The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is assisting with response and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael. The department is providing Search & Rescue crews, Chainsaw Strike Teams, and securing food and water for impacted areas, among other efforts.
“Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle, and we’re doing everything we can to help people, clear debris, and provide the necessary support to get Floridians back on their feet,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
Highlights of the department’s response efforts are below:
Florida Forest Service
- Providing a 39-person Incident Management Team for Search & Rescue missions.
- Readied seven Chainsaw Strike Teams to aid with rescue missions and clear roadways.
- State Forest closures effective through Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
- Blackwater River State Forest
- Pine Log State Forest
- Point Washington State Forest
- Lake Talquin State Forest
- Plank Road State Forest
- Tate’s Hell State Forest
- Wakulla State Forest
Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness
- Downloading USDA meals from warehouses to accommodate congregate feeding in shelters post-landfall per mission requests as locations are finalized.
- Procuring ice for distribution through the community operations plan in the Panhandle area.
- Submitted requests to FEMA to secure an additional 900,000 gallons of water and 324 infant/toddler kits to assist over 3,000 infants/toddlers anticipated to be in need.
- Re-projecting anticipated food, water and ice needs based on damage assessments and power outage reports.
Division of Animal Industry
- Suspended movement requirements for pets and livestock to allow citizens to evacuate and return quickly and easily.
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.