Irma Update from Florida's Agriculture Commissioner

Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today provided the following update regarding the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ efforts to prepare for Hurricane Irma and help protect Floridians’ lives and property.

“As landfall from Hurricane Irma is imminent, we’re working around the clock to prepare for its impacts and pre-position supplies and people to immediately respond to those in need,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam.

In preparation for Hurricane Irma, the department is and has done the following. Updates are highlighted in yellow.

Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement
• Officers staging in Orlando to conduct damage assessment and search and rescue missions in the Florida Keys when the storm passes; and
• Officers assisting evacuations in north east Florida by monitoring traffic roads and assisting with disabled vehicles.

Florida Forest Service
• Florida Forest Service has reached out to its partners in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to identify their saw team resources and request help with post-hurricane efforts to clear roadways and remove debris;
• Closed the following additional eight Florida State Forests:
o Big Shoals State Forest
o John M. Bethea State Forest
o Twin Rivers State Forest
o Goethe State Forest
o Ross Prairie State Forest
o Indian Lake State Forest
o Newnan’s Lake State Forest
o Withlacoochee State Forest
• Preparing to dispatch three 30-person incident management teams to support urban search and rescue operations both in south and north Florida;
• Preparing five chainsaw teams to help remove debris and open roads after the storm; and
• Staging heavy equipment, high water vehicles, large tankers, refrigerated trucks, mobile command posts and communication cashes are all ready for deployment.

Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness
• Coordinating with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, which is the Southeast Region's Rapid Response Agency, to draw down additional USDA Foods currently in their inventory, which includes 10.2 million servings of meat products; more than 250,000 servings of vegetables; and 1.2 million servings of fruit;
• Sourcing food items for preparation of meals in Florida Department of Corrections facilities;
• Preparing for large scale ice purchases;
• Preparing waiver requests for disaster household distribution of TEFAP and/or CSFP Foods should Hurricane Irma become a Presidentially Declared Disaster
• 68 truckloads (approx. 1,330,080 liters) of water and 931,832 of shelf-stable meals on order to be delivered to mass care organizations pre-landfall;
• Storing 18.7 million pounds of USDA foods in warehouses in Winter Haven, Fla. and Pensacola, Fla., which could provide 405,227 meals to residents;
• Leveraging FEMA food and resource assistance for 4.1 million shelf stable meals; 4.1 million liters of water; 127,000 infant/toddler kits; and an additional 1.7 million USDA Foods meals; and
• Publishing an Emergency Administrative Rule to allow schools to operate the Summer Food Service Program and receive reimbursement for eligible meals in communities affected by Hurricane Irma.

Division of Animal Industry
• Coordinating with neighboring states and federal counterparts to have Veterinary Teams on standby for assessment and treatment post storm;
• Coordinating with the State Animal Response Coalition as they are providing needed supplies, crates and volunteers to 3 shelters in 3 counties;
• The State Animal Response Team have deployed all Mobile Animal Response Equipment to 14 counties per their request for assistance.  All state resources have been deployed;
• Suspended movement requirements for pets and livestock to allow citizens to evacuate quickly and easily;
• Supporting county officials in establishing pet-friendly shelters;
• Providing citizens resources on pet and livestock hurricane preparedness and evacuation planning, including providing resources to locate pet-friendly shelters; and
• Planning with other state, federal and non-governmental agencies to provide relief to livestock and pet owners, after the storm has passed.

Division of Marketing via State Farmers Markets
• Staging the Plant City State Farmers Market for baby supplies;
• Used the Suwannee Valley State Farmers Market as a staging area for 25 trailers, each equipped to provide 800 people with cots, blankets and more; and
• Using the Palatka State Farmers as a staging area for Putnam County EOC emergency vehicles; and

For more information and tips on hurricane preparedness, visit FloridaDisaster.org.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.
 


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