The Florida Disaster Relief Fund, headed up by Florida’s first lady Casey DeSantis as Hurricane Ian barreled down on the peninsula, has raised $60 million, she announced this week.
“I am beyond grateful to announce the Florida Disaster Fund has raised $60 million. On behalf of our entire family and the state of Florida, thank you to all who have generously come together to help good folks in need. We remain committed to helping Floridians recover,” she announced on social media:
I am beyond grateful to announce the Florida Disaster Fund has raised $60 million. On behalf of our entire family and the state of Florida, thank you to all who have generously come together to help good folks in need.
We remain committed to helping Floridians recover. pic.twitter.com/c1sagmgHgT
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) December 14, 2022
This up from the $20 million initially raised in the onset of the disaster fund’s activation. At the time, Casey DeSantis assured that the funding was “already being utilized by organizations in the field to help people who have been impacted by this storm.”
Major donors at the time were identified as ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, AirBnB, Boeing, Amazon, CVS, Florida Blue, PGA Tour, Publix, Rumble, Verizon, Walmart, Wawa, and many more.
Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that President Biden’s FEMA initially denied the state’s funding request in the aftermath of the major Category 4 storm, prompting the state to step in and fill the gap.
“Not only do we think that that would be filling a need, but we also think we can do it quicker and more efficiently than FEMA,” DeSantis said, emphasizing that his administration would not just “sit there and take no for an answer.”
"We're not just gonna sit there and take no for an answer […] We're gonna figure out what we can do […] We wanna cut through bureaucracy." pic.twitter.com/NmgwV9RGnc
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) December 5, 2022
He said on December 5:
We want to bring relief to impacted Floridians regardless of whether FEMA wants to be a part of that. So today I’m announcing Florida will be providing up to $25 million through state funds to purchase building materials and provide those materials to verified nonprofit organizations to restore damaged homes to livable conditions so that Floridians can move back into their own homes.
During that press conference, Casey DeSantis also announced $35.2 million “to support the state’s home repair program and to continue to support the fulfillment of unmet needs through the Florida Disaster Fund.” At the time, the disaster fund had raised $57 million.
“She started it before the storm had even hit that weekend before it hit,” the governor said.
“We’ve been able to do already $8 million dollars to different organizations, including the first responders and teachers and all this stuff,” he added.
On Wednesday, DeSantis announced that FEMA activated the state’s request to provide Individual Assistance to Floridians:
.@FEMA has activated our request to provide Individual Assistance to Floridians impacted by #HurricaneNicole.
If you need assistance visit https://t.co/PcefZ2HLnr or call 800-621-3362.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 14, 2022
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