What is the purpose of the division?
The Division of Emergency Management plans for and responds to both natural and man-made disasters. These range from floods and hurricanes to incidents involving hazardous materials or nuclear power. The division prepares and implements a statewide Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan
and routinely conducts extensive exercises to test state and county emergency response capabilities. The division is the state's liaison with federal and local agencies on emergencies of all kinds. Division staff members provide technical assistance to local governments as they prepare emergency plans and procedures. They also conduct emergency operations training for state and local governmental agencies.
How is the division organized?
The division is administratively housed within the Executive Office of the Governor
, but is a separate budget entity.
The division's director is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The division comprises the director's office
and five functional areas.
- Financial Management is responsible for financial and administrative management of the division. Financial Management consists of the administrator's office and three sections. The administrator's office is solely responsible for human resource matters. The sections within Financial Management include the Budget, Finance, and Procurement sections.
- Mitigation seeks to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to human life and property from disasters. The bureau administers several mitigation programs including Florida's Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program and three federal mitigation grant programs, which includes the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program, and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program. The bureau also updates the State Hazard Mitigation Plan and supports local communities with their mitigation planning efforts.
- Preparedness administers a statewide emergency management all-hazards preparedness program that includes the following sections: Domestic Security Unit; Natural Hazards Unit; Technological Hazards Section; Training and Exercise Units. Bureau staff also serve as staff support to the State Emergency Response Commission, which administers the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act, Florida Hazardous Materials Emergency Response and Community Right-To-Know Act, and the Florida Accidental Release Prevention and Risk Management Planning Act.
- Recovery provides disaster assistance to individuals and families through state and federal disaster assistance programs.
- Response coordinates operational response at the state level. The bureau monitors events that could require a state response, establishes communication with affected areas, and provides logistical support to those areas. The bureau also provides technical assistance to local governments with locating, identifying, and retrofitting hurricane shelters.
How are Floridians being warned of impending disasters or emergencies?
The National Weather Service is the official source of hazardous weather warnings. In order to provide the affected population with adequate warnings, the division maintains a statewide technological communication capability through satellite and alternative systems and maintains continuous 24-hour staffing of the State Watch Office
. This office serves as the central emergency reporting, situational awareness, and notification center.
How are these activities funded?
COVID-19 Response. The division will begin distributing $1.275 billion in federal CARES Act funds to counties with a population below 500,000. The U.S. Treasury previously disbursed over $2.472 billion in funding to all counties with populations exceeding 500,000. To receive the disbursement, county governments must sign a funding agreement with the division. The agreement states that the county will use funds on eligible expenditures, agrees to repay the state any portion of unused disbursed funds, and will submit quarterly reports to the division on expenditures. The division will use a phased approach to distribute funds, beginning with an initial disbursement of 25% of each county's allocation. The division also provides COVID-19 information and resources to the public.
Emergency Reporting. The 2020 Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 2020-53, Laws of Florida, requiring the Division of Emergency Management to create a list of reporting incidents including, but is not limited to the following:
- Major fire incidents;
- Search and rescue operations;
- Bomb threats;
- Natural hazards and severe weather;
- Public health and population protective actions;
- Animal or agricultural events;
- Environmental concerns;
- Nuclear power plant events;
- Major transportation events;
- Major utility or infrastructure events; and
- Certain military events
Emergency Sheltering of Persons with Pets. The division addresses the sheltering of service animals and persons with pets in the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Basic Plan and Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan. The 2020 Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 2020-132, Laws of Florida, requiring counties that maintain designated shelters to also designate a shelter than can accommodate persons with pets. The shelter must be in compliance with applicable FEMA Disaster Assistance Policies and Procedures and with safety procedures regarding the sheltering of pets established in local and state comprehensive emergency plans. The bill requires the Department of Education to assist the division in determining strategies for the evacuation of persons with pets.
Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?
Feasibility Analysis for Petroleum Distribution Centers, Report 18-PETRO, December 2018
Where can I get more information?
What are the applicable statutes?
Whom do I contact for help?