President Biden has approved an emergency declaration for the state of Florida.
"The president’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Miami-Dade County,," a FEMA press release states.
FEMA is now on the ground in Surfside to assist in the response to the catastrophic collapse of the Champlain Towers South building.
Florida's FEMA Director, Kevin Guthrie, said he received the emergency declaration from FEMA shortly after midnight. Guthrie said the declaration will turn on debris removal, emergency protective measures and individual assistance for reimbursement.
The FEMA state regional coordinator, who was the first to arrive, was on the scene around 3:00 a.m. ET.