FORT MYERS, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Crisis Management Director Kevin Guthrie spoke Thursday morning in Fort Myers. Two officials were at Fort He Myers to provide relief funds for victims of Hurricane Ian, announcing millions of dollars in aid.
DeSantis said multiple announcements were due for the event, but the first was to cut bureaucracy and raise money faster for those in need. rice field.
“It’s been 112 days” since Hurricane Ian, but “the Florida Emergency Management Agency has mandated funding of more than $500 million,” DeSantis said. “So what does that mean? There has never been a major hurricane in Florida’s history that at this point, 112 days later, he owed even a dollar.”
The governor said this shows the state is responding at a faster pace than before and shows that FDEM can offer more in the future.
“I believe time is money. I think faster. I would rather raise money for a goal today than throw a little more money in a year from now,” said DeSantis. said. “I think that’s the reality.”
As a result of the $500 million allocated, DeSantis said the state has qualified for another $100 million for further reconstruction of southwestern Florida.
He also said that the state is now focusing on housing solutions for those affected by Hurricane Ian, and that homeowners facing the damage will be able to “use the mobile home cities where people all live there.” Rather than live in ‘, he said he discovered he had a trailer in a residential area. “
Demand for post-storm housing is “usually FEMA’s mandate,” but DeSantis says it’s trying to “lead the way” even as the Federal Emergency Management Agency works to continue offering housing options. said Florida had launched its own program.
“FEMA is still doing it, but we could come forward and get more trailers. FEMA probably deploys about 80 travel trailers and states deploy 140. But Hopper has more, and Kevin is working to get out here,” said DeSantis, referring to FDEM Director Guthrie. “Let’s do more bureaucracy.”
DeSantis said Florida has ordered 2,400 trailers, but the state needs to work with other levels of government to continue the mission.
“Hopefully we have a healthy competition with FEMA to roll out as many trailers as possible as quickly as possible. I think this will be very helpful to the citizens here,” DeSantis said, adding more. promised to dothen he Disaster fund and its donations It’s an effort led by First Lady Casey DeSantis, he said.
DeSantis then pledged $1 million to teachers in Southwest Florida affected by Hurricane Ian, spreading the funds across multiple counties. He said it helps with everything from food and gas needs to raising children for hurricane victims.
In addition, he announced that money from the Department of Children and Families would be delivered as well, with the DCF providing 120,000 meals for infants, delivering toys to 1,000 children, and calling people in distress after the storm. I announced that I did crisis counseling, including. A line to connect and provide assistance to victims of Hurricane Ian and residents affected by Hurricane Michael.
Based on its success, DeSantis said the state is awarding $13 million for crisis counseling and mental health support for victims, as well as expanding services to survivors who still need it.
After presenting the check, Guthrie addressed the assembled crowd. He thanked DeSantis for his support and leadership after the hurricane and praised the first lady’s relief efforts.
“You know, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ian, we knew that temporary shelter and housing would be two of the biggest needs for survivors,” Guthrie said. “Based on the department’s previous experience with the FEMA trailer program, I went to the governor and began exploring the possibility of creating Florida’s own temporary housing program to help those who did not qualify for the federal version.
Guthrie said 26 counties currently have the option to receive assistance from the state’s six-month program, while the FEMA version currently supports six counties. Guthrie on Thursday called for negotiating a solution for survivors in southwestern Florida, saying he sought FEMA approval to install the trailer in the spillway, but said there were other obstacles. rice field.
“Within individual jurisdictions, there is no uniformity at the local level regarding timelines, permits, inspections, required documentation, etc.,” Guthrie said. “Today we are waiting to enter her 411-person group site. An on-site inspection is pending.”
With 33 cases awaiting utility inspections and 45 pending permits from local governments to process, Guthrie said bureaucracy needs to be cut. After Guthrie, several victims of Fort Myers’ Hurricane Ian recounted their experiences during the recovery phase.
DeSantis then returned to the podium and said the state needs to move the permitting process faster.
At the beginning of the Fort Myers event, DeSantis cited the ongoing immigration crisis in the Florida Keys and the needs of the U.S. Coast Guard as examples of how Florida has acted because of how slow the federal government is in addressing the issue. I said that I am
The governor praised the state’s surplus, which he attributed to better financial management in Florida than in other regions. He also compared Florida’s debt levels to trillions of dollars in federal debt.
At the end of the briefing, DeSantis opened a question and answer session. In response to a question, DeSantis said he would rather live in his own garden and build his own house, even in temporary housing, than in a trailer city undergoing reconstruction.
Responding to a question about the current trailer situation, Guthrie said there are many trailers in storage and it’s a mobile home, but the state uses travel trailers and is working with state programs and FEMA. program differences. He also said he expects the state to continue picking up debris with “labor of love.”
DeSantis answered questions about the recovery, saying that his administration did more than anyone else to capitalize on Florida’s “faith-based communities,” and those efforts were successful in the recovery effort.
“We are not discriminating,” said DeSantis. “In some states, we don’t donate to churches or synagogues, but we do. If you’re doing the work you have to do, it means you’re on a mission.”
Guthrie continued on the topic, noting that as of five years ago, houses of worship across the United States were eligible for reimbursement to receive funds after helping with recovery. He said Florida officials wanted to inform religious groups that they were eligible to assist in recovery and receive reimbursement for resources used, but the application window will be closed soon. said.
on Wednesday, DeSantis Announces $100 Million Restoring beaches for victims of Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, which affected 16 coastal counties.
https://www.wkrg.com/state-regional/florida/desantis-state-officials-announce-millions-more-in-aid-for-victims-of-hurricane-ian/ Enhanced Support for Hurricane Ian Victims