|Following the devastating Surfside building collapse on Thursday, June 24, Senator Rick Scott spent the week in Surfside meeting with families, faith leaders and all those affected by this horrible tragedy and doing everything possible to assist with the federal response. His focus remains on bringing people together, supporting families, ensuring every resource is available for search and rescue and beginning the search for the answers that these families deserve.
Throughout the week, Senator Scott spoke with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell and received daily updates from Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech as well as other state, county and local officials regarding ongoing search and rescue efforts and any unmet needs. Senator Scott’s office continues to work closely with the State Department to ensure quick processing of visa applications for affected families and provide any needed resources. On Thursday, Senator Scott joined President Joe Biden, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Ron DeSantis, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and other local, state and federal officials.
Senator Scott spent much of the week working closely with Jewish community leaders including Rabbi Sholom Lipskar of the Shul of Bal Harbour, Rabbi Mark Rosenberg, Director of Chesed Shel Emes, and Rabbi Schneur Oirechman. Senator Scott is focused on making sure the Jewish community is connected with FEMA and their needs are met. Following Senator Scott’s meeting with Consul General of Israel in Miami Maor Elbaz-Starinsky and subsequent call to the State Department, an Israel Defense Force search and rescue team was deployed to assist in local efforts. Senator Scott also met with Hatzalah, a volunteer EMS organization that serves the Jewish community, members of “Go Team” Cadena International, a Jewish nonprofit disaster response team, the Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai, the Israeli Defense Force and an aid delegation from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, Senator Scott met and had briefings with the Commander of the IDF National Rescue Unit in the Home Front Command, Colonel Golan Vach, and reserve officers from the Home Front Command. On Wednesday, Senator Scott spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to thank him for Israel’s continued support in response to the tragedy in Surfside. He also met with members of Topos Azteca, a non-profit organization based in Mexico who are experts in search and rescue operations.
The office of Senator Rick Scott continues to provide assistance to individuals and families at the Family Assistance Center located at the Sea View Hotel at 9909 Collins Avenue. If you or your family have been affected by this tragic event and are in need of assistance, please reach out. Our office is here to help. Please see more available resources and information from the office of Senator Rick Scott HERE.
Local Resources – Miami-Dade County
Local officials from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade County Emergency Management and Miami-Dade Police Department remain on scene of the building collapse at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside.
Find the latest updates and resources on their pages below:
Family Assistance Center
A centralized alert system has been created to provide updates and access to resources for families and individuals who have been displaced due to the Surfside Building Collapse.
Mental Health Resources
Impacted individuals are also encouraged to contact the following helpline services for immediate emotional support:
Florida Division of Emergency Management
President Joe Biden has directed FEMA to approve an Emergency Declaration for the Surfside Building Collapse in Miami-Dade County occurring on June 24, 2021. This declaration includes Categories A and B assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures, as well as Individual Assistance for displaced individuals without insurance coverage.
FEMA is personally working with survivors of the Surfside building collapse and next of kin of lost loved ones. Survivors and next of kin may go to the Family Assistance Center located at the Sea View Hotel at 9909 Collins Avenue to apply for FEMA assistance. Find more information from FEMA HERE or on Twitter @FEMA or @FEMAEspanol.
The center is open from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. seven days a week. For appointments with FEMA and other federal, state and local organizations, families can contact the Miami-Dade County Family Assistance Center by phone at 877-777-4066 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Florida businesses and residents affected by the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Miami-Dade County on June 24, 2021 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA has opened a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) at the Family Assistance Center located at the Sea View Hotel, 9909 Collins Avenue, open from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. seven days a week. Read more from the SBA HERE or apply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is partnering with local authorities and organizations to continue supporting the families and community affected by the building collapse. For more information on available resources or how to help, visit redcross.org/southflorida or on Facebook or Twitter at @SFLRedCross.
The Shul Jewish Community Center
In response to the partial building collapse in Surfside, The Shul of Bal Harbour has created a central fund to be dispersed as needed directly to the victims and families. Find more information HERE.
See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.
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