EASTPOINT, Fla. – In a deal brokered by the State of Florida, 24 surplus travel trailers were purchased at bulk pricing from the federal General Services Administration (GSA) to aid victims of the Limerock Wildfire. These trailers were purchased at a rate of $8,500 each (a 37 percent negotiated discount) by Franklin County and subsequently managed through a deal with the Capital Area Community Action Agency. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) coordinated this purchase as well as the transport of the trailers from Homestead to Eastpoint. Debris removal and site cleanup and preparation has been managed by Franklin County. The trailers will be delivered to Eastpoint as early as tomorrow.

Governor Scott said, “Florida is home to the world’s best emergency management professionals, and I am glad that our team was able to assist in the local recovery effort. The temporary housing for these families is great news, but now our focus turns to long-term recovery efforts. We will make sure that each family affected by the wildfire can fully recover.”

Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith said, “I appreciate Governor Scott and his team for helping Franklin County navigate the complicated process of purchasing trailers for these families. Since day one, I have been working to keep our community safe while making sure that each family in Eastpoint can recover. The State Emergency Response Team has been a great partner and we will keep working towards our long term recovery goals.”

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Wes Maul said, “I am proud of the work of our team and our partnership with Franklin County. These trailers will help these families get back on their feet quickly following their losses from the wildfire.”

Immediately following the wildfire, Governor Scott visited the area and toured damage. He then directed state emergency management officials and state law enforcement to deploy to the area to assist the local recovery effort. A staging area for the travel trailers has been designated at Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith’s office. FDEM has also identified state agencies able to assist with wildfire cleanup and located existing supplies of bottled water and meals that may be provided to affected families.

PREVIOUS STATE RELIEF EFFORTS:

  • The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) deployed its Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobile units to Eastpoint on June 28-30, 2018. FLOW mobile units assisted in issuing six credentials to impacted residents.
  • Florida Highway Patrol Troopers assisted local law enforcement and emergency management with recovery efforts and safety missions.
  • FDEM is coordinating with private sector and other non-governmental partners including Capital Area Community Action Agency to identify support for housing for families and individuals affected by this tragedy
  • FDEM is also coordinating with Volunteer Florida to identify additional resources to support families and individuals affected in Franklin County. Services that were offered through FDEM and Volunteer Florida included:
    • The Salvation Army provided mobile feeding to affected households and assisted with the operation of a shelter at the Church of God in Eastpoint.
    • The American Red Cross managed the shelter, conducting damage assessments and provided direct client services to impacted individuals and families.

The Florida Department of Financial Services is providing the following assistance at the direction of CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis:

  • The Division of Consumer Services deployed insurance experts to Franklin County to assist residents with navigating the insurance claims-filing process.
  • The Division of Risk Management deployed adjusters to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to assist residents with filing a partial settlement claim for up to $5,000 per household for emergency living expenses such as temporary housing, clothing, food or pet care. Residents should bring proof of residency such as a driver license, utility bill or other bills. Click HERE for more information.

O Those who cannot attend should contact the Division of Risk Management at 850-413-3122 for assistance.

o   As of Monday, July 9 at 5 p.m., claims for 26 individuals have been paid, totaling $125,000. Staff will continue to work diligently to verify the remaining claims for each household. Claims filed undergo a final verification, so funding can be disbursed as soon as possible.

  • The Division of Investigative and Forensic Services is also providing assistance to state and local officials for structural damage assessments and to help secure the impacted areas.

Families seeking additional information and resources on assistance should contact Franklin County Emergency Management at 850-653-8977 or emfranklin@franklinemergencymanagment.com.

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