TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that, after discussion with local officials in Surfside and structural engineers, the remainder of Champlain Building South will be demolished this weekend prior to potential impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa to ensure the safety of residents and first responders. Demolition activities will be scheduled within 36 hours. First responders will resume search and rescue efforts as quickly as possible after the demolition. The state will also cover all costs associated with the demolition of the building.

This morning, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie and Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett for a press briefing to provide updates on the Surfside Building Collapse response.

Full remarks regarding the current response from this morning’s press conference are available here. Vicegobernadora Jeanette Nuñez también pronunció comentarios en español. Los comentarios comienzan en 12:55.

There are currently more than 500 first responders and state workers on-site to support ongoing search and rescue efforts. State response efforts include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) 

  • FDEM’s Deputy Director and Recovery Team will remain on-site to assist with the Surfside response while FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie leads the Tropical Storm Elsa response in Tallahassee at the State Emergency Operations Center. Once the Tropical Storm Elsa response ends, additional FDEM personnel will return to Surfside to continue to support all requests by local partners.
  • The State Emergency Response Team is providing meteorological updates on Tropical Storm Elsa to responding teams in Surfside and is executing contingency plans for the Tropical Storm Elsa co-response. This includes fulfilling requests for equipment such as generators and tents with air conditioning to first responders on-scene to ensure their safety and well-being during storm impacts.
  • At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, five federal Type 1 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have arrived in Surfside to ensure additional first responders are available in the event of severe weather in Florida.
  • To date, the state has completed 114 resource requests for the Surfside Building Collapse, and 21 additional requests are being mobilized today.
  • FDEM has completed the credentialing process for all deployed state personnel on-site to ensure the Surfside area remains secure and safe while USAR task forces focus on their critical search and rescue missions.
  • FDEM continues to provide PPE, spare boots and other clothing items to USAR responders to ensure added protection and safety while working on-site. The Division has distributed 450 pairs of boots, 27,000 pairs of socks and 360 pairs of heavy-duty demolition gloves.
  • To date, FDEM personnel have assisted more than 70 individuals in registering for FEMA Individual Assistance.
  • In collaboration with FDEM, Royal Caribbean Group docked Royal Caribbean International’s Explorer of the Seas at PortMiami to provide free housing and support for the tireless efforts of search and rescue teams working at the Surfside Building Collapse.
  • The Division coordinated with FEMA and has already received $20.5 million within a week to support ongoing response efforts in Surfside.
  • FDEM issued Emergency Order 21-004, which waives certain requirements that pertain to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s affordable housing programs, to make additional housing units available for individuals impacted by the collapse.
  • The state has mental wellness teams and critical incident stress management resources on-site to support the mental health of USAR responders.
  • The State Mental Health Coordinator is on-site and working with the Florida Crisis Response Team and local organizations to centralize available mental health resources.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) 

  • FDOT personnel are on-site to assist with debris removal around-the-clock. As of today, more than 220 debris removal trucks have removed more than 2,280 tons of debris from the Surfside collapse site.
  • FDOT continues to fulfill resource requests by Miami-Dade County for additional traffic maintenance devices.

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) 

  • DCF has distributed more than $6,000 in Publix, Visa and Target gift cards to impacted individuals at the Family Assistance Center.
  • DCF, in partnership with the local 211 provider Jewish Community Services, has assisted more than 25 impacted individuals with behavioral health services on-site.

Florida Department of Health (FDOH) 

  • Under Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 21-148, FDOH has issued Emergency Order 21-002 to extend licensure and certification renewal deadlines for paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
  • FDOH activated the Florida Crisis Response Team, formerly known as the Florida Crisis Consortium, to provide behavioral health care for impacted individuals at the Family Reunification Center.
  • FDOH is supporting the request to activate the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response Team for recovery operations.
  • FDOH is coordinating with local partners on-site to assess and respond to any potential public health hazards.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) 

  • DEO announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved an Administrative Declaration for Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Monroe counties, which provides Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Business Physical Disaster Loans and Home Disaster Loans to eligible individuals and businesses impacted by the Surfside Building Collapse. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application through the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov.
  • DEO has a mobile unit on-scene in the Surfside business district with deployed personnel coordinating available business resources along with the SBA. The mobile location is on 95th St. between Harding and Collins Avenue.
  • DEO Secretary Dane Eagle has visited dozens of area businesses to personally assess the impacts on their business and employees.
  • DEO also has a team located in the Family Assistance Center to assist with housing and business resources.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • DEP issued an Emergency Final Order (EFO) waiving permitting requirements for the storage and processing of solid waste. The EFO also includes guidance for disaster debris and asbestos management to assist in ongoing rescue and recovery efforts.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) 

  • FLHSMV issued Emergency Order 062621, which waives replacement fees for driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.
  • FLHSMV is providing no-fee driver license and motor vehicles services to impacted individuals at the Family Assistance Center and is coordinating with the Red Cross to identify any individuals needing assistance.
  • Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is providing traffic control in the Surfside area and security at the FLHSMV mobile units.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) 

  • The DBPR Condominium Ombudsman is available locally to provide assistance and resources for impacted individuals.

Volunteer Florida and Nonprofit Organizations 

  • Cash is the most flexible and effective form of donation. Two verified funds have been launched by established, local organizations to receive monetary donations: SupportSurfside.org and Neighbors4Neighbors.org/SurfsideFund.
  • Volunteer Florida is on-site to distribute donated goods directly to individuals impacted by the Surfside Building Collapse, and is continuously meeting with Miami-Dade County officials to discuss long-term recovery efforts.
  • In coordination with Volunteer Florida, Amazon has donated 500 laundry bags, 2,000 laundry pods and 2,000 dryer sheets for USAR responders in Surfside.

Previous state response efforts for the Surfside Building Collapse are available for:

Individuals with information about loved ones who are unaccounted for, or are safe, are encouraged to call the reunification hotline at (305) 614-1819.

Impacted individuals can register for updates and access to resources through a centralized alert system by visiting SurfsideFamilies.com or calling toll-free at (833) 930-3701. Agents are available in English and Spanish and will contact individuals who have registered with the alert system.

Impacted individuals are also encouraged to contact the following helpline services for immediate emotional support:

  • SurfsideStrength.com
  • Disaster Distress Helpline – (800) 985-5990
  • Florida 211 Network – 211
  • Crisis Text Line – Text HELLO to 741741

State personnel remain on scene and will continue to provide assistance, as requested.



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