Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has enacted an emergency declaration for the Sunshine State in light of the ongoing conflict that has erupted following the Hamas attacks in Israel over the weekend.
A State of Emergency Declared
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Thursday to declare a state of emergency in Florida, authorizing emergency management professionals to oversee rescue operations associated with helping to return Floridians stuck in Israel back to their homes in the Sunshine State. The order also authorizes operations to provide support to Israel in its efforts against Hamas militant groups.
“There are more than 20,000 Americans, including many Floridians, in Israel who wish to return home,” reads a portion of the executive order, “but have been prevented from doing so because of commercial flight cancellation and other travel and logistics disruptions due to the ongoing war in the region.”
Air Travel Suspended
In the wake of the attacks, multiple airlines have suspended service to Tel Aviv. On Saturday, the U.S. State Department issued an advisory urging Americans not to travel to areas where the conflict is raging–specifically naming Gaza.
In his executive order, Gov. DeSantis criticized President Joe Biden for his failure to enact “any form of rescue or evacuation operations.” On Thursday, however, the White House announced that charter flights would be arranged for United States citizens who are looking to evacuate Israel.
According to the announcement from the Biden Administration, the United States government is looking to charter flights from Israel to locations in Europe. As of the time of this post, details about the flights, including whether there will be any cost to Americans looking to leave Israel, are still being finalized.
It remains to be seen whether the order executed by Gov. DeSantis in Florida will work with the government’s plans to bring citizens home via charter flights. According to Gov. DeSantis, Florida is home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the world outside of Israel, including a large number of Israeli-American citizens.
Due to “foregoing conditions, which are expected to constitute a major disaster,” DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Florida.
The Division of Emergency Management in Florida will handle the state’s response and recovery of Floridians in Israel, DeSantis’s order said. He ordered the state’s National Guard and State Guard to deal with the emergency “as needed.”
“We will not leave our residents behind,” DeSantis said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “To the many Floridians who are stuck in Israel, trying to get home — help is on the way.”
Today I signed an executive order authorizing rescue operations in Israel to bring Floridians home and transport supplies to our allies.
We will not leave our residents behind.
To the many Floridians who are stuck in Israel, trying to get home — help is on the way.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 12, 2023
The executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which can be read in its entirety here, went into effect on Thursday, October 12, and will remain in effect for sixty days unless the governor determines the need to extend the order.