Federal Partners Continue Supporting Hurricane Ian Response – FEMA

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WASHINGTON — FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell is in Florida today meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis and surveying damages from Hurricane Ian. She visits the state the day after President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. approved a major disaster declaration allowing survivors in the hardest hit areas to begin applying for federal disaster assistance to help jumpstart their recovery. Federal interagency response efforts remain focused on Ian’s second landfall today, which is expected to cause flooding throughout areas of Georgia, South Carolina and Northwest Florida.  
President Biden approved South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s request for an emergency declaration Wednesday. The declaration authorizes FEMA to provide emergency protective measures including direct federal assistance at 75% federal funding.
State and federal search and rescue operations are underway in Florida in response to Hurricane Ian, conducted by state and federal Urban Search and Rescue team members and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, approximately 5,000 Florida National Guard members and 2,000 National Guard members from other states are activated to help with the response.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas activated the DHS Surge Capacity Force Wednesday. The Surge Capacity Force is comprised of 7,500 members from other federal agencies who can help augment FEMA’s disaster staffing. Nearly 3,000 federal responders are working in Florida and the Southeast, including more than 1,600 FEMA staff are deployed to support. More than 850 emergency management personnel from other states have been deployed to Florida through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
Now is the time for residents in Georgia and South Carolina to have hurricane plans in place and closely monitor local media for forecast updates and follow directions provided by their local officials. People in Florida should continue to heed local warnings and listen to local officials for updated safety information.

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