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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

$333.2 mil to protect Florida families

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Scott’s KEEP FLORIDA WORKING budget will make important investments to protect families, visitors and businesses, along with implementing a new statewide emergency alert notification system.

rick-scott“By making investments in Florida’s disaster preparedness,” Governor Scott said, “we are working to ensure that every family in our state has the resources needed to be prepared for any dangerous situation.”

“In Florida, we want to be prepared for any potential impact on our state, and that is why we have to continue to make investments to keep us ready for any threat,” said FDEM Director Bryan Koon. “Governor Scott’s funding allows the Division to ensure our state’s preparedness and keep Florida families, visitors and businesses safe. This budget also funds projects which reduce the financial impacts of future disasters, and creates jobs in communities where these projects are being implemented.”

The Governor is proposing

  • $234.2M for Federally Declared Disasters, $20.2M is General Revenue: FDEM is currently administering open declarations. This figure represents payouts to applicants as well as the state operating budget to manage the federally declared disaster grants. $20.2M represents the total amount of required state matching funds applied to these projects.
  • $14.4M for Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG): The EMPG Program assists state, local, territorial, and tribal governments in preparing for all hazards, as authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
  • $7.5M for Flood Mitigation Assistance Program: The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program is administered through FDEM. FDEM develops and maintains a State Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan, reviewing Flood Mitigation Assistance Program sub-applications, recommending technically feasible and cost effective sub-applications to FEMA and providing pass-thru funding for FEMA approved and awarded project grants to eligible sub-applicants.
  • $6.7M for Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM): The PDM Program provides funds for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster event to reduce overall risks to the population and structures, while also reducing reliance on funding from actual disaster declarations.
  • $4.5M for Statewide Emergency Alert Notification System: FDEM will initiate the statewide deployment of a vendor-hosted “mass notification” system to provide voice call, text, email, and TDD/TTY alerts of eminent or actual hazards to all Florida citizens, businesses and visitors. The system will merge with existing systems, including the Emergency Alert System and the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to automatically disseminate weather warnings from the National Weather Service and target specific geographic areas for real-time, location-based mobile device alerts.
  • $3.4M for Severe Repetitive Loss Program: FDEM administers this program to provide relief for those whose insured property has demonstrated severe repetitive flood loss, according to guidelines set by FEMA. This program allows owners to seek forms of relief such as elevation, relocation, or acquisition of their affected properties.
  • $3M for Hurricane Shelter Retrofit: FDEM publishes an annual shelter retrofit report which provides a list of facilities recommended to be retrofitted for use as public hurricane evacuation shelters. Such measures bring the safety of public shelters up to established safety criteria and increase the availability of public hurricane evacuation shelter spaces in the state. An additional 20,000 spaces are estimated to be available to the public by August 2015.
  • Included in the “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget is the deployment of a Statewide Emergency Alert Notification System. The planned vendor-hosted mass notification system will provide voice call, text, email, and TDD/TTY alerts of eminent or actual hazards to all Florida citizens, businesses and visitors. The new system will integrate with existing ones, such as the Emergency Alert System and the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. It will include the capability to automatically disseminate National Weather Service warnings and geographically target specific areas for location-based mobile device alerts.

The NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) is a points-based program, which allows enrolled communities to earn reduced flood insurance premiums. Communities earning 500 points in CRS will be rewarded with a 5% savings to policyholders. The new notification system will provide CRS communities with 395 of the required 500 points.

Florida NFIP policy holders will save a combined $47M once all eligible communities are enrolled in CRS.

“The Statewide Notification System is an important tool for protecting those who live, work or play in our state,” said John Dosh, emergency management director for Escambia County. “Smart phones account for the majority of today’s mobile devices, and it is very important that we invest in a system that capitalizes on the broader range of capabilities they offer.”

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The new system will also result in potential savings to Florida homeowners by reducing premiums paid by National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders.

“Governor Scott’s funding provision for the Statewide Notification System is a sound investment for Florida,” said Dosh. “It protects homeowners and has the added benefit of reducing the financial burden of hard-working families.”

If you’d like additional information about the Florida Division of Emergency Management, visit Floridadisaster.org. FDEM also features an extensive social media presence. Follow FDEM on Twitter at @FLGetAPlan, Instagram@FLGetAPlan, and Facebook at Facebook.com/FloridaDivisionofEmergencyManagement and Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

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