Governor Ron DeSantis’ Request for Major Disaster Declaration Approved
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 28, 2023
CONTACT: FDEM Communications Office, (850) 815-4940 | email@example.com
Governor Ron DeSantis’ Request for Major Disaster Declaration Approved
This morning, Governor Ron DeSantis’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration in response to unprecedented flooding in Broward County was approved by the White House. Effective immediately, impacted residents in Broward County can apply for Individual Assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov. Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Recovery Staff will be working directly with city and county governments on Public Assistance Projects for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
Governor DeSantis has also activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, making $5 million available for businesses impacted by flooding in Southeast Florida. Businesses in Broward County, including sole proprietors, are eligible to apply. Florida’s small business owners in need of assistance are encouraged to visit FloridaJobs.org/EBL to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.
On April 13, less than 24 hours after flooding began, Governor 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.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has activated the High Water Mark Survey for homeowners and local communities to document water levels and damages. Data collected in this survey is uploaded to a GIS-based dashboard that allows the Division to determine affected neighborhoods and the scope of the flooding to assist with requests for federal assistance. The State Emergency Response Team has also taken the following actions:
- SERT feeding partners have served over 4,380 hot meals and distributed over 20 cases of water and 1,100 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.
- The SERT is coordinating with the following Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters on the following actions:
- Florida Catholic Conference is providing case management and services to Shelter Residents.
- United Way Broward in partnership with The Salvation Army has established a donations site.
- Midwest Foodbank is supporting shelter feeding operations and has transported Shockwave into the impacted area to assist with cleanup.
- Team Rubicon and the Southern Baptists are preparing to begin Muck and Gut operations.
- The Salvation Army is supporting community and shelter feeding and distributing over 1,000 flood buckets with more buckets enroute.
- The Salvation Army is working to provide volunteer housing to Support Team Rubicon.
- Church World Services is delivering 1000 Flood Buckets Friday to Feeding Florida - will distribute through their partner agencies to impacted areas.
- United Methodist have opened their Disaster Recovery Hotline to the public to assist with cleanup, tarping, and debris removal – the public can report any needs to: 855-CAT-FUMC
- 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
- All fuel terminals at Port Everglades are operational. FDOT will continue to closely coordinate with Port partners to offer any necessary assistance.
- 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.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- 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.
- 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 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
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved DEP’s request for a fuel waiver to temporarily adjust certain regulatory requirements in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties while pumps are being repaired at Port Everglades and DEP is now coordinating with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 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.
- The South Florida Water Management District continues to coordinate with the Broward County Emergency Operations Center to alleviate localized flooding and stands ready to provide technical assistance and additional pumps, as needed.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Immediately following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson issued an emergency rule providing greater flexibility to Florida’s fuel industry that will result in additional fuel available to South Florida consumers.
- FDACS has deployed inspectors across the impacted areas to ensure fuel dispensers are working properly and testing the quality of fuel.
- The Division of Food Safety is conducting onsite routine inspections at food establishments in impacted areas for safety and sanitation.
- FDAC is coordinating with the Broward County Animal Care Division, the University of Florida Shelter Medicine Program, and the State Animal Response Coalition for relocation of 20 dogs from the Broward County Animal Care Center due to roof damage.
- 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.
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.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
- APD field leadership remains in communication with clients, providers, and facilities in the impacted areas. At this time, there are no unmet needs. All APD-licensed Group Homes have power and are operating.
- APD has updated the Disaster Recovery Toolkit to reflect the services available to those affected.
Department of Elder Affairs
- The Area Agency on Aging of Broward County has spoken with senior service providers across the county to assess any needs. These providers have directly called clients to check in on unmet needs and continue to work with local governments to obtain long-term housing for two displaced residents.
- Seniors in need of services may call the Helpline at 954-745-9779.