TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried authorized the deployment of 30 Florida Forest Service (FFS) personnel to assist the citizens of Texas during the ongoing crippling winter weather event. The FFS Green Incident Management Team (IMT) is currently mobilizing and will deploy tomorrow morning to the Randolph Air Force Base Auxiliary east of San Antonio, Texas. John Kern, Deputy Chief of Field Operations, will serve as Incident Commander.
On Thursday evening, the Texas Division of Emergency Management requested assistance from the Florida Division of Emergency Management to manage a large Resource Staging Area (RSA). The team must be prepared to support a 24-hour operation at the RSA that will supply generators, blankets, water, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and other life-sustaining supplies to identified locations throughout the State of Texas where citizens can pick up these essential items. The State of Texas has been incapacitated by the recent snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. The deployment is scheduled to last 15 days.
“My heart goes out to the citizens of Texas who are suffering through life-threatening sub-zero temperatures, power outages, severely iced roads, and other emergencies. I am pleased to authorize the deployment of our Green Incident Management Team, composed of our hardworking Florida Forest Service personnel,” said Commissioner Fried. “Whether wildfires, hurricanes, or other severe weather situations, our Florida Forest Service team is experienced in helping communities recover and rebuild following disaster. I wish them godspeed on their journey to Texas.”
About FFS IMTs: The Florida Forest Service’s four Incident Management Teams consist of highly-trained and specialized personnel who respond not only to wildfire incidents, but other natural disasters such as hurricane recovery and other severe weather events, such as the one Texas is experiencing. These teams aid in assisting residents with the necessary resources for recovery after such tragic events. This Incident Management Team is part of the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 11.
About FFS: The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects wildfire on more than 26 million acres.
–Florida Forest Service