Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $10 million for Florida’s eight Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams to support

Florida Gov. DeSantis Beefs Up Disaster Response, Compares Trump Vs. Biden Admin

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $10 million for Florida’s eight Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams to support

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $10 million for Florida’s eight Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams to support operations and training exercises to ensure that they are ready to respond immediately in the event of a disaster.

This funding was included in the Freedom First Budget, signed by Governor DeSantis last week.

“Our world-class Urban Search and Rescue Teams serve an important role in assisting state and local first responders during disasters,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud to be able to provide record state funding to Florida’s eight USAR teams which will better prepare Florida for the next disaster.” 

“As we saw following disasters like Hurricane Michael and the tragic Surfside condo collapse, our Urban Search & Rescue Teams are the first boots on the ground, leaving their families behind and risking their own lives to save others,” said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “I made it my top priority to tour the state this year and fight for $10 million for these brave men and women. They needed our support, and this historic funding will provide vital equipment and training to aid them in their life-saving missions. Huge thank you to Governor DeSantis for his unwavering support of Florida’s US&R teams and first responders statewide. Make no mistake, this funding will save lives.”

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Since the Florida USAR system was created in 2001, these teams have provided invaluable support to Floridians during disasters, including the Champlain Towers South building collapse in Surfside, Florida.

USAR teams also play an important role in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane by conducting search and rescue missions and helping to clear a path to the most devastated areas to help provide lifesaving actions and aid utility crews and emergency road clearance teams. 

When asked about the federal government disaster response and tension with the White House, DeSantis fired back.

“On the federal stuff, it’s just, it is what it is. I mean, you know, we had tornadoes go through, Southwest Florida, we applied for assistance for very elderly people, on fixed income and got denied for that by the White House,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“There’s been other things where you know, we’re not usually on the first wave. I mean, you saw some of the stuff that we’ve done with some of the federal programs. I mean, you know we all apply like within a couple of weeks and then California and New Yorker approved months before we are, that’s just the reality.,” Desantis added.

“I think there’s a lot of politics but I think that’s unfortunate. That is not the way you do, disaster response.,” said DeSantis. “I mean, you’ve got to put all that to the side and you’ve got to be willing to step up and so hopefully that that will happen.”

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“I can tell you President Trump was very supportive when I flew up,” said DeSantis. “I got elected, show up to Tallahassee in January 2019 and everyone had forgotten about the Panhandle except the people there. I said this is a priority and so we went up and met with President (Trump). He greenlighted a lot of additional since it’s really been instrumental and there’s still a lot that needs to be done there.”

In addition to announcing hurricane funding, the Governor also encouraged Floridians to make a plan and gather items for a disaster preparedness kit for their families.

The Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday began May 28th and will run until June 10th, to help families better afford items like food coolers, batteries, flashlights, and other items needed after a disaster.

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