DCF Prepares for 2017 Hurricane Season with Food for Florida Exercise

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2017

DCF Prepares for 2017 Hurricane Season with Food for Florida Exercise

TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) will begin a two-day disaster exercise of the Food for Florida program today in Deerfield Beach. More than 150 employees will participate in the exercise to test equipment and ensure the department is ready to quickly distribute food benefits to eligible families in the aftermath of a disaster.

“During the 2016 hurricane season, the department was able to respond by implementing the early release of benefits to our current food assistance customers,” Secretary Mike Carroll said. “This exercise allows us to take a look at how we can best meet the needs of more Floridians in a time of crisis.”

June 1st will mark the official start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which lasts through the end of November. Although predictions call for a below average season, Floridians are reminded that it only takes one storm to impact a community.

The Food for Florida program offers emergency food assistance to eligible victims of hurricanes or other types of disasters when a community experiences a disaster reaching the level of critical need and receives a Presidential disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The last time DCF received this authority to activate the program was in 2005, when Hurricane Wilma struck Florida. DCF has since streamlined the application and preregistration process using satellite and other wireless technologies. The changes have positioned DCF to better serve disaster-stricken Floridians and identify individuals who try to fraudulently obtain benefits during a time of crisis.

Everyone in Florida should have a disaster plan and supply kit, and now is the time to review, recycle, and restock. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has created an easy way to build a family or small business emergency plan at their website ( http://flgetaplan.com/ ). Children can also participate in several activities related to emergency planning at www.kidsgetaplan.com.

For more information about the Food for Florida program visit www.MyFLFamilies.com/fff .

Contact: David Frady, DCF Press Secretary, 850-717-4611