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Governor DeSantis Provides Update on State Response Efforts for Surfside Building Collapse


Governor DeSantis Provides Update on State Response Efforts for Surfside Building Collapse

This morning, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, Florida House of Representatives Speaker Chris Sprowls, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie and Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett for a press briefing to provide updates on the Surfside Building Collapse response.

Full remarks regarding the current response from this morning's press conference are available here. Vicegobernadora Jeanette Nuñez también pronunció comentarios en español. Los comentarios comienzan en 3:00.

Surfside Collapse Update 07/04/21

There are currently more than 500 first responders and state workers on-site to support ongoing search and rescue efforts. State response efforts include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) 

  • FDEM's Deputy Director and Recovery Team will remain on-site to assist with the Surfside response while FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie leads the Tropical Storm Elsa response in Tallahassee at the State Emergency Operations Center. Once the Tropical Storm Elsa response ends, additional FDEM personnel will return to Surfside to continue to support all requests by local partners.  
  • The FDEM Incident Management Team is on-site supporting families and first responders.
  • The SERT, in partnership with Miami-Dade Fire County Fire Rescue, deployed a 25-person team to support USAR team members with mental health and wellness.
  • At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, five federal Type 1 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have arrived in Surfside to ensure additional first responders are available in the event of impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa in Florida.
  • To date, the state has completed 147 resource requests for the Surfside Building Collapse, and 15 additional requests are being mobilized today.
  • FDEM has completed the credentialing process for all deployed state personnel on-site to ensure the Surfside area remains secure and safe while USAR task forces focus on their critical search and rescue missions.
  • FDEM continues to provide PPE, spare boots and other clothing items to USAR responders to ensure added protection and safety while working on-site. The Division has distributed 450 pairs of boots, 27,000 pairs of socks and 360 pairs of heavy-duty demolition gloves.
  • To date, FDEM personnel have assisted 75 individuals in registering for FEMA Individual Assistance.
  • In collaboration with FDEM, Royal Caribbean Group docked Royal Caribbean International’s Explorer of the Seas at PortMiami to provide free housing and support for the tireless efforts of search and rescue teams working at the Surfside Building Collapse.
  • The Division coordinated with FEMA and has already received $20.5 million within a week to support ongoing response efforts in Surfside. 
  • FDEM issued Emergency Order 21-004, which waives certain requirements that pertain to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s affordable housing programs, to make additional housing units available for individuals impacted by the collapse.
  • The FDEM Disaster Recovery Mental Health Coordinator is on-scene connecting families and first responders with state, local and nonprofit mental health resources.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) 

  • FDOT personnel are on-site to assist with debris removal around-the-clock. As of today, more than 230 debris removal trucks have removed more than 2,400 tons of debris from the Surfside collapse site.
  • FDOT continues to fulfill resource requests by Miami-Dade County for additional traffic maintenance devices.

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) 

  • In partnership with DCF, FEMA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have made the Crisis Counseling Program available in Surfside to assist impacted individuals and families through community-based outreach and educational services.
  • Personnel from the DCF Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Officials are on-site to identify behavioral health providers as needed.
  • DCF has distributed more than $6,000 in Publix, Visa and Target gift cards to impacted individuals at the Family Assistance Center.
  • DCF, in partnership with the local 211 provider Jewish Community Services, has assisted more than 25 impacted individuals with behavioral health services on-site.

Florida Department of Health (FDOH) 

  • Under Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 21-148, FDOH has issued Emergency Order 21-002 to extend licensure and certification renewal deadlines for paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
  • FDOH activated the Florida Crisis Response Team, formerly known as the Florida Crisis Consortium, to provide behavioral health care for impacted individuals at the Family Reunification Center.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) 

  • DEO announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved an Administrative Declaration for Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Monroe counties, which provides Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Business Physical Disaster Loans and Home Disaster Loans to eligible individuals and businesses impacted by the Surfside Building Collapse. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application through the SBA's secure website at
  • DEO has a mobile unit on-scene in the Surfside business district with deployed personnel coordinating available business resources along with the SBA. The mobile location is on 95th St. between Harding and Collins Avenue.
  • DEO also has a team located in the Family Assistance Center to assist with housing and business resources.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • DEP issued an Emergency Final Order (EFO) waiving permitting requirements for the storage and processing of solid waste. The EFO also includes guidance for disaster debris and asbestos management to assist in ongoing rescue and recovery efforts.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) 

  • FLHSMV issued Emergency Order 062621, which waives replacement fees for driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.
  • FLHSMV is providing no-fee driver license and motor vehicles services to impacted individuals at the Family Assistance Center and is coordinating with the Red Cross to identify any individuals needing assistance.
  • Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is providing traffic control in the Surfside area and security at the FLHSMV mobile units.

Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)

  • The Alliance for Aging, DOEA's Area Agency on Aging in Miami-Dade County, is working closely with their primary and local area providers to ensure displaced individuals from the Surfside condo evacuations receive assistance for any unmet needs.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) 

  • The DBPR Condominium Ombudsman is available locally to provide assistance and resources for impacted individuals.

Volunteer Florida and Nonprofit Organizations 

  • Cash is the most flexible and effective form of donation. Two verified funds have been launched by established, local organizations to receive monetary donations: and
  • Volunteer Florida is on-site to distribute donated goods directly to individuals impacted by the Surfside Building Collapse, and is continuously meeting with Miami-Dade County officials to discuss long-term recovery efforts.

Additional Emotional Wellness Actions for First Responders and Impacted Families

  • More than 40 mental health professionals are available to impacted families and the Surfside community from the state, local government and nonprofit organizations.
  • Trained peers are available 24/7 on-site through a partnership among several organizations, including: Miami Dade Fire Rescue, the Division of the State Fire Marshall, Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative, the International Association of Fire Fighters and the 2nd Alarm Project.
  • Florida USAR Task Force 7 (North Florida) has trained peers and Mental Health Providers embedded within their team on-site. These peers and providers are available to other task forces as needed.
  • Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative, UCF Restores and the 2nd Alarm Project are creating a post-deployment and demobilization mental wellness plan to distribute to each Task Force as they prepare to demobilize from the Surfside response.
  • USAR teams have embedded personnel trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). CISM is an integrated system of confidential interventions which are designed to prevent and/or relieve the adverse psychological and/or physical personnel reactions that often accompany public safety and disaster response functions.
  • 12 Miami-Dade County navigators are available to assist families with administrative items and identifying support, including mental health.

Previous state response efforts for the Surfside Building Collapse are available for:

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 can register for updates and access to resources through a centralized alert system by visiting or calling toll-free at (833) 930-3701. Agents are available in English and Spanish and will contact individuals who have registered with the alert system.

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.

Updated: Sunday, July 4, 2021
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