Looking back at his first six months in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced, since he took office, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has awarded more than $600 million as Floridians recover from Hurricanes Michael, Irma, Matthew and Hermine.
DeSantis reviewed his administration’s hurricane recovery efforts on Wednesday.
“On my first day in office, I went to Northwest Florida to see the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael and I knew we needed to use every resource at our disposal to help the area recover,” said DeSantis. “Since then, I’ve directed FDEM to change policies to get this critical funding out as quickly as possible not only for communities impacted by Michael, but for those impacted by Irma, Matthew and Hermine as well. I’m proud that we’ve been able to award more than half-a-billion dollars in vital recovery funding for communities across Florida.”
“Bureaucratic delay died the day Governor DeSantis was elected,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “I’m proud of the Division’s 2019 record and commend our entire staff for accepting the challenge with still more work to do.”
The governor’s office showcased changes in hurricane recovery and reimbursement efforts since DeSantis took over in January.
“In January, FDEM announced that, under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the Division was putting in place an expedited process to accelerate funding for communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. Activating this process will get funds to affected communities more quickly by providing 50 percent of estimated project costs upfront and requiring less initial review,” the governor’s office noted. “In January, FDEM also implemented new procedures to accelerate FEMA reimbursements to communities impacted by hurricanes Irma, Matthew and Hermine. Previously, the Division required projects to be 100-percent validated before any funding was awarded. Under the new process, half of the funds are awarded when a project is 50-percent validated, while the Division continues to work with applicants to provide funding as projects continue to be validated.”
The governor’s team also highlighted how Collier County received $40.9 million to recover from Hurricane Irma back in April and Miami-Dade received $78.1 million in June to recover from that storm. DeSantis’ office also noted that Bay County received $18.5 million for Hurricane Michael recovery back in April.