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VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Releases 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—On the first day of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, Attorney General Ashley Moody is releasing the 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide. Earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it is predicting a near-normal season this year, with 12-17 named storms and one to four major hurricane events. While experts do not expect an active season, it only takes one storm to be deadly—and a just-released report suggests as many as one in five Floridians do not plan on preparing for a potential storm strike.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Today marks the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and a new survey claims one in five Floridians do not plan to make preparations for a potential storm strike. This is extremely concerning, especially on the heels of last year’s devastating season that caused tremendous damage and flooding in our state. I want to encourage those Floridians defying the experts to reconsider their strategy and check out our 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide—for tips on how to protect life and property.”

Florida experienced a deadly hurricane season last year. Although Florida saw fewer storms than in previous years, three deadly storms did impact the state, two of the storms’ names are being retired. The guide contains information about major storm events, preparing property for a hurricane strike and avoiding scams that may arise before, during and in the aftermath of a storm.

Here are some important hurricane preparedness tips from the 2023 guide:

  • Know evacuation routes and shelter locations;
  • Stock up on enough food, water and emergency supplies for the entire household for at least seven days;
  • Check that storm-related products are hurricane-proof or impact-proof before purchasing;
  • Verify charities before donating;
  • Beware of unsolicited contractors and extremely low or high prices for quotes; and
  • Report price gouging on the No Scam app.

To access the 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide in English, click here.

To access the 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide in Spanish, click here.

Floridians can stay informed about serious storm events using the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website, FloridaDisaster.org. Floridians can monitor a storm’s progression and the latest weather alerts using the NOAA’s Hurricane Center by visiting NHC.NOAA.gov.

In the event of an incoming tropical storm or hurricane, Floridians should look for further guidance from local officials and emergency managers.

Florida’s price gouging laws are designed to protect consumers from becoming victims before, during and after a disaster. Throughout a declared state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell essential commodities or services for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity or service during the 30 days before the emergency declaration.

For more information about price gouging, click here.

North Florida News

Commissioner Wilton Simpson Announces Cost-Share Assistance for Agricultural Producers Impacted by Hurricane Idalia

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson announced a cost-share assistance program to support agricultural producers severely impacted by Hurricane Idalia. The cost-share assistance program will be administered though the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy and will support agricultural producers in repairing or replacing damaged irrigation systems, while simultaneously promoting agricultural water efficiency and reducing nutrient application. Additional information on this program and how producers apply can be found here.

Commissioner Wilton Simpson said, “Hurricane Idalia caused widespread crop and livestock losses and severe damage to agricultural infrastructure. This innovative cost-share program will work to support our hardest hit growers who lost much of their 2023 crop and are now looking for ways to repair or replace hundreds of irrigation systems ahead of the next growing season. While this targeted program will not be able to support every impacted agricultural producer, it is another important recovery resource. I will continue working with local, state, and federal partners to ensure that impacted producers have access to the recovery resources they deserve.”

The assistance program will focus on existing irrigation systems and offer a reimbursement rate of 75% for eligible projects, practices, and equipment, up to a maximum of $150,000 per producer or entity. Commissioner Simpson raised the maximum eligible grant amount from $50,000 to $150,000. It is important to note that these funds will not cover items already fully insured. Eligible repairs will target water and nutrient savings, with a commitment of a five-year contract by the producer or entity to ensure long-term water and nutrient conservation benefits over the irrigation system’s twenty-year lifespan.

Eligibility for the program includes operations in a severely impacted county, enrollment in the applicable FDACS best management practices program, compliance with state and federal regulations, including water use permits for pivot locations, and a commitment to minimal tillage and conservation-based practices. The maximum reimbursement amount is set at $150,000 per producer or entity per contract.

Eligible projects, tools, and equipment include but are not limited to pump bowl upgrades, irrigation retrofits, variable rate irrigation systems, electrical conductivity mapping, precision soil sampling, soil moisture sensors, new control panels, irrigation system automation, flow meters, automatic shutoff devices, fertigation systems, weather stations, variable frequency drives, and other efficiencies or enhancements identified by the Mobile Irrigation Lab.

Through existing statutory authority and agency budget, FDACS will initially use allocated funds for cost-share. Given the substantial cost of equipping irrigation systems with precision agriculture technology, the department is actively exploring additional funding avenues to assist more producers.

This cost-share assistance program is in addition to a variety of other agricultural recovery resources offered by state, local, and federal partners, including:

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North Florida News

Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Emery Gainey as Sheriff of Alachua County

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Emery Gainey as Sheriff of Alachua County. This appointment is effective October 2, 2023.
Emery Gainey
Gainey is the former Chief of Staff for the Florida Attorney General’s Office. Previously, he was appointed as the Sheriff of Marion County and served as Chief of Staff for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Gainey earned his associate degree from Santa Fe College and his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida.

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North Florida News

Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Brad Drake to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Brad Drake to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners.
Brad Drake
Drake, of DeFuniak Springs, is the Director of Rural and Community Affairs for the Florida Department of Transportation. He served as a Representative in the Florida House of Representatives from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2014 to 2022. Drake earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Florida.

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