SACRAMENTO – Working to support communities impacted by Hurricane Ian, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the deployment of emergency management and mass care specialists to Florida to support the state’s response to the ongoing crisis.
“California stands with the people of Florida,” said Governor Newsom. “Our state is all too familiar with the impact of natural disasters and we stand ready to provide any needed aid and support to the communities impacted by this horrific storm.”
Responding to a request from the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Governor Newsom directed the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to send an initial five-person team of mass care experts to facilitate shelters for those displaced by the hurricane as well as emergency operations center staff to support Florida’s State Operation Center in Tallahassee.
California has indicated to Florida that it will make additional personnel and resources available should they be needed to support the response or recovery operations from the hurricane.
Previously, Cal OES approved the deployment of local government firefighters to Florida as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System. Currently there are California US&R specialists and firefighters from the following local agencies on the ground in Florida actively working to save lives: Los Angeles County Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Riverside Fire Department, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department, Sacramento County Fire Department, Chula Vista Fire Department and San Diego Fire Department.
Hurricane Ian came ashore as one of the strongest storms ever to strike Florida and continues to move across the state with damaging winds, heavy rains and storm surges that left people trapped. Flooding and power outages continue to impact communities across the state and significant damage to homes, business and public infrastructure has occurred.
This deployment builds on California’s far-reaching efforts to aid other states during times of need. Already this year, California sent firefighters to Oregon, firefighters and disaster recovery experts to New Mexico and also sent firefighters and a public information specialist to Montana. In 2021, California sent fire engines to Oregon to suppress the Bootleg Fire and Specialized Urban Search and Rescue Resources teams to Florida to assist in the Surfside tower collapse.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom provided ventilators to Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware and also sent millions of items of PPE to neighboring states along the West Coast.