HomeFlorida NewsFlorida steps up when the federal government fails in Haiti crisis response

Florida steps up when the federal government fails in Haiti crisis response


Florida – Governor Ron DeSantis has made an announcement today regarding the State of Florida’s efforts in rescuing Americans amidst the political unrest in Haiti. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has successfully evacuated over 200 individuals back to the United States, showcasing the state’s proactive approach in times of international crisis.

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Florida’s Rescue Mission in Haiti

Since launching the first state-coordinated rescue flight on March 20, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has successfully brought back 220 Americans from Haiti to Florida. This operation reflects the state’s commitment to its residents and other Americans caught in dire situations abroad. Governor DeSantis emphasized Florida’s readiness to act independently to ensure the safety of its people, stating, “When Floridians and other Americans are in need, the State of Florida acts. I’m pleased to announce that we’ve been able to successfully rescue more than 200 Floridians and other Americans from Haiti. Even when the federal government fails to act, Florida will always step up.”

The majority of those evacuated, approximately 95 percent, are Floridians. Upon their return, the evacuees were welcomed with immediate access to a multi-agency resource center prepared to meet a wide array of needs. The state’s executive effort, led by Division Executive Director Kevin Guthrie, highlights a seamless collaboration among state agencies, private entities, and nonprofit organizations. Guthrie expressed pride in the emergency response team’s dedication to coordinating these vital flights and ensuring the safe return of Floridians.

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The services provided at no cost to the returnees include meals and water, lodging, airport transportation, basic health and medical screenings, and various care supplies catering to infants, seniors, and pets. Additionally, a family reunification center, mental health support with hope navigators and therapy dogs, a children’s activity center, communication assistance with phones and SIM cards, and ID replacements via a mobile Florida License on Wheels (FLOW) center were made available.

Furthermore, the State of Florida extended its assistance beyond state lines by supplying the U.S. Department of State with completed Haiti Assistance forms. This gesture ensured that other Americans could benefit from federally coordinated flights, emphasizing Florida’s role in facilitating broader national rescue efforts.

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This initiative not only underscores the State of Florida’s capacity and willingness to protect its residents but also sets a precedent for state-level intervention in international crises. Through its comprehensive evacuation and support program, Florida has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the welfare of its citizens and other Americans in distress abroad.

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