Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose state was ravaged by Hurricane Ian last week, found time on Sunday to man a griddle at a Waffle House and fix some breakfast for hard-working first responders.
“@WaffleHouse is one of the first restaurants in Charlotte County to reopen and provide hot meals as we work together to serve Floridians after #HurricaneIan,” DeSantis noted on Twitter. “Thank you for providing meals to the linemen working to restore power.”
The GOP governor served first responders, emergency response staff, and volunteers at a Waffle House located in Punta Gorda, The Daily Wire reported.
A video clip of DeSantis cooking what looked like hashbrowns was posted to Twitter by his campaign.
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 #FloridaStrong (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 1, 2022
“DeSantis issued updates on his administration’s hurricane recovery efforts after surveying numerous devastated areas and meeting with officials in the impacted communities,” The Daily Wire noted. “The governor’s office said that there are 42,000 lineman responding to the more than 1.2 million power outages caused by the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ian. The lineman have already restored power to more than 1.4 million Floridians.”
Help from other states is pouring into Florida as well.
“The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has received a major boost in support from the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), gaining 1,800 personnel from more than two dozen states that have arrived in the state to assist in recovery efforts,” the outlet noted.
The governor’s office noted: “FDEM is working with feeding partners to open kitchens for impacted and displaced residents. More than 63,000 hot meals were served on-scene at food banks in Alachua, Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole and Union counties yesterday, Friday, September 30. More than 100,000 hot meals will be served today, October 1.”
It added: “FDEM has six active fuel depots and is staging an additional four fuel depots today throughout Central and Southwest Florida to ensure first responders have the fuel they need to conduct search and rescue operations. More than 1.2 million gallons of fuels has been mobilized.”
Meanwhile, Florida first lady Casey DeSantis has been busy raising millions of dollars to assist storm victims.
“Raising more than $20 million in 48 hours for The Florida Disaster Fund is a testament to the generosity and compassion from people across Florida and the country,” she said, according to a statement posted at the FDEM website. “This funding is already being utilized by organizations in the field to help people who have been impacted by this storm. We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support for Florida.”
The press release went on to name a few of the businesses helping to provide resources:
Publix Supermarkets – Publix has delivered more than 700 truckloads of water equal to almost a million cases, delivered more than 3 million pounds of ice, and is storing double inventory volumes. Prior to closing stores impacted by the storm, Publix donated perishable products to local police, firefighters, and emergency response teams, and also ensured that associates that work nearby and prepare these stores for the storm received donated product for themselves and their families. Publix associates have diligently taken care of their customers, communities, and each other.
Walmart – Walmart has activated Disaster Displacement Assistance for impacted associates to assist them in evacuating to safety. Walmart Transportation has positioned 400 drivers in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to support recovery efforts. Walmart and Sam’s Club have pushed more than $23 million in additional water and disaster related merchandise ahead of the storm, including over 660 truckloads of additional water and disaster related merchandise ahead of the storm. A public-facing map showing store and club closures that updates in real-time has been published at Hurricane Ian Facility Status (walmart.com).
Lowe’s Home Improvement – The Lowe’s Command Center remains in full activation to support stores impacted by Hurricane Ian, moving more than 1000 trucks into impact zones, and continues to move much-needed response and recovery product, such as generators, water, gas cans, sand, plywood, batteries, flashlights, and other materials. All Lowe’s stores in Florida are now open; opening and closing hours are being monitored to ensure the safety of associates and customers. Additionally, Lowe’s has committed $2 million to support disaster relief efforts for associates, customers and communities in Florida. Funding will assist Lowe’s disaster relief partners and nonprofit Pro customers, helping these organizations and others provide critical relief and recovery supplies.