Federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces arrive in Surfside from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to assist in search and rescue efforts

July 2, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett for a press briefing to provide updates on the Surfside Building Collapse response.

Full remarks regarding the current response from this morning’s press conference are available here. Vicegobernadora Jeanette Nuñez también pronunció comentarios en español. Los comentarios comienzan en 4:05.

There are currently more than 500 first responders and state workers on-site to support ongoing search and recovery efforts. State response efforts include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, five federal Type 1 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been deployed to Surfside to ensure additional first responders are available in the event of severe weather in Florida. USAR Task Forces from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania are on-scene. The New Jersey USAR Task Force is en route to the scene.

To date, the state has completed more than 110 resource requests for the Surfside Building Collapse, and 22 additional requests are being mobilized today.

FDEM continues to provide PPE, spare boots and other clothing items to USAR responders to ensure added protection and safety while working on-site. The Division has distributed 450 pairs of boots, 2,700 pairs of socks and 360 pairs of heavy-duty demolition gloves.

To date, FDEM personnel have assisted more than 60 individuals in registering for FEMA Individual Assistance.

In collaboration with FDEM, Royal Caribbean Group docked Royal Caribbean International’s Explorer of the Seas at PortMiami to provide free housing and support for the tireless efforts of search and rescue teams working at the Surfside Building Collapse.

The Division coordinated with FEMA and has already received $20.5 million within a week to support ongoing response efforts in Surfside.

The State Emergency Response Team is providing meteorological updates on Hurricane Elsa to responding teams in Surfside and has contingency plans in place to respond to concurrent disasters if needed.

FDEM issued Emergency Order 21-004, which waives certain requirements that pertain to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s affordable housing programs, to make additional housing units available for individuals impacted 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 Mental Health Coordinator is on-site and working with the Florida Crisis Response Team and local organizations to centralize available mental health resources.