The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency in Florida.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra issued a statement Monday to address the potential health impact to Florida residents once Hurricane Ian approaches the state.
“We will do everything we can to assist Florida officials in responding to the health impacts of Hurricane Ian,” Becerra said in a statement. “We are working closely with state, local and tribal health authorities and our federal partners. , and stands ready to provide additional public health and medical support.”
HHS has pre-positioned two 15-person health and medical task forces from its national disaster medical system, as well as a 13-person incident management team and two pharmacists to assist with Florida’s response.
“These teams are well-trained and ready to respond when, where and when the storm may be needed,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Saturday. The statement was approved by President Joe Biden on Sunday.