Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Co-Chairs of the Florida Delegation, led a delegation letter urging President Trump to approve Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ request for financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following a robust local government response to the threat posed by Hurricane Dorian. The letter requests reimbursements for eligible Category B expenses under FEMA’s Public Assistance program for the State of Florida and twenty-four counties. (Please find below and attached a copy of the letter):
September 5, 2019
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
Dear President Trump:
As Hurricane Dorian, a devastating category 2 storm with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour, made its way up Florida’s east coast, we write in full support of Governor Ron DeSantis’ request for financial assistance for eligible Category B expenses under FEMA’s Public Assistance program for the State of Florida and twenty-four counties. As of September 4, 2019, the State of Florida has incurred approximately $157.6 million in Category B emergency protective measures and the counties have incurred approximately $39.7 million for a total of $197.3 million.
We appreciate your prompt signing of the pre-landfall disaster declaration on August 30, 2019, which was vital to the state’s preparation efforts. Included in that request was financial assistance for eligible Category B expenses under FEMA’s Public Assistance program. As you know, Category B emergency protective measures are actions taken by local communities before, during, and following a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, or eliminate an immediate threat of damages to property.
Hurricane Dorian formed on Saturday, August 24, 2019, and the forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicated that a major hurricane would make landfall in Florida on Monday, September 2, 2019. At the time, the NHC forecasted that the entire Florida peninsula and Northwest Florida were within the cone of error. As a result, our local governments quickly moved into action, expending funds and resources in preparation for the fast approaching storm.
In the last three years alone, Florida has been hit by Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, Irma and Michael, causing significant damage and depleting local government funds. In fact, local governments are still waiting on FEMA Public Assistance reimbursements from Hurricanes Michael and Irma. The 2019 hurricane season is far from over, and our local governments simply do not have the resources to recover from the past three extremely active hurricane seasons, Hurricane Dorian, and prepare for what may come.
We urge you to promptly approve the Governor’s request for financial assistance for eligible Category B expenses under FEMA’s Public Assistance program for the State of Florida and for the following twenty four counties: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Highlands, Hendry, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Alcee L. Hastings
Debbie Wasserman Shultz
Neal Dunn, M.D.
W. Gregory Steube
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.