinating with private-sector partners, including Expedia and AirBnB.org, to identify additional support.
- Expedia, in partnership with Visit Florida, has launched an emergency accommodations page for the victims of the Surfside building collapse. The website is available here.
- AirBnB.org is coordinating directly with the American Red Cross and local mass care coordinators to assess the housing needs of the victims.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is on site to provide around the clock support with perimeter security.
- Volunteer Florida is coordinating with local organizations and partners to provide assistance to impacted individuals. Local organizations include the American Red Cross, United Way of Miami, Hope Animal Crisis Response, Neighbors to Neighbors, Jewish Community Services, Catholic Charities, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Florida Regional Interfaith/Inter-Agency Emergency Network for Disaster.
- Volunteer Florida is issuing guidance on how to contribute to the recovery of the Surfside Building Collapse. Cash is the most flexible and effective form of donation. Two main funds have been launched by trustworthy, local organizations to receive monetary donations: Support Surfside and the Surfside Building Collapse Victim Fund.
- The Florida Department of Children and Families is coordinating with Miami-Dade County to offer displaced families items such as pack n' plays, strollers, bassinets and gift cards.
Previous state response efforts for the Surfside Building Collapse are available here.
Individuals with information about loved ones who are unaccounted for, or are safe, are encouraged to call the reunification hotline at 305-614-1819.
Impacted individuals are also encouraged to contact the following helpline services for immediate emotional support:
- Disaster Distress Helpline – 800-985-5990
- Florida 211 Network – 211
- Crisis Text Line – Text HELLO to 741741
State personnel remain on scene and will continue to provide assistance, as requested.