Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are working at full speed to prepare for Hurricane Michael. The department assumes broad roles and responsibilities in disaster response efforts, ranging from securing meals for post-storm distribution to preparing Florida Forest Service teams to conduct search and rescue missions and clear debris.
“Every Floridian in the path of Hurricane Michael needs to closely monitor the weather and listen to local officials. If you haven’t already done so, the time to prepare is now. We are working around the clock to prepare for and be able to immediately respond to Hurricane Michael,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam.
In preparation for Hurricane Michael, the department is doing the following:
Florida Forest Service
- Preparing to dispatch two incident management teams to support urban search and rescue operations.
- State Forest closures effective today, Monday, October 8, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. EST through Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
- Pine Log State Forest
- Point Washington State Forest
- Lake Talquin State Forest
- Plank Road State Forest
- Tate’s Hell State Forest
- Wakulla State Forest
- Other State Forests and State Forest Campgrounds will be monitored for potential closures as the storm develops.
Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness
- Released USDA Foods in 26 counties to be used in congregate feeding at shelters, canteens, and mobile kitchens for residents affected by the storm.
- Current inventory at SLRC and warehouse:
- 668,928 shelf-stable meals
- 1,083,757 gallons of water
- 49,070 bags of ice (10-lb bags)
- Has 1,035,521 pounds of USDA Foods on-hand in the contracted warehouse in Central Florida
- ESF-11 is reaching out to all available food vendors to establish inventory on-hand and ship times
- DEM’s Logistics Section has submitted a RRF to FEMA for 1,000,000 shelf-stable meals
Division of Animal Industry
- Suspended movement requirements for pets and livestock to allow citizens to evacuate quickly and easily;
- Supporting county officials in establishing pet-friendly shelters;
- Providing citizens resources on pet and livestock hurricane preparedness and evacuation planning, including providing resources to locate pet-friendly shelters; and
Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement
- RECON Team is currently preparing and planning for urban search and rescue deployments.
- Strike Teams 1 and 2 are preparing for possible post storm deployments.
For more information and tips on hurricane preparedness, visit FloridaDisaster.org.
During an emergency, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides necessary food and water to affected areas and helps protect animals and pets. The department’s Florida Forest Service is responsible for incident management and assists emergency responders in clearing debris and distributing supplies. Additionally, the department’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement provides law enforcement services to police departments and county sheriff’s offices as necessary.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.