Florida Division of Emergency Management Holds Ceremonial Groundbreaking for New State Emergency Operations Center
FDEM Executive Director joined by DMS Secretary Pedro Allende, FDOT Secretary Jared Perdue, P.E., FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass, FLNG Brigadier General William Temple, and FDEM Senior Staff.
Tallahassee, Fla – Today, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (Division) held a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of the new State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). The SEOC serves as the designated coordination center for the Governor and all state agencies and partners when responding to a disaster.
“Thanks to the continued support of Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, I am confident in our ability to build a new, state of the art SEOC that will further the Division’s disaster response and recovery capabilities,” said Division Executive Director Kevin Guthrie. “The new SEOC will not only accommodate the growing needs of the Division, but also support our pursuit to remain a national leader in the field of emergency management and foster a more prepared and resilient Florida.”
The new SEOC will accommodate Division staff and partners in a two-story building, constructed to withstand windspeeds of up to 200 mph (Category 5 hurricane), and include upgraded technology that streamlines processes and allows Division employees to continue day-to-day operations while also actively responding to a disaster.
“DMS is excited to break ground on the new Emergency Operations Center,” said Florida Department of Management Services Secretary Pedro Allende. “As the agency charged with the construction, we look forward to working with Director Guthrie and the Division of Emergency Management team to construct a modern Emergency Operations Center that will give our state agency partners the ability to respond to any disaster.”
"Breaking ground on the new state Emergency Operations Center further solidifies Florida's commitment to ensuring that we are a national leader for emergency response," said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. "FDOT appreciates the strong leadership provided by the Division of Emergency Management when our communities are in great need. We look forward to continuing this close coordination during emergencies with them and other great partners at a new state-of-the-art EOC."
“When our members deploy to the SEOC, they often report for weeks at a time to support Florida’s law enforcement community. The current ESF-16 and conference rooms are often cramped and this makes collaboration more difficult,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass. “This new facility will provide much needed extra space so our FDLE members and those supporting the law enforcement function can work more efficiently and collaboratively.”
“As Senate President, I was proud to provide $180 million in funding for the new State Emergency Operations Center, and I am pleased to see the groundbreaking take place so that Florida can continue to lead the nation in emergency management,” said Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “The SEOC and those who staff it are critical to Florida’s response to disasters. When activated, the SEOC showcases the very best of Florida and how the hardworking men and women in each emergency support function work together to ensure our state quickly responds and recovers from emergencies.”
“Critical, once-in-a-generation investments like Florida’s new State EOC are key to ensuring that we continue to provide robust emergency response services to Floridians in some of their most difficult times,” said Florida Senate Majority Leader Ben Albritton. “Following Hurricane Ian, I saw the excellent work of our state emergency response teams firsthand in my district, and more recently in the Big Bend following Hurricane Idalia. While I hope we never need it, our new Emergency Operations Center will have technologies and tools that better serve Floridians, improving the capabilities of our outstanding Division of Emergency Management.”
“Before, during and after an emergency, the state Emergency Operations Center plays a critical role in supporting our citizens and our infrastructure. As part of the Legislature, I was proud to support funding for a new facility so that our emergency managers will have access to the space, technology and communications they need to oversee response and recovery,” said Representative Jason Shoaf. “Having witnessed the EOC’s impressive operation during and after Hurricane Idalia brought devastation to my district, I know how meaningful the new building — and the teams within it — will be to all Floridians facing disasters in the future.”
The new SEOC will include designated spaces for all twenty Emergency Support Functions, media, future emergency management trainings, law enforcement, as well as the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery bureaus. This will allow the Division and other support agencies to accommodate enough staff members to respond to a disaster quickly and effectively.