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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 1 month ago

DeSantis will send Florida resources to help Louisiana and Mississippi with Hurricane Ida recovery

Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces 1 and 2 are being deployed to Mississippi and both USAR Task Force 4 and 50 Florida National Guardsmen are being mobilized in Louisiana.
by: Guest Writer

by: Governor's Press Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced Aug. 30 that the state of Florida is deploying resources to assist Louisiana and Mississippi with recovery from Hurricane Ida. 

Flagler County’s Suzanne Eubanks will be working for two weeks as a logistics section chief in Louisiana. She has been deployed five other times since 2005.

“The state of Florida stands with both our Gulf Coast neighbors as they face the devastation left by Hurricane Ida,” DeSantis said. “I am proud that we are able to deploy aid to both Mississippi and Louisiana during their time of need, just as others help Florida when disaster strikes here. We will continue to coordinate with both states to identify needed resources.”

“Florida is deploying its best and brightest to support our neighbors to the west,” said CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis. “These Urban Search & Rescue Teams are the same ones that worked Surfside and they’re going to do a lot of good in getting impacted communities back on their feet. Thank you to Governor DeSantis for providing strong leadership for the recovery efforts following Hurricane Ida. The truth is everybody along the Gulf Coast looks out for each other; it’s no different than when Louisiana sent services following Hurricane Michael.”  

DeSantis announced the deployment and staging of Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces 1 and 2 in Mississippi and the mobilization of both USAR Task Force 4 and 50 Florida National Guardsmen to Louisiana.

“In Florida, we know how disastrous a Category 4 hurricane can be,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie, who is a former emergency management chief in Flagler County. “As our partners in Louisiana and Mississippi continue to respond to Ida and begin their initial recovery process, the Division stands ready to deploy requested resources to assist. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gulf Coast residents impacted by Ida during this time, and we will continue to support their storm response.”

FDEM continues to work closely with the states of Louisiana and Mississippi to identify remaining needs. This includes coordinating with food banks in Louisiana that are serving residents displaced by the storm. Partners are on standby to assist Mississippi food banks as necessary. 

State of Florida industry partners, including Florida Power, Light and the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Tampa Electric Company and Duke Energy immediately deployed utility restoration personnel and equipment to support Louisiana’s crews. More than 1,100 Florida utility restoration personnel are support these efforts.

Since Ida made landfall, Florida deployed Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 4 (FL-4) and the Florida State University Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) team. FL-4 is a 40-person team that specializes in swift water rescues and is supporting search and rescue efforts. The Florida State University drones team is supporting damage assessments. Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces 1 and 2 are also deployed under the federal response to Hurricane Ida to assist with search and rescue efforts. 

FDEM has two Incident Management Teams on standby that are ready to deploy as requested. Incident Management Teams are comprised of state and local experienced emergency management professionals who are prepared to support the responses in Louisiana and Mississippi as necessary. 

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact is an interstate mutual aid agreement that facilitates the sharing of resources during an emergency or disaster. More information on EMAC is available here.

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