FloridaCommerce Press Releases

In Case You Missed It: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Meets with Monroe County on Long-Term Recovery Efforts and Hosts Hurricane Evacuation Modeling Workshops in the Florida Keys

Jun 23, 2023

~ Marking DEO's 24th visit to Hurricane Ian and Nicole Impacted Counties ~

Tallahassee, Fla. – Last week, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) met with local leadership in Monroe County to discuss long-term recovery efforts post-hurricane Ian and Nicole. Additionally, DEO hosted three hurricane evacuation workshops in Key West, Marathon and Key Largo to discuss preparedness measures with local community members. DEO has visited all 24 counties that were impacted by Hurricane Ian and Nicole to conduct listening sessions with local leaders— an essential step in developing a plan for the over $910 million allocated for Florida's long-term recovery efforts. 

"Governor DeSantis continues to lead the way for Florida's decisive and proactive disaster recovery. Under his leadership, DEO has taken the first step by listening and learning from Hurricane Ian impacted communities," said DEO Deputy Secretary of Community Development Meredith Ivey. "Attending these powerful listening sessions in all 24 impacted counties and last week's essential evacuation workshops, I saw firsthand how critical local insight is into safe and efficient disaster preparedness and recovery."

On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, DEO Deputy Secretary of Community Development, Meredith Ivey, and DEO Director of the Office of Long-Term Resiliency, Justin Domer, met with leaders in Monroe County regarding the application process for Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. 

Highlights from the June 13 listening session include: 

DEO and Monroe County leadership discussed the county's recovery efforts, noting the importance of prioritizing public safety and affordable housing needs throughout the Florida Keys.

On Tuesday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 14, 2023, DEO held three public workshops in Key West, Marathon and Key Largo to seek input and accept public comment on the development of Florida Keys hurricane evacuation modeling, a process that occurs once every decade.

Florida Keys hurricane evacuation modeling protects the welfare of Florida Keys’ residents and visitors, ensuring they are able to safely evacuate before a storm. This effort is in response to the unique needs of local governments in the Florida Keys – unlike anywhere else in the state – and is a collaborative effort between the state and local partners.

Public workshops were held in the following Monroe County communities: Key West and Marathon on June 13, and Key Largo on June 14, 2023. More than 100 individuals – from community members and local government representatives to other community stakeholders – participated in the public workshops to provide valuable insight.

Highlights from the Florida Keys Hurricane Evacuation Modeling Workshop in Key West on June 13 include:

DEO is proactively seeking insight from community members in Key West on Florida Keys' hurricane evacuation modeling. Hurricane evacuation modeling is based on population data from the U.S. Census and determines how efficiently the current population can evacuate before a disaster event. 

Highlights from the Florida Keys Hurricane Evacuation Modeling Workshop in Marathon on June 13 include: 

Input from workshop attendees is paramount to inform future hurricane evacuation modeling to keep Florida Keys residents and visitors safe. This effort will inform the Department's recommendations to the Governor, Cabinet, and legislative leaders for future evacuation plans when the need to evacuate arises.

Highlights from the Florida Keys Hurricane Evacuation Modeling Workshop in Key Largo on June 14 include:

Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), Kevin Guthrie, joined the DEO team to speak to attendees at the Key Largo hurricane evacuation modeling workshop. Director Guthrie shared FDEM's continued commitment to preparedness, response and recovery in the Florida Keys. 

For more information about the Rebuild Florida Hurricane Ian program, please visit www.RebuildFlorida.gov

For additional information about hurricane evacuation modeling and the Florida Keys Hurricane Evacuation Plan, please visit DEO’s Florida Keys Hurricane Evacuation webpage

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.


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