Times/Herald Mischaracterizes Readers On State Hurricane Preparedness
TALLAHASSEE – Today, the Times/Herald mischaracterized the findings of an audit conducted by the Florida Division of Emergency Management Office of Inspector General issued on December 20, 2016- Report Number 16-A001, State Logistics Response Center Audit.
“The top priority of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is to protect Florida families and make sure they are always prepared. The Division is constantly evaluating our policies and procedures to ensure that the most current information and effective strategies are utilized in the plans implemented to keep Floridians safe. To that effect, these audits were commissioned by FDEM leadership in 2016 to assess and improve our organization’s abilities. In the months since we commissioned these internal reviews, the Division has made tremendous strides in advancing its capabilities with regards to leadership, personnel and processes, and will continue to improve our service to Floridians.
“At no point before, during or after Hurricane Irma's impact were any unmet needs expressed by county emergency managers or county leaders in all of Florida's 67 counties. In fact, resource needs were met in such a robust fashion that many counties were able to return large quantities of these items to both FEMA and the State of Florida – a testament to the effective response coordinated by the State Emergency Response Team.” – Alberto Moscoso, Communications Director
The Times/Herald’s misguided reporting warrants a closer look at the facts:
“Long before Florida entered the deadliest hurricane season in a decade, auditors at the state’s Division of Emergency Management sent out a warning: the state was ill-prepared for a major disaster.”
Fact: This is false. The audit report does not state or conclude that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) was ill-prepared for a major disaster. The report was conducted by the Division to look at process and recommended the Division review the State Logistics Resource Center (SLRC) to ensure it is operating properly and the resource delivery model is the most efficient and effective method for the State of Florida.
“Food and water supplies at the distribution center in Orlando were inadequate.”
Fact: The audit report does not state or conclude that the supplies in the SLRC were inadequate to respond to a disaster. In fact, prior to Irma, the SLRC was at full capacity and resource delivery from the State and FEMA in preparation of and response to Hurricane Irma was so robust that many counties return large amounts of resources and supplies back to the State and FEMA.
“The report concluded: ‘The division’s ability to respond to disaster may be impaired.’”
Fact: This is mischaracterization with old information regarding vendor contracts. Since the publication of the audit last year, the Division has taken decisive action to ensure that vendor contracts are fulfilled under emergency authority given by executive order. Management action on vendor contracts has led FDEM OIG to close that finding.
“They also gave themselves a deadline: March 2018- 18 months after the audit report and four months after the end of the 2017 hurricane season.”
Fact: This is false. FDEM estimated the completion of the analysis to be September 2017 and the execution of the analysis by December 31, 2017. Click HERE.
“Auditors discovered that the warehouse was not only short of supplies...”
Fact: This is false. The audit report does not state or conclude that the supplies in the SLRC were inadequate to respond to a disaster. Click HERE.
“Auditors found an inadequate stockpile of food, water, and cots needed for emergency shelters.”
Fact: This is false. The audit report does not state or conclude that the supplies in the SLRC were inadequate to stock emergency shelters. Click HERE.
“After the Herald/Times inquiry, the agency says it will now have the analysis completed by December 2017.”
Fact: This is inaccurate. December 2017 was the estimated date of completion for the analysis since the audit was issued.