Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has officially launched a web portal to help raise funds for groups of people in need of tornado relief across his state after the Biden administration’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) outright denied all of the requests for aid in the wake of the disaster.
The donation portal went live on Tuesday as part of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) website.
“We cannot continue waiting on the federal government to provide relief to these Floridians,” claimed DeSantis in a release.
“After meeting with survivors last week, it’s clear they still need our help. We’ve helped community leaders launch this portal to expedite assistance for impacted residents and we’re going to ensure they get help,” he stated.
Kevin Guthrie, the Director of the FDEM, also went on to highlight the importance of getting help to those who are in the most need.
“These donations are going to directly provide assistance to our disaster survivors who need it most,” stated Gutherie in a release.
“The Division is working around the clock to connect disaster survivors with this vital resource, which will help them recover faster and begin to rebuild after experiencing extensive devastation,” he stated.
Flordia is now starting to partner with the Charlotte Community Foundation to gather and distribute the money for those most heavily impacted by the tornadoes.
“At this time, donations will be prioritized for survivors whose homes were assessed as being destroyed or sustaining major damage, per FEMA criteria through previous Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments. The State is coordinating with Charlotte and Lee counties to connect survivors directly with the portal,” according to the guidelines of the program.
The disastrous tornadoes that were the cause of the destruction from which the need arose took place early in the morning on January 16th. A confirmed EF-1 tornado rode through CHarlotte County alongside a confirmed EF-2 tornado that afflicted Lee County.
A release from FEMA confirming its rejection of the request from Florida was issued on February 15th, stating, “the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies.” Another appeal to the federal government is also in the works.
“While we begin the decision appeal process, I want to reassure Floridians that the Division is committed to supporting recovery efforts,” stated Gutherie in a release this past week. “We’ll continue to work with our local and federal partners to provide relief to impacted residents and ensure all types of disaster assistance is made available.”
As confirmed in a statement on Monday, DeSantis also hurled criticism at the Biden administration’s choice.
This week, FEMA denied Florida’s request for Individual Assistance for Floridians displaced by tornadoes in Charlotte and Lee counties.
We urge FEMA to reconsider its decision. Floridians shouldn’t be punished for a disaster outside of their control due to White House politics. pic.twitter.com/lHUtznMDsb
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 18, 2022
Floridians shouldn’t be punished for a disaster that was outside their control because of White House politics,” highlighted the governor.
“The scope of devastation in these communities makes it clear that survivors need additional assistance and I’m urging the Biden administration to reconsider its decision. The State of Florida stands with the residents of Charlotte and Lee counties and will work hard to secure all forms of disaster assistance,” concluded DeSantis.