20210630 Governor DeSantis and First Lady launch SurfsideStrength.com to provide support to survivors, families and first responders


~ Website connects survivors, families and first responders affected by the Surfside Building collapse with resources ~

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that federal, state, local, private sector and nonprofit partners have come together to create SurfsideStrength.com, a platform of emotional support and assistance for survivors, families, first responders and those affected by the Surfside tragedy to receive much-needed support to persevere.

Also today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved an administrative statement for the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Monroe, which provides economic disaster loans, physical disaster loans to businesses. and home disaster loans to eligible individuals and businesses affected by the Surfside building collapse.

This morning, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie and Mayor of Surfside Charles Burkett and provided updates on the response to the Surfside Building collapse.

Full remarks regarding the current response from this morning’s press conference are available here. Vicegobernadora Jeanette Nuñez también pronunció comentarios in español. Los comentarios comienzan in 3:10.

There are currently more than 440 first responders and state agents on site to support ongoing search and recovery efforts. State response efforts include:

Florida Emergency Management Division (FDEM)

  • FDEM Director and State Coordinator Kevin Guthrie has requested that a Federal Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) task force be deployed to Surfside to ensure additional first responders are available in the event severe weather. Additionally, the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) provides weather updates to response teams in Surfside and has contingency plans in place to respond to concurrent disasters if required.
  • The FDEM issued Emergency Order 21-004, which waives certain requirements for the affordable housing programs of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, in order to make additional housing units available to those affected by the collapse. .
  • The state has mental wellness teams and critical incident stress management resources on-site to support the mental health of USAR responders.
  • The state’s mental health coordinator is on-site and works with the Florida Crisis Response Team and local organizations to centralize available mental health resources.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunities (DEO)

  • WD announced that the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved an administrative statement for Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Monroe counties, which provides economic disaster loans, disaster loans physical business and domestic disaster loans to eligible individuals and businesses affected by the Surfside building collapse. Applicants can apply online using the electronic loan application through the SBA’s secure website at Disaster.SBA.gov.
  • WD is working diligently with the SBA to provide additional resources to businesses affected by the Surfside Building collapse.
  • WD has an on-site mobile unit in the Surfside business district with deployed staff who coordinate available business resources.
  • WD Secretary Dane Eagle has visited dozens of businesses in the region to personally assess the impacts on their business and their employees.
  • WD also has a team located in the Family Assistance Center to help with housing and business resources.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • The DEP issued a Emergency final order (EFO) waiving licensing requirements for the storage and treatment of solid waste. The EFO also includes guidance for managing disaster debris and asbestos to aid in ongoing rescue and recovery efforts.

Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing)

  • Florida Housing has identified more than 120 multi-family rental developments in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties to provide emergency housing for the displaced.
  • Florida Housing has requested that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) waive income limitations and other provisions to allow those affected by the Surfside Building collapse to reside in any vacant units of HOME-funded properties.

Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety (FLHSMV)

  • FLHSMV issued Emergency order 062621, which waives replacement fees for driver’s licenses and identity documents, vehicle registrations and titles, ship registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for those affected.
  • FLHSMV provides free driver’s license and motor vehicle services to those affected at the Family Support Center and coordinates with the Red Cross to identify anyone in need of assistance.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) provides traffic control in the Surfside area and security in FLHSMV mobile units.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

  • FDOT personnel are on hand to assist with 24-hour debris removal. Additional heavy equipment is being deployed from other areas of the state to assist with search and rescue efforts.
  • FDOT continues to respond to Miami-Dade County resource requests for additional traffic maintenance devices.
  • FDOT has started debris removal operations with contractual support and continues to provide additional equipment as needed.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)

  • The FDLE stands ready to deploy resources for the Regional Homeland Security Task Force in the Miami-Dade County area as needed for ongoing rescue and recovery efforts.
  • The FDLE provides personnel to the Emergency Operations Center and Miami-Dade Command Center as needed.
  • FDLE agents and analysts contribute to family reunification and victim advocacy efforts for survivors and their loved ones.

Florida Department of Education (DOE)

  • The DOE is working with Miami-Dade Public Schools to identify health tips and resources for the families of those affected by the Surfside Building collapse.

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)

  • DCF is on hand to provide mental health assistance and resources to affected families at the Family Assistance Center.
  • DCF is coordinating with Miami-Dade County to distribute gift cards to displaced people at the Family Assistance Center.

Florida Department of Health (FDOH)

  • FDOH supports the Florida Mortuary Operations Emergency Response Team request to activate for recovery operations.
  • The FDOH coordinates with local partners on site to assess and respond to any potential danger to public health.
  • The FDOH activated the Florida Crisis Consortium to provide behavioral health care to those affected at the Family Reunification Center.

Florida Department of Management Services (DMS)

  • DMS is coordinating with the state tenant broker to locate a warehouse to store donations from those affected by the Surfside Building collapse.
  • DMS is currently purchasing site debris removal products.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)

  • The DBPR Condominium Ombudsman is available locally to provide assistance and resources to those affected.

Volunteering in Florida and Nonprofit Organizations

  • Cash is the most flexible and efficient form of giving. Two verified funds have been started by established local organizations to receive monetary donations: SupportSurfside.org and Neighbors4Neighbors.org/SurfsideFund.
  • Volunteer Florida is on hand to help coordinate physical donations and manage resources alongside local organizations actively responding to the needs of those displaced by the Surfside Building collapse.
  • Good360, a nonprofit disaster relief organization, donates 1,000 buckets to Urban Search and Rescue Working Groups (USARs) to help with the debris removal process.

The state’s previous response efforts for the Surfside Building collapse are available to:

People with information on loved ones who are missing or in safety are encouraged to call the reunification hotline at (305) 614-1819.

Data subjects can sign up to receive updates and access resources through a centralized alert system by visiting SurfsideFamilies.com or call toll free at (833) 930-3701. Agents are available in English and Spanish and will contact those who have signed up for the alert system.

Those affected are also encouraged to contact the following helplines for immediate emotional support:

  • SurfsideStrength.com
  • Disaster Hotline – (800) 985-5990
  • 211 Florida Network – 211
  • Crisis text line – Text HELLO to 741741

Government personnel remain on site and will continue to provide assistance, as requested.

Updated: Wednesday June 30, 2021

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