Governor DeSantis Encourages Floridians to Remain Vigilant and Prepared
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) continues to monitor and prepare the state of Florida for potential impacts from Invest 93L. Today, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 23-171, declaring a state of emergency for 33 counties in anticipation of impacts from Invest 93L. This executive order allows state officials to make critical resources available to areas that may be impacted by the storm.
As of 2 p.m. ET, Invest 93L is located near the Yucatan Channel, and is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm in the coming days. Floridians are encouraged to monitor weather conditions and listen to all orders from local officials, as well as review their disaster preparedness plans and stock their disaster supply kits with food, water and other necessities for their households.
FDEM is hosting daily calls with all 67 counties to identify resource needs and to ensure the state is prepared to respond quickly and efficiently. Additionally, FDEM is coordinating with state agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector partners for potential resource requests.
State Preparedness Efforts
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has activated the State Emergency Operations Center Team to support ongoing operations. FDLE has prepared:
- One mobile command vehicle;
- One operations berg; and
- Two berthing bergs.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has readied high-water vehicles and all other storm response resources statewide so they may be rapidly deployed to assist Floridians in need in the event of damage or flooding. Contingency plans based on forecasted landfall locations have been developed and are flexible based on the storm’s projected path.
- FWC Officers will respond with a variety of specialized equipment as necessary, including:
- Shallow draft boats;
- Larger platform vessels;
- Airboats; and
- Four-wheel drive vehicles.
These assets are in addition to local FWC officers deployed to potentially affected areas.
- FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) teams will serve as reconnaissance units for the State EOC and report back on damage after the storm has made landfall.
- FWC Aviation Section has been placed on standby and has readied all appropriate aircraft for potential deployment for EOC aerial assistance, reconnaissance, and post-storm damage assessments when needed.
- The Florida Highway Patrol is prepared to implement 12-hour Alpha, Bravo shifts in preparation for Invest 93L.
Health and Human Services
- The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is prepared to request early release of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits depending on the severity of the storm.
- The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics stands ready to coordinate with wholesale distributors of prescription drugs and medical gas to ensure an uninterrupted supply for potential impacted residents.
- The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has distributed a statewide reminder regarding special needs shelter registration on social media platforms.
- DOH is working with local emergency management to prepare special needs shelter staffing and clientele.
- DOH has published resources for storm preparedness and safety on FloridaHealth.gov/Emergency. Information is available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
- The Office of Insurance Regulation has sent a reminder that all health insurers, managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and other health entities must comply with provisions of section 252.358, Florida Statutes, which allows for early prescription refills in the event the Governor issues an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency. This mandate remains in effect until the Governor’s Executive Order is rescinded or expires.
Infrastructure, Roads and State Closures
- Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) team members are readying equipment and vehicles in case of the need for pre-staging and immediate deployment.
- The Howard Frankland Bridge project in Tampa is securing barges in the area. All other active construction projects are on alert and standing ready to implement any necessary actions related to storm preparations.
- FDOT is in close communications with transportation partners across the state, including airports, seaports, rail lines and transit agencies, as they are on watch and making any necessary preparations.
- Florida’s 511 Traveler Information System is available for drivers to stay informed about roadway conditions during emergencies. This service is monitored and updated 24/7 by FDOT and includes traffic conditions, road and bridge closures, and other specialized alerts. To use Florida’s 511, visit the website at FL511.com or download the app—on both Apple and Android devices.
- FDOT reminds motorists to always drive safely. Remember to avoid distractions and slow down during inclement weather.
- Currently, no Florida State Parks are closed. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has published a storm updates webpage to keep state park visitors updated of potential closures: FloridaStateParks.org/StormUpdates.
Resources for Employees and Businesses
- Florida Commerce will activate the Florida Private Sector Hotline (850-815-4925) beginning Sunday, August 27 at 12:00pm. Inquiries may also be emailed to [email protected].
- The DBPR Division of Hotels and Restaurants is coordinating and preparing emergency response teams in all seven district offices statewide for a post-storm rapid response to assist lodging establishments and restaurants in reopening as necessary.
Originally published at https://www.flgov.com/2023/08/26/governor-ron-desantis-issues-updates-on-invest-93l/
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