Florida Division of Emergency Management Issues Updates on Emergency Response in Florida
In response to the accidental alert Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) issued this tweet and statement:
Emergency alert testing directives originate from the federal government. This morning's test was supposed to be a test of televised emergency alerts, which the Florida Association of Broadcasters normally schedules for very early in the morning because that is when the fewest people are watching TV (to minimize disruption). Florida contracts with a company called EverBridge to provide the technical coding and instructions required to push out emergency alerts. Everbridge sent the wrong technical specifications for this alert – which ultimately pushed the alert over the Wireless Emergency Alert system (cellphones).
Good government identifies errors, corrects them expediently, and holds people accountable when appropriate. The Division recognizes that this error was unacceptably disruptive and will correct it.
Nonetheless, the Division stresses the importance of being able to receive emergency alerts as disasters can happen at any time and these alerts save lives. Please do maintain emergency alert notifications on your cellular device – we will ensure they are used appropriately henceforth.
Broward County Flooding
In response to the increasing demand for fuel in Southeast Florida after flooding at Port Everglades slowed fuel distribution, the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) has deployed and delivered over 500,000 gallons of fuel to Southeast Florida. At the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, an additional 500,000 gallons have been deployed to commercial gas stations in the area, for a total of 1 million gallons deployed by the SERT. As of this morning, Port Everglades is currently 70% operational with an estimated 9.1 million gallons of fuel dispensed daily. To support fueling operations as Port Everglades works to de-water fuel racks and get operations back online for distributing gas and diesel fuel, the SERT has been pulling fuel from Port Canaveral and Tampa since Friday, April 14. Port Everglades accepts 40 percent of the fuel into the state of Florida.
In response to the significant flooding in southeast Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 23-65 declaring a State of Emergency in Broward County. The SERT remains in communication with areas impacted by devastating flooding and continues to deploy state resources and assistance as requested by Broward County.
FDEM Recovery Staff remain in Broward County assisting with joint Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA). Information gathered in these assessments by Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA) teams from FEMA will determine what federal assistance may be made available for impacted residents.
The State Emergency Response Team has taken the following actions:
- The SERT deployed 500,000 gallons of fuel to stations in Southeast Florida and stands ready to assist private sector partners in fuel distribution and delivery. Fuel transports are being escorted by law enforcement partners in order to expedite delivery.
- The SERT deployed over 20 flood mitigation assets including industrial vacuum trucks and water pumps to the City of Ft. Lauderdale, Dania Beach and Hollywood, Florida.
- SERT feeding partners have served 4,181 hot meals and distributed over 20 cases of water and 1,000 clean-up kits. Lunch and dinner are being offered to impacted residents at the following locations:
- Fort Lauderdale - SW 21st Ave. and Frontage Rd.
- Fort Lauderdale - 27th Ave. and 6th Court
- Miami - SW 6th St. and Long Island Ave.
- Over 4,000 Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) have been delivered by Feeding Florida for distribution at comfort stations in Ft. Lauderdale.
- Two comfort stations are open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. offering food, water, restrooms, charging stations, and showers to impacted residents. They are set up at the following locations:
- Shirley Small Park - 1230 SW 34th Ave Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
- Broward County Fleet Service Center - 2515 SW 4th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
- An additional comfort station located at 1412 NW 6th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 (Provident Park) is serving food only.
- One shelter remains open and serving 52 people and 5 pets. The shelter is operating at the following location:
- Holiday Park - 1150 G. Harold Martin Dr Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
- The Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline has been activated. Price gouging during a State of Emergency is unlawful and reports of unconscionable price increases should be submitted through the hotline at (866)-966-7226.
- FDEM deployed staff to support local efforts including coordinating damage assessments and collecting damage assessment data in Broward County.
- The State Emergency Operations Center activated to a Level 2, activating all Sections of the State Emergency Response Team.
- The SERT hosts daily calls to include weather updates and partner brief outs.
Other state efforts include:
Department of Transportation
- FDOT has extended Executive Order 23-65 allowing larger quantities of fuel to be delivered to impacted areas. Nine major fuel terminals are operational at Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral and Port Tampa Bay continue to provide additional fuel to trucks bringing fuel to the South Florida Region.
- FDOT continues to assist local agencies with crews and equipment to help reduce flood waters at multiple locations in the area. The New River Tunnel (U.S. 1) has been reopened.
- FDOT crews have been activated to perform damage assessment surveys.
- FDOT continues to assist local agencies with crews and equipment on traffic signal outages.
- In coordination with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority and the City of Fort Lauderdale, FDOT is supporting a Florida Department of Economic Opportunity request to use the Broward Boulevard Tri-Rail Station “Park and Ride” lot for a one-stop resource site for local businesses impacted by the flooding.
- FDOT crews continue to provide assistance at locations where lane closures or full road closures are necessary to ensure motorists can safely get by or have appropriate detour signage to follow.
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is open and operational.
- Real-time traffic updates including road closure information can be found at FL511.com.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- FHP has issued Emergency Order 041523, which waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief.
- FHP has activated 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts for Troopers providing critical fuel escorts to the impacted areas.
- FHP is actively communicating with law enforcement and transportation partners in support of flooding response efforts.
- FHP is currently staffing the State Emergency Operations Center to support flooding response efforts.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
- FWC has high-water vehicle assets on standby as they monitor response requests from local officials.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
- In partnership with FDEM, CareerSource Florida, and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, DEO is hosting a One-Stop Business Resource Site available this week for local businesses impacted by flash flooding seeking recovery resources.
- The Site will open Monday, April 17 at 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., and be open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. beginning Tuesday, April 18. A Park and Ride Lot is located at the NW Quadrant of I95 and Broward Blvd. (Enter off on Broward Blvd)
- Staff will be available to assist businesses and employees with services like the Business Damage Assessment Survey, Business Continuity Planning, and job search assistance.
- DEO leadership is on the ground in Broward County visiting affected neighborhoods and meeting with local residents to learn about their impacts.
- DEO leadership attended a briefing at the Broward Emergency Operation Center and met with local county and city officials to coordinate on recovery efforts for the Broward County’s business community.
- In a local press conference in Broward County alongside sister agencies, Secretary Ivey provided updates and encouraged local businesses to take the activated Business Damage Assessment Survey at FloridaDisaster.biz to inform recovery efforts, and shared DEO’s private sector hotline for businesses to call at 850-815-4925 or email ESF18@em.myflorida.com if they are seeking additional resources.
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
- The DBPR Division of Hotels and Restaurants Margate Inspection Team conducted 99 public health assessments of public food service and lodging establishments in Broward County.
- DBPR Secretary Melanie S. Griffin deployed to Broward County and joined DEO Acting Secretary Meredith Ivey to discuss ongoing recovery efforts at the CareerSource Broward Hospitality Business Forum and offer recovery support to impacted small businesses.
- DBPR Secretary Melanie S. Griffin met with state partners and local officials at the Fort Lauderdale EOC to discuss unmet needs for licensees, businesses and employees.
- DBPR district staff have deployed to the state’s One-Stop Business Resource Site to provide recovery resources on safely reopening businesses, as well as information on the increased risk of unlicensed activity after a disaster and how to avoid scams.
- DBPR is actively communicating with impacted licensees in Broward County and encouraging them to complete the state’s Business Damage Assessment Survey to better inform recovery efforts for local, state and federal officials.
- DBPR encourages impacted homeowners and business owners to verify contractor licenses at MyFloridaLicense.com to ensure safe, qualified services. If an unlicensed activity scam is suspected, report it by calling (866) 532-1440, emailing ULA@myfloridalicense.com, or by filing a complaint on our website.
Department of Environmental Protection
- While pumps are being repaired at Port Everglades, DEP hass requested a fuel waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily adjust certain regulatory requirements to ensure a sustained, useable fuel supply.
- DEP has activated and is closely monitoring WaterTracker, a reporting tool for drinking water and wastewater facilities to provide updates on their operational status and submit needs and requests, for Broward County.
- DEP is coordinating with Florida’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN) and other response agencies on the dispatch of generators, fuel and pump trucks to assist drinking water and wastewater facilities, as needed. FlaWARN has secured 5 VAC trucks for the City of Fort Lauderdale through Mutual Aid with neighboring municipalities and they are currently on-site.
- DEP has contacted all significant Hazardous Waste facilities in Broward County to confirm operational status and assess needs. All facilities are fully operational and report no releases or operational concerns.
- The South Florida Water Management District has deployed temporary pumps and continues coordinating with Broward County Emergency Operations Center to alleviate localized flooding.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- FDACS has deployed inspectors across the impacted areas to ensure fuel dispensers are working properly and testing the quality of fuel.
- FDACS is currently staffing the State Emergency Operations Center to support response efforts.
Department of Health
- DOH-Broward has distributed information to the public regarding mosquito control.
- DOH-Broward has assessed mobile home parks in the impacted area for any environmental health concerns caused by flooding. There are no unmet needs at this time.
- DOH-Broward in partnership with the City of Fort Lauderdale will start offering Tetanus vaccinations to support those at-risk from exposure to contaminated waters and with open wounds.
- DOH-Broward facilities reopened on April 14, 2023. Any appointments impacted by facility closures during April 13 will be rescheduled.
Agency for Health Care Administration
- AHCA remains in communication with facilities in impacted areas. Agency surveyors have reported no safety concerns, all facilities have power and are operating.
Department of Children and Families
- DCF has deployed four Hope Navigators to two Ft. Lauderdale Comfort Centers who will assist customers with locating resources, connecting with services, and public assistance questions.
Department of Elder Affairs
- The Area Agency on Aging of Broward County has spoken with their senior service providers across the county to assess any needs. These providers are directly calling clients to check in on unmet needs and working with local government to obtain long-term housing for two displaced residents, as well as enrolling them in their services.
- Seniors in need of services may call the Helpline at 954-745-9779.
Department of Education
- All Broward County Public Schools and District offices are open. Afterschool care, events and activities will also operate on a normal schedule.