After Hurricane Ian destroyed large parts of Southwest Florida, leaders in Tallahassee, Florida are responding quickly. Today, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced the thorough search and rescue missions that have been underway since early Thursday morning.
Since 1:00 a.m., search and rescue operations have been underway in response to Hurricane Ian. The governor's office confirmed that Urban Search and Rescue Team 2 was the first on site and the Coast Guard made dozens of rescues overnight. There are also 8 USAR teams with more than 800 team members performing search and rescue.
The search and rescue missions did not only include mainland Florida, but the National Guard and the Coast Guard utilized helicopters to carry out search and rescue missions on barrier islands. Florida National Guard is taking care of major areas that faced the brunt of the storm, such as Sarasota.
Thanks to the authorization of Governor Ron DeSantis, a total of 5,000 Florida Guardsmen have been activated to State Active Duty for Hurricane Ian response operations. Up to 2,000 Guardsmen from neighboring states are also activated to assist.
Ahead of the hurricane, DeSantis took to Twitter to mention the 42,000 lineman the state of Florida has. Now that Hurricane Ian has mostly passed through Florida, all 42,000 lineman have been used to attend to over 2 million reported power outages.
Other leaders echoed the claims made by Governor DeSantis. CFO Jimmy Patronis (R-FL) tweeted that the search and rescue missions were, "life saving work."
In the early morning hours, the winds died down, and we were able to deploy four Urban Search & Rescue teams to Southwest Florida. Before the sun came up, they were doing reconnaissance. At first light, the life saving work began. https://t.co/cXDSh8LDpp #HurricaneIan
— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) September 29, 2022
Fortunately, the silver lining of the Hurricane seems to be the surprising bi-partisanship adopted by Floridians and across the country. US Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) told DeSantis to simply, "do the best you can." President Biden (D) has also granted federal aid to the state of Florida.