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State, White House offer help following partial building collapse in Surfside

Gov. Ron DeSantis joined other local leaders Thursday afternoon to provide an update on the partial building collapse in Surfside.
Gov. Ron DeSantis joined other local leaders Thursday afternoon to provide an update on the partial building collapse in Surfside.

SURFSIDE, Fla. – The Florida Division of Emergency Management has deployed personnel from the State Emergency Response Team to assist first responders in South Florida who are working to rescue or recover the bodies of those unaccounted for following a partial building collapse in Surfside.

The collapse occurred early Thursday morning at the Champlain Towers South building near 88th Street and Collins Avenue.

“It’s a tragic day,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said after traveling to South Florida following a scheduled event in Tampa.

President Joe Biden contacted Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava after the incident and later told reporters at a news conference that personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are already at the scene.

“I am waiting for the governor to declare a state of emergency,” he said. “We are ready to move with federal resources immediately.”

President Joe Biden spoke to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Thursday and said that FEMA is ready to help following Thursday morning’s partial building collapse in Surfside.
President Joe Biden spoke to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Thursday and said that FEMA is ready to help following Thursday morning’s partial building collapse in Surfside.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed later in the day that she has signed an emergency order and the governor has an emergency order on his desk that he will sign as well.

The president said the federal government will also help find families housing if any other buildings in the area need to be evacuated.

“I say to the people of Florida, whatever help the federal government can provide, we’ll be there,” he said.

The governor’s office said the FDEM Mental Health coordinator is standing by to come down as needed and has already begun organizing mental health resources across partner agencies.

“The Division is also coordinating with the Florida Crisis Response Team to provide group crisis intervention to survivors,” DeSantis’ office announced in a news release.

The Florida Department of Transportation is also coordinating with the county to assist with scene security and redirecting traffic that has been shut down near the building.

Below is a list of resources provided by the state for people impacted by the collapse:

  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to gather information and ensure proper resources are available for response and recovery for the Surfside Community. The survey can be taken at FloridaDisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments by selecting the “Surfside Condo Collapse.” For additional assistance, please call 850-815-4925.
  • The American Red Cross is providing temporary lodging for displaced individuals and has opened a “Safe and Well” event for the collapse. The “Safe and Well” event is available here.
  • DEO is working with AirBnB to coordinate housing assistance for displaced individuals.
  • Displaced residents can utilize the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation rental locator at FloridaHousingSearch.org or call 877-428-8844.

The following helpline services are also available for immediate emotional support:

  • Disaster Distress Helpline – 800-985-5990
  • Florida 211 Network – 211
  • Crisis Text Line – Text HELLO to 741741

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.