September 9, 2005
For More Information
Contact: Deena Reppen
TALLAHASSEE - To better assist the residents of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi displaced by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the State of Florida today unveiled a new web portal for information on storm recovery and relief. The web site at www.myflorida.com includes one-stop information on the wide variety of services available for evacuees in Florida and direct access to relief organizations for donating supplies, services and funds.
"Those displaced by Hurricane Katrina that found solace and shelter in Florida need fast and easy access to the relief and services offered by governments, local organizations and charities," said Governor Jeb Bush. "By providing critical services, we can help those impacted by this storm recover, find work and financial aid and, when ready, transition home to rebuild their communities."
Florida's new web site includes information on evacuee services ranging from finding temporary housing and employment assistance to enrolling displaced students in schools or replacing a driver license. The portal also provides access to information on health and human services, including crisis counseling, food stamps, medical assistance and residential placements for persons with disabilities. Florida has opened shelters for displaced families and is assisting evacuees with housing, employment, education and medical needs as recovery gets underway.
Along with relief for displaced residents, Florida's portal also provides a one-stop shop on the information highway for donating goods, supplies and services or making a financial contribution to aid the massive recovery effort. Volunteers wishing to help victims and responders can find out about working with experienced disaster relief agencies in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
"Floridians have demonstrated their resilience, generosity and humanitarian spirit time and time again in the aftermath of devastating storms," said Governor Bush. "While not everyone can give of their time and services, financial donations will go a long way in providing support and helping evacuated residents through this difficult period."
In 2004, Governor Bush established the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund to assist during last year's devastating hurricane season. The fund, which dedicated more than $20 million to the 2004 hurricane recovery, is now serving survivors of the 2005 season. Florida's relief fund has already received pledges of $100,000 from The St. Joe Company and $50,000 from Chico's FAS, Inc. to assist with unmet needs of Hurricane Katrina evacuees coming into Florida.
Since the landfall of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast, the State of Florida has committed more than $70 million and deployed more than 3,700 responders to assist hurricane-impacted communities. Close to 1,850 Florida National Guardsman, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and emergency managers remain on the ground in impacted areas, providing security, search and rescue support and humanitarian aid. Along with essential equipment and communication tools, Florida's State Emergency Response Team has dispatched more than 5.5 million gallons of water, 4 million pounds of ice and 934,000 cases of food to help affected residents.
To locate services available to evacuees, make a donation or to volunteer for Hurricane Katrina recovery, visit www.myflorida.com. Visit www.floridadisaster.org for the latest information on Florida's response to the hurricane.