Search and Rescue Efforts Following Hurricane Ian at the State Emergency Operations Center
This morning, Governor Ron DeSantis issued updates on the search and rescue efforts following Hurricane Ian at the State Emergency Operations Center with Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. Since 1:00 a.m, search and rescue operations have been underway in response to Hurricane Ian. Urban Search and Rescue Team 2 was the first on site and the Coast Guard made dozens of rescues overnight.
Search and rescue efforts - Governor Ron DeSantis issued updates on Hurricane Ian at the State Emergency Operations Center with Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.
Since 1:00 a.m., search and rescue operations have been underway in response to Hurricane Ian. Urban Search and Rescue Team 2 was the first on site and the Coast Guard made dozens of rescues overnight. There are 8 USAR teams with more than 800 team members performing search and rescue. There are currently 42,000 lineman responding to the more than 2 million reported power outages. Floridians should continue to heed local weather warnings and listen to local officials for updated safety information.
Today, President Biden approved Governor DeSantis’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration, which unlocks federal assistance in affected areas for individuals; state, tribal, and local governments; and certain private nonprofit organizations. The Declaration makes federal funding available to governments and eligible nonprofit organizations in the affected areas for debris removal and emergency protective measures on a cost-sharing basis. Specifically, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is authorized to cover 100 percent of eligible costs for a period of 30 days beginning from September 23, 2022. The Governor requested the Declaration immediately upon landfall of Hurricane Ian to ensure that the State can quickly move forward into response and recovery. The letter with this request can be found here. For assistance, visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to our communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with public, private, and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To contribute, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222.
State preparation and response efforts include:
Search and Rescue
- Since 1:00 a.m., search and rescue operations have been underway in response to Hurricane Ian. Urban Search and Rescue Team 2 was the first on site and the Coast Guard made dozens of rescues overnight. There are 8 USAR teams with more than 800 team members performing search and rescue.
- The National Guard and the Coast Guard are landing helicopters on barrier islands to perform search and rescue.
- Search and Rescue crews rallied at the Fort Myers Sports Complex and have been running operations for the past 5 hours.
- Florida National Guard members are conducting incident awareness and assessment missions this morning in Sarasota, De Soto, Charlotte, Collier and Lee Counties. We expect that throughout the day, the Florida Guard will be engaged in a multitude of missions including search and rescue and route clearance operations.
- Last night, Florida National Guard Brig. Gen. Sean Boyette, Task Force Florida commander, was appointed the Dual Status Command (DSC) commander in anticipation of Title 10 active-duty forces being assigned to assist with recovery operations.
- Following Governor DeSantis’ authorization, a total of 5,000 Florida Guardsmen have been activated to State Active Duty for Hurricane Ian response operations. Up to 2,000 Guardsmen from neighboring states are also activated to assist.
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)
- FDEM has compiled a Shelter in Place Survey to provide critical information to first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. We are asking all individuals in the impact area of Hurricane Ian that made the decision to shelter in place to complete the survey. Please visit FloridaDisaster.org/Info to find the Shelter in Place Survey.
- FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Ian. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
- FDEM Liaisons have been identified and deployed to counties to provide on-site response assistance and to conduct damage assessments after the storm.
- At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, Incident Management Teams (IMT) from Ohio and Colorado are on-scene to ensure additional support for response and recovery efforts after the storm.
- FDEM is deploying several hundred shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that have opened their Special Needs hurricane shelters. Currently, more than 200 public shelters are open and available to impacted residents, with more than 50 of these being Special Needs Shelters.
- FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Hurricane Ian response, with more than 350 SERT members staffing the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
- FDEM has received more than 1,500 resource requests for Hurricane Ian. Over 1,300 of these requests are currently being processed and are either en route or being mobilized. This includes the coordination of resources such as: trucks of food and water, generators and water pumps.
- FDEM has over 3.5 million meals and over 1.8 million gallons of bottled water in preparation for distribution to impacted areas.
- Several hundred generators and pumps, in addition to debris equipment, have been staged for response and recovery efforts.
- 100,000 tarps to protect homes and allow more residents to stay at home rather than in a public shelter.
- Two truckloads of blankets and five truckloads of cots to support displaced residents.
- FDEM is currently coordinating the provision of meals for first responders staged in Orange County.
- FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate protective actions and needed resources ahead of potential storm impacts.