TALLAHASSEE, FL. – As Hurricane Matthew impacts Florida, Governor Scott has requested President Obama to declare a Major Disaster for Florida as a result of the storm. If approved by President Obama, this will provide federal resources to support recovery efforts in Florida. This request is for both individual assistance for families and public assistance to help state agencies and local governments. Yesterday, the federal government approved Governor Scott’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration. Cumulatively, Governor Scott has asked FEMA to provide the following:
Search and rescue teams
Hazmat assessment teams
Cots and blankets
Food distribution vehicles
Governor Scott has also directed the state to begin setting up housing for utility crews in strategic areas across the state. Camp Blanding in Northeast Florida is ready to house over 1,000 utility workers and their trucks. Two other locations are currently being prepared across the state should utility companies need it.
Governor Rick Scott said, “As this massive category three hurricane impacts Florida, I have continued to make requests to the federal government for resources based on the needs of communities across our state. This storm has now impacted a little over half of our east coast, and we expect to see severe impacts as it approaches Northeast Florida. We will not hesitate to get our communities the resources they need to respond to families and we will continue to make requests to the federal government as needed.
“I have also directed the state to set up strategic housing for utility crews across the state so workers can quickly restore power. Power saves lives and getting it restored will be a top priority as the storm passes. In advance of this storm, I activated 3,500 members of the Florida National Guard. They have already started conducting assessments in South Florida. Once they complete any recovery missions, they will join the troops we have positioned in Central and North Florida and help with any search and rescue efforts.
“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission currently has 90 officers performing search and rescue operations, and another 70 on standby. Florida Highway Patrol has 150 troopers on public safety patrol right now, and another 100 on standby. They are all ready to help people in our state impacted by this severe storm.”