As we speak, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Administration (FDEM) spotlight the state of Florida’s response efforts to COVID-19 taken this yr, along with the Division supporting Floridians recovering from hurricanes whereas making ready for future storms and different hazards.
Governor Ron DeSantis mentioned, “The Florida Division of Emergency Administration has been requested to reply to numerous occasions this yr throughout a record-breaking hurricane season. Not solely have they stepped up for each occasion, however they’ve additionally continued to interrupt information for hurricane reimbursements. I applaud their dedication and dedication to the state of Florida.”
FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz mentioned, “All through 2020, the Division has been referred to as upon time and time once more, and each time now we have delivered. COVID-19 was unprecedented in so some ways, bringing in regards to the largest logistical operation in our state’s historical past. In response, now we have been capable of present Floridians with the PPE, testing, healthcare assist and funding that their communities want. Whereas we aren’t slowing down in any means, I’m proud to say that now we have saved numerous lives in 2020.”
FDEM executed the most important response operation within the Division’s historical past when responding to COVID-19:
- In March, the State Emergency Operations Middle activated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and commenced securing sources, corresponding to PPE and COVID-19 testing supplies, to deploy statewide to guard Florida’s most susceptible populations.
- In March, the Division additionally opened the primary state-supported COVID-19 testing websites in Miami-Dade, Orange and Duval counties. On the peak of the COVID-19 response, the Division operated greater than 85 state-supported COVID-19 testing websites statewide which have performed greater than 2.8 million assessments thus far.
- By establishing these testing websites and making certain Florida obtained important testing provides, the Division has labored with companions in any respect ranges to create a strong testing infrastructure in Florida. So far, greater than 13 million assessments have been performed in Florida.
- In March, the Division started delivering PPE to well being care staff and first responders statewide. So far, the Division has delivered:
- Greater than 78 million masks
- Greater than 23 million gloves
- Greater than 6.6 million robes
- Greater than 2 million face shields
- Greater than 1.2 million shoe covers
- Greater than 112,000 goggles
- Practically 80,000 coveralls
- The Division led the best way in introducing self-swab assessments to state-supported COVID-19 testing websites and prioritizing testing for symptomatic people, people 65 and older and kids underneath the age of 18.
- The Division deployed greater than 2,500 nurses to hospitals and clinics all through the state to complement well being care staffing.
- The Division established biweekly testing for greater than 200,000 employees and residents in long-term care amenities – the most important and most advanced testing mission in your complete nation.
- The Division has actively ready for a COVID-19 vaccine since July, together with buying 5 million syringes, 5 million band aids and 5 million alcohol swabs.
- The Division has coordinated the statewide distribution of greater than 500,000 doses of the vaccine thus far, and almost 70,000 people in Florida have already been vaccinated.
Atlantic Hurricane Season
- The Division coordinated statewide response efforts for a number of storms in the course of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, together with hurricanes Isaias, Laura, Sally and Zeta.
- The state led the best way in growing and implementing non-congregate sheltering forward of the hurricane season. The Division partnered with native accommodations throughout the state to ascertain non-congregate sheltering choices to stop the additional unfold of COVID-19.
- By the Hurricane Sally response, the Division supported the opening of 10 county congregate shelters and 6 non-congregate lodge shelters, which safely supported greater than 300 displaced residents.
- Governor DeSantis proclaimed September 2020 as Nationwide Preparedness Month in Florida. All through September, the Division supplied info on preparedness for Floridians, together with a social media marketing campaign.
- The Division launched a Know Your Zone, Know Your House marketing campaign, together with radio and television advertisements, to teach Floridians on hurricane security throughout COVID-19.
FDEM awarding greater than $3.5 billion for catastrophe restoration underneath Governor DeSantis’ management
- Whereas additionally responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and several other hurricanes, the Division continued to prioritize hurricane restoration. By streamlining assessment and eliminating bureaucratic delay, the Division has formally crossed the $3.5 billion mark in distributed funds since January 8, 2019. These funds embrace the next packages:
- $2.6 billion of the overall $3.5 billion is FEMA Public Help funding, which helps counties rebuild faster after a catastrophe.
- Greater than $615 million in CARES Act funding for counties with populations beneath 500,000.
- Greater than $276 million for citrus producers impacted by Hurricane Irma, who preserve an energetic citrus farming operation however suffered citrus crop harm from the storm.
- The Division has additionally efficiently begun distributing funds for the $380 million Timber Restoration Block Grant Program. This grant helps timber producers recuperate from the harm and destruction brought on by Hurricane Michael.
Florida Continues to Lead the Manner on Catastrophe Psychological Well being
- In October 2019, the Division employed Darcy Abbott to be the primary Psychological Well being Catastrophe Response and Restoration Coordinator within the nation.
- Since coming to the Division, Darcy has deployed to a number of occasions, together with the NAS Pensacola Taking pictures in January, Hurricane Michael restoration efforts in Bay County, and COVID-19 disaster counseling assist.
- On the route of Florida Division of Emergency Administration Director Jared Moskowitz and supported by First Woman Casey DeSantis, Florida’s Psychological Well being Coordinator, Darcy Abbott, took motion to assist psychological well being statewide throughout COVID-19, together with:
- Coordinated with representatives from state businesses, non-profit organizations, remedy suppliers, well being care associations, universities, faith-based organizations and different neighborhood companions to interact ongoing coordination and collaboration with psychological well being, emotional and religious care suppliers to assist correct info, messaging and entry to ongoing assist in the course of the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Generated and disseminated a listing of accessible native, state and nationwide disaster counseling helplines, shared sources, coaching alternatives, recognized areas of concern for psychological well being companies, and shared greatest practices.
- Labored with the DOH to establish sources without charge counseling companies for well being care suppliers in Florida.
- Collaborated with the Division of Youngsters and Households, Workplace of Substance Abuse and Psychological Well being on the Covid-19 SAMHSA funded Catastrophe Disaster Counseling Grant utility for Florida.
- Supported weekly convention requires behavioral well being suppliers and the Florida Behavioral Well being Affiliation with the Secretaries of DCF, AHCA and DOH by figuring out agenda objects and points confronted by these suppliers as they labored to serve Florida’s communities and preserve requirements of care.
- Repeatedly working with different states, in addition to federal, state and native companions to develop and share greatest practices on responding to psychological well being impacts of COVID-19.
- In January, the Division secured a further $690,000 from FEMA to increase the Hurricane Michael disaster counseling companies in six impacted counties.
Different notable accomplishments
- The Division labored with St. Johns County to finish a two-year shelter retrofit mission that added greater than 5,000 further hurricane shelter areas. Within the final two years, greater than 20,000 new shelter areas have been added in Florida.
- The Division authorized greater than $70 million in hurricane mitigation funding in 2020.
- The Division’s mitigation bureau labored with greater than 200 communities to cut back their threat of flood impacts by the Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program Neighborhood Ranking System.
- The Division has established 48 WeatherSTEM real-time climate monitoring items all through the state as a part of a 2019 legislative appropriation.
- WeatherSTEM real-time monitoring items present important, on-the floor insights at places the place they’re established. This helps the state reply to all types of climate disasters, together with tornadoes, extreme thunderstorms and hurricanes.
- The Division carried out 252.351 F.S. – a brand new statute handed within the 2020 Florida Legislative Session that requires counties to report sure incidents to the state for a faster response.
- The logistics part finalized the most important logistical useful resource contract inside the historical past of the Division, with all kinds of distributors that not solely permit for a faster response time however honest pricing throughout a catastrophe. This contract has been integral for the responses this yr starting from COVID-19 to the summer time’s tropical cyclones.
- All year long, over a number of activations, the Division has responded to greater than 36,000 missions – probably the most in a single yr within the Division’s historical past.
- The Division has elevated its warehousing capabilities from one warehouse at 189,000 sq. ft to 5 warehouses amounting to 650,000 sq. ft, whereas sustaining a fleet of upward of 125 semi-trucks, 300 trailers and 55 field vans with a view to assist the speedy response of a number of incidents inside Florida.
In March, on the route of Governor DeSantis, the Division awarded greater than $2.2 million to Gadsden County by the Hurricane Michael State Restoration Grant Program. These funds have been used to restore two important bridges within the county that have been broken by Hurricane Michael, and accomplished the award of the Hurricane Michael State Restoration Grant.