Gov. DeSantis announces $10 million for Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue teams

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Miami's Freedom Tower, on May 9, 2022. The Special Olympics has dropped a coronavirus vaccine mandate for its games in Orlando after Florida moved to fine the organization $27.5 million for violating a state law against such rules. DeSantis, on Friday, June 3, 2022, announced that the organization had removed the requirement for its competition in the state, which is scheduled to run June 5 to June 12. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File) (Marta Lavandier, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $10 million for Florida’s eight Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams to support operations and training exercises to ensure that they are ready to respond immediately in the event of a disaster, WJXT-TV reported.

He made the announcement at his Jacksonville stop on Monday where he also announced that Undersheriff Pat Ivey will be interim sheriff — replacing Sheriff Mike Williams when he retires on Friday.

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This funding was included in the Freedom First Budget, signed by DeSantis last week.

“Our world-class Urban Search and Rescue Teams serve an important role in assisting state and local first responders during disasters,” DeSantis said. “I am proud to be able to provide record state funding to Florida’s eight USAR teams which will better prepare Florida for the next disaster.”

In addition to announcing hurricane funding, the governor also encouraged Floridians to make a plan and gather items for a disaster preparedness kit for their families. The Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday began May 28 and will run until June 10, to help families better afford items like food coolers, batteries, flashlights and other items needed after a disaster.

Having supplies is just a small piece of hurricane prep. It’s also important to have an evacuation plan. You can check your evacuation zone here and get a complete hurricane checklist here.

Click here for more details.

About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.