On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has awarded $28.9 million for hurricane recovery in the first week of 2020. The awards include funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program and the Florida Citrus Recovery Block Grant Program.
“In the first week of this new year alone, I’m pleased to announce that FDEM has awarded nearly $29 million in hurricane recovery dollars to communities impacted by recent hurricanes,” said DeSantis. “In 2019, we awarded more than $1.4 billion in hurricane recovery dollars. Through historic commitments from President Trump and our efforts over the past year, we’ve been able to successfully expedite critical funds to communities recovering across the state, especially Northwest Florida as it continues to rebuild and recover following Hurricane Michael. In 2020, I will continue working closely with FEMA and FDEM and we remain steadfast in our commitment to hurricane recovery.”
The nearly $29 million awarded in the first week of 2020 includes:
- More than $11 million for Marion County;
- Nearly $9 million for citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma; and
- More than $2.8 million for Lee County Schools.
“The division is starting the new year right where we left off in 2019, which was a record-breaking year with more than $1.4 billion awarded for hurricane recovery,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz on Friday. “We will not be slowing down in 2020. The $29 million we awarded today is a testament to the hard work that our dedicated division staff put in every day, even during the holiday season. At the Governor’s direction, I look forward to awarding the remaining Irma money expeditiously and taking care of our fiscally constrained cities and counties still suffering in the Panhandle from Hurricane Michael.”
In January 2019, DeSantis directed FDEM to expedite hurricane recovery reimbursements. Since January 8, FDEM paid out $1.4 billion, which includes:
- More than $890 million for Hurricane Irma,
- More than $450 million for Hurricane Michael, and
- More than $60 million for Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew.
In 2019, DeSantis also directed FDEM to expedite reimbursements under the Citrus Block Grant Recovery Program. In September, DeSantis announced that FDEM approved more than $173 million in payments to citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma, more than half of the state’s allocation. Overall in 2019, the Division awarded more than $220 million through this grant program.
Through the FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program, communities across Florida were awarded $19.5 million in the first week of 2020. The FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program provides assistance to state, tribal, local governments and certain types of private non-profit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the president. This program also provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures.
In the first two days of 2020, citrus producers received nearly $9 million for reimbursements related to the program. The Florida Citrus Recovery Block Grant Program is available to citrus producers who maintain an active citrus farming operation but have suffered citrus crop damage because of Hurricane Irma.