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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 1, 2005
CONTACT: Russell Schweiss (850) 488-5394

Florida Launches Record Disaster Response Aid to Mississippi

~ Florida resources now aiding local response efforts following Hurricane Katrina’s second landfall ~

TALLAHASSEE- The State of Florida has deployed personnel, equipment and commodities to Mississippi to aid response and recovery from the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. In the hours and days after the catastrophic storm, Governor Jeb pledged the support of Florida to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. Resources from Florida were mobilized through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national organization that provides a structure to interstate mutual aid and allows impacted states to request and receive assistance from other member states quickly and efficiently. These efforts represent Florida’s largest state-to-state assistance in history.

“Our prayers are with the residents of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama who are coping with the impacts of Hurricane Katrina,” said Governor Jeb Bush. “Florida received help from 35 states during the 2004 hurricane season, and we are committed to doing everything possible to help our neighbors during this very difficult and sad time.”

Florida’s State Emergency Response Team is supporting local officials and federal responders with search and rescue missions and emergency management operations in Mississippi. Members of Florida’s extensive team of emergency response vessel crews, search and rescue teams, National Guardsmen and emergency management officials will continue to deploy as needed to support operations in the impacted area.

“In preparation for Katrina’s first landfall in Florida, we readied first responders and essentials supplies across the state,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Craig Fugate. “These resources are in Mississippi or en route as part of Florida’s largest ever emergency response. More help is on the way as Florida supports critical life-safety missions in Mississippi.”

The following Florida personnel and resources have been deployed to aid communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina:

Emergency and law enforcement personnel: 1,185

Florida National Guard: 47

  • Florida National Guard Aviation Team: 19 Guardsmen 2 UH-60 Blackhawks and 1 CH-47 Chinook
  • Florida National Guard Command and Control Team on the ground in Jackson assisting with response coordination

Florida State Law Enforcement Officers: 215

  • safety, security and humanitarian efforts: 122
  • urban search and rescue missions: 93

Florida Local Law Enforcement Officers: 215

  • County deputy sheriffs: 173 Municipal police officers: 42

Florida Urban Search and Rescue Teams: 211

  • 8 taskforces:
    • >Duval Taskforce: 22
    • Gainesville Taskforce: 22
    • Hillsborough County Taskforce: 7
    • Jacksonville Engine Strike Team: 21
    • Manatee and Sarasota Joint Water Rescue Team: 12
    • Orange and Seminole Joint Taskforce: 22
    • Volusia Engine Strike Team: 21
    • Region 1 Task Force: 21

Florida Department of Health medical assistance resources: 179

  • 10 Advanced Life Support Strike Teams:
    • paramedics and emergency medical technicians: 102
    • Advanced Life Support ambulances: 46
    • special command vehicles: 14
  • 6 Special Needs Management Teams: nurses and support staff: 42
  • 3 Environmental Health Teams: environmental health professionals 21
  • 2 Epidemiology Strike Teams: epidemiologists: 14

Florida Disaster Medical Assistance Teams federalized to support FEMA: 200

  • 7 Florida DMAT teams: 200 medical professionals

Florida State Emergency Response Incident Management Team: 29

  • Florida emergency management officials: 29
  • 16 Vehicles from the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida State Fire Marshall
  • Florida Mobile Command Vehicle deployed to Hancock County

Florida Department of Transportation Bridge Inspectors: 12

  • 1 Bridge Inspection Team to Mississippi - 6 engineers and staff
  • 1 Bridge Recovery Team to Louisiana - 6 engineers and staff

Tampa Bay Incident Management Team: 12

  • Tampa emergency management officials: 12
  • 11 vehicles including Mobile Command Vehicle, a fuel truck, trailers and 4x4 drive vehicles

Florida Division of Forestry Incident Management Teams: 65

  • 2 teams: 65 support personnel 47 support vehicles

Essential commodities deployed by Florida’s State Emergency Response Team

  • 171 Trucks of Water
  • 214 Trucks of Ice
  • A 1000 person self-contained Base Camp, including provisions for sheltering, feeding and hygiene needs of rescue workers
  • 20 Point of Distribution material handling equipment packages, each including: a forklift, pallet jacks and a light tower unit
  • 82 additional forklifts
  • 65 generators
  • 60 additional pallet jacks
  • 29 additional light towers
  • 27 pumps
  • 5 satellite phone systems
  • 3 emergency deployable interoperable communications systems
  • 2 loading ramps

There are currently 500 Guardsmen mobilizing for deployment to Mississippi. Additionally, at the direction of Governor Bush, Florida’s State Emergency Operations Center will continue to stay at full 24 hour-Level 1 activation until the situations in Mississippi and Louisiana are stabilized.

In 2004, more than 725 emergency management and first responders from across the United States assisted Florida with critical response and recovery efforts.

For additional information on the Florida State Emergency Response Team, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org.

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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