FloridaCommerce Press Releases

ICYMI: MEMORANDUM: Exectutive Order 24-94 (May North Florida Tornadoes)

May 10, 2024

MEMORANDUM

TO:                Members of the Press

FROM:          Bryan Griffin, Director of Communications, Governor Ron DeSantis

DATE:           Friday, May 10, 2024  

RE:               Executive Order 24-94 (May North Florida Tornadoes)

Following the severe weather that impacted North Florida on Friday, May 10, 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 24-94 (May North Florida Tornadoes), to include 12 counties under a state of emergency from severe weather impacting the state of Florida. Counties included in the executive order are: Baker, Columbia, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla counties.

To read the full executive order, click here or read below:

WHEREAS, in the early morning hours of May 10, 2024, an intense thunderstorm moved across the western United States and brought severe weather across North Florida; and
WHEREAS, numerous tornadoes and strong wind gusts caused significant damage to critical state infrastructure, including wind and tree fall damage to residences, businesses, powerlines, and other infrastructure across North Florida; and
WHEREAS, thousands of Floridians in North Florida have lost power and are further impacted due to the widespread debris caused by the tornadoes, strong winds and heavy rain; and       
WHEREAS, several incidents of storm related injuries have been reported to the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s State Watch Office; and
WHEREAS, state meteorologists have confirmed the possibility of additional lingering storms and severe weather later today for North Florida; and
WHEREAS, as Governor of Florida, I am responsible to meet the dangers presented to the State of Florida and its people by this emergency.                         
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron DeSantis, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution and by the Florida Emergency Management Act, as amended, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order, to take immediate effect:

        Section 1.        Because of the foregoing conditions, which are expected to constitute a major disaster, I declare that a state of emergency exists in Baker, Columbia, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla counties.

Section 2.        I designate the Director of the Division of Emergency Management (“Director”) as the State Coordinating Officer for the duration of this emergency and direct him to execute the State’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and other response, recovery and mitigation plans necessary to cope with the emergency.  Pursuant to section 252.36(1)(a), Florida Statutes, I delegate to the State Coordinating Officer the authority to exercise those powers delineated in sections 252.36(6)-(12), Florida Statutes, which he shall exercise as needed to meet this emergency, subject to the limitations of section 252.33, Florida Statutes.  In exercising the powers delegated by this Executive Order, the State Coordinating Officer shall confer with the Governor to the fullest extent practicable.  The State Coordinating Officer shall also have the authority to:

A. Invoke and administer the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (“EMAC”) (sections 252.921-252.9335, Florida Statutes) and other compacts and agreements existing between the State of Florida and other states, and the further authority to coordinate the allocation of resources from such other states that are made available to Florida under such compacts and agreements so as to best meet the dangers presented by this emergency.

B. Seek direct assistance and enter into agreements with any and all agencies of the federal government as may be needed to meet this emergency.

C. Direct all state, regional, and local governmental agencies, including law enforcement agencies, to identify personnel needed from those agencies to assist in meeting the response, recovery, and mitigation needs created by this emergency, and to place all such personnel under the direct command and coordination of the State Coordinating Officer to meet this emergency.

D. Direct the actions of any state agency as necessary to implement the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Disaster Recovery Framework.

E. Designate Deputy State Coordinating Officers and Deputy State Disaster Recovery Coordinators, as necessary.

F. Suspend the effect of any statute, rule, or order that would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay any mitigation, response or recovery action necessary to cope with this emergency.  In accordance with section 252.3611(1), Florida Statutes, any such order, declaration, or other action shall specify each statute or rule being amended or waived, if applicable, and the expiration date for the order or action.

G. Enter orders as may be needed to implement any of the foregoing powers; however, the requirements of sections 252.46 and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, do not apply to any such orders issued by the State Coordinating Officer.  No such order shall remain in effect beyond the expiration of this Executive Order, including any extension thereof.

Section 3.        I order the Adjutant General to activate the Florida National Guard, as needed, to deal with this emergency.

Section 4.        I find that the special duties and responsibilities resting upon some state, regional, and local agencies and other governmental bodies in responding to this emergency may require them to suspend or waive certain statutes, rules, ordinances, and orders they administer.  Therefore, I issue the following authorizations:

A. Pursuant to section 252.36(6)(a), Florida Statutes, the Executive Office of the Governor may suspend all statutes and rules affecting budgeting to the extent necessary to provide budget authority for state agencies to cope with this emergency.  The requirements of sections 252.46 and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, do not apply to any such suspension issued by the Executive Office of the Governor.  No such suspension shall remain in effect beyond the expiration of this Executive Order, including any extension thereof.

B. Each State agency may suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders or rules of that agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any such statute, order, or rule would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.  In accordance with section 252.3611(1), Florida Statutes, any agency order, declaration, or other action suspending a statute or rule shall specify each statute or rule being amended or waived, if applicable, and the expiration date for the order or action.  The requirements of sections 252.46 and 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, shall not apply to any such suspension issued by a state agency.  No such suspension shall remain in effect beyond the expiration of this Executive Order, including any extension thereof.

C. All state agencies entering emergency orders, emergency rules, or other emergency actions in response to this emergency shall advise the State Coordinating Officer contemporaneously or as soon as practicable thereafter, and, pursuant to section 252.36(3)(b), Florida Statutes, shall file the order or declaration with the Division of Administrative Hearings within five days of issuance.

Section 5.        I find that the demands placed upon the funds appropriated to the agencies of the State of Florida and to local agencies are unreasonably great and may be inadequate to pay the costs of coping with this disaster.  In accordance with section 252.37(2), Florida Statutes, I direct that sufficient funds be made available, as needed, by transferring and expending moneys from the Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund.

Section 6.        All actions taken by the Director of the Division of Emergency Management as the State Coordinating Officer with respect to this emergency before the issuance of this Executive Order are ratified, and he is directed to continue to execute the State of Florida Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and other response, recovery, and mitigation plans necessary to cope with this emergency.

Section 7.        This Executive Order is effective immediately and shall expire sixty (60) days from this date unless extended.

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