As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, President Biden has directed the heads of Federal agencies across the government to surge all available resources to the region in preparation for potential impacts and to support response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm.
Yesterday, the President held calls with Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, Mayor Ken Welch of St. Petersburg, and Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater to discuss preparations for the potential impacts from Hurricane Ian. In the last week, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell has held calls with Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina, and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, and she visited Florida on Monday, September 26.
On Saturday, September 24, President Biden approved an Emergency Declaration for the State of Florida within hours of receiving the request from Governor DeSantis, to support preparedness efforts and ensure resources are pre-positioned in advance of potential storm impacts.
At President Biden’s direction, FEMA is coordinating across the Federal government to support State and local preparations. And, the President and the Administration urge everyone to follow the guidance of local officials.
Pre-staging equipment and resources across the region in advance of landfall:
- The Administration pre-staged 110,000 gallons of fuel and 18,000 pounds of propane for immediate deployment and personnel and equipment to support distribution.
- The Administration moved in a variety of generators of all sizes and types and pre-positioned assessment and installation teams–to provide temporary emergency power to critical infrastructure.
- The Administration is staging 3.7 million meals and 3.5 million liters of water in Alabama.
- The Administration has 300 ambulances already in the state working side by side with local officials.
Pre-positioning Federal responders to support emergency response:
- As of September 28, there are more than 1,300 Federal response workers on the ground in Florida to support emergency preparations including operations, planning, power restoration, debris removal, and urban search and rescue.
- FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech has been embedded in the State of Florida to ensure needs are being met.
- FEMA has established a Federal search and rescue coordination group, including FEMA Urban Search and Rescue personnel and search and rescue personnel from multiple additional Federal departments and agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, and the State of Florida. These teams are on the ground and ready to deploy search and rescue efforts by sea, air, and land as soon as they are needed.
- The Army Corps of Engineers has pre-staged 300 personnel to support power and fuel assessments as soon as the storm passes. The Administration is in close coordination with local power companies. Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, and Tampa Electric have 30,000 personnel ready to assist in power restoration. Thousands more are being made available through utility sector mutual aid agreements with neighboring utilities in other states.
- The Department of Health and Human Services has deployed a 38-person disaster medical assistance team to Miami, Florida. Two additional disaster medical assistance teams have been deployed to Robin Air Force Base in Georgia. They have also deployed 15-person incident management team, two 15-person health and medical task force teams and 4 pharmacists to Atlanta, Georgia. More staff is anticipated in the next 24 hours.