Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has announced that the Florida Disaster Fund raised a shocking $59.2 million to provide emergency relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, after the Biden administration denied a request for additional funds to assist victims of the devastating storm.
The governor’s office sent out a press release on Monday which noted that the state of Florida had provided $25 million toward the fund, while generous donors had given $35.2 million.
According to the press release, the state funding will be used to purchase building materials, while the private donations will allow “verified nonprofit organizations to conduct critical temporary repairs on homes damaged by Hurricane Ian.”
With the support of First Lady @CaseyDeSantis, the Florida Disaster Fund has raised more than $59 million, and her announcement of $10.2 million for 17 non-profits to help meet the needs of Floridians with building supplies, food, and shelter will continue to help those in need. https://t.co/9GXy79kWvN
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 6, 2022
The press release went on to add that the money from the fund will also be used to address “unmet needs such as transportation, food assistance, housing aid, clothing, and household goods.”
“We are providing building materials and supporting nonprofit organizations to provide repairs so impacted residents can move back into their own homes,” DeSantis said.
“Floridians are resilient, and the state stands by them every step of the way as they continue their recovery,” the governor added.
DeSantis’ announcement comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Florida’s request for $25 million in emergency funds, the governor said on Monday.
During a press conference, DeSantis asserted that he was “not going to take no for an answer” and expressed his desire to “cut bureaucracy” following FEMA’s decision to deny the funding request.
"We're not just gonna sit there and take no for an answer […] We're gonna figure out what we can do […] We wanna cut through bureaucracy." pic.twitter.com/NmgwV9RGnc
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) December 5, 2022
According to a letter from FEMA to Kevin Guthrie, the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the agency denied the request because of its “limited authority” and “inability to confirm that authorizing this policy expansion would achieve the intended outcomes for disaster survivors.”
A Monday press release from the agency noted that FEMA had already provided $3.3 billion in federal support for Hurricane Ian relief to Florida and households.
The Florida Disaster Fund is a private fund established by the state in order to provide financial assistance to communities during emergencies. The fundraising effort to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian was spearheaded by Florida’s first lady, Casey DeSantis, according to the press release.