Florida is offering support to roughly nine Midwestern and Southern states impacted last week by a swarm of deadly tornadoes.
Thousands are displaced after a cluster of tornadoes blew through the region, killing dozens and leaving hundreds missing. Over the weekend, the Florida Division of Emergency Management reached out to regional emergency teams offering support and resources.
“The devastation left in the wake of the tornado outbreak over the weekend is an unthinkable tragedy, and Casey and I are keeping the victims and all impacted individuals in our prayers as initial recovery efforts begin,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news release.
Search and rescue teams, ambulance strike teams and disaster recovery specialist are among the resources Florida may offer to impacted states, many of which are without water and electricity amid frigid temperatures. Florida is the fourth-most disaster prone state.
“The State of Florida has been communicating with our partners in the impacted states since early Saturday morning and we stand ready to provide any assistance needed during this time,” DeSantis added. “We’ll continue to work with them to ensure they have the resources they need to respond.”
Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana and Ohio are among the states impacted by the tornadoes, which struck overnight, including one in Kentucky that traveled more than 200 miles.
President Joe Biden plans to visit the state Wednesday. He approved Kentucky’s emergency declaration on Saturday. The move will provide the state federal assistance and funding.
In a statement, FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie described the destruction as “catastrophic.” Florida, he said, stands ready to aid the region if requested.
“The Division is keeping the victims of the tornado outbreak at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers,” Guthrie said. “The impacted states have provided support to Florida in previous disasters, and we will not hesitate to return the favor.
The Governor’s Office highlighted the Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund as a way Floridians can aid the recovery process.