Tallahassee, FL (FDACS) — Ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s expected impact to Florida,Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried has issued a series of emergency orders and actions to provide critical assistance to Florida’s residents and industries. The emergency orders and actions include the following:
Emergency Order 2019-003, which suspends portions of the Motor Fuel Marketing Act that prohibits fuel retailers from selling gasoline below the price they paid for it, ensuring that fuel remains affordable to consumers throughout the storm period. Selling fuel below refiner cost is normally prohibited by Chapter 526, Florida Statutes.
Emergency Order 2019-001, which suspends portions of Chapter 493, Florida Statutes, and department rules, allowing out-of-state security personnel with less than one year of experience to work in Florida during the hurricane emergency response. This will increase availability of temporary security personnel needed to support rebuilding efforts following the storm.
Emergency Rule 5KER19-1, which establishes emergency rules for sanitizing dairy equipment for storage and transport of milk in response to the storm, without compromising public safety, allowing faster distribution of Grade A milk to consumers and preventing dairy farms from being forced to dump milk.
Emergency Rule 5BER19-2, which establishes emergency rules for damaged citrus greenhouses and nursery stock exposed to plant pests and diseases by the hurricane, which will limit the destruction of valuable nursery stock needed to replace hurricane-damaged trees.
Emergency Rule 5JER19-3, which allows winter blend gasoline to be sold in Florida, ensuring the adequate distribution of available fuel and stabilizing the fuel market, as certain ports are no longer receiving fuel deliveries due to the storm.
Yesterday’s updates on preparations may be found below:
August 30 Preparations for Hurricane Dorian
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried continue to make preparations for Hurricane Dorian. The Department’s broad responsibilities during disaster response efforts range from securing ice, water, and emergency food supplies, to assisting with search and rescue missions, to providing fuel for our first responders and emergency personnel.
In addition to the below preparations, Commissioner Fried has ordered closed Department buildings in Palm Beach, Martin, Okeechobee, and DeSoto Counties as of 1 PM EST today until further notice. Commissioner Fried has also recommended to the Florida Department of Transportation that size and weight restrictions be waived for all shipments of citrus crops, timber, livestock, sugarcane, peanuts, and avocados.
“Our top priority is protecting the lives and property of Floridians, while looking out for consumers and helping safeguard our $132 billion agriculture industry,” saidCommissioner Nikki Fried. “We’re preparing for the worst with Hurricane Dorian, and we need people across the state to do the same. Take this storm seriously. Finalize your plan. Finish getting supplies. Identify your evacuation route. And listen to warnings from all state and local officials and emergency personnel.”
To prepare for Hurricane Dorian, the Department is undertaking the following:
Division of Consumer Services
- Extended hours for the 1-800-HELP-FLA helpline from 7 AM to 7 PM EST (up from 9 AM to 5 PM), which may be further extended
- Dispatched inspectors to work with retail gas stations on monitoring fuel supply issues and steps to take pre-storm, such as checking tank seals to prevent water intrusion
- NOTE: Consumers are reminded to never dispense fuel into unsafe, unapproved containers, such as this
Florida Forest Service
- Closed over 60 Florida State Forest campgrounds, effective today at 1 PM through Thursday, September 5 at 11:59 PM, the list of which can be found here
- Activated incident management team mobilizing to support search and rescue operations
- Securing equipment to assist with the clearing of debris
Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness
- Current supplies include up to 1.2 million gallons of water on 100 trucks, 1.7 million meals (including 1.4 million shelf-stable meals and 340,000 USDA meals), and over 730,000 pounds of ice
- Have requested from FEMA, in coordination with State Emergency Response Team Logistics, 9 million liters of bottled water and 6,560,000 shelf-stable meals
- Ensuring shelters have adequate supplies for over 2,000 infants and toddlers, such as diapers, wipes, and formula
- Coordinating with food vendor partners to establish inventory on-hand and ship times
Division of Animal Industry
- Activated Incident Management Team
- Suspended requirements for intrastate animal movements, so livestock and animals can be more easily evacuated
- Secured waiver agreements with Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina to accept Florida animals being evacuated
- Supporting county officials in establishing pet-friendly shelters
- Providing citizens with resources on pet and livestock hurricane preparedness and evacuation planning
Division of Energy
- Making available tankers, fueling trucks, and fuel depots to provide fuel for first responders, emergency personnel, and utility crews
- Providing 50 generators for retail gas stations at request of the Governor
- Postponed the 2019 Florida Energy & Climate Summit, which was to be held September 4-6 in Tampa
Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement
- Activated Incident Management Team
- Preparing to deploy nearly 40 personnel to Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces for 7 days
- Preparing to deploy logistical support trailers, fuel and water tanks, and UTVs
During an emergency, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides necessary food and water to affected areas, helps protect animals, livestock, and pets, and coordinates with agricultural producers to protect crops. The Florida Forest Service is responsible for incident management and assists emergency responders in clearing debris and distributing supplies. Additionally, the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement provides law enforcement services to police departments and county sheriff’s offices as necessary.
For more information and tips on hurricane preparedness, visit FloridaDisaster.org.