FEMA Administrator: Devastation at Surfside, FL building collapse is “difficult to put into words”

WASHINGTON, DC — Rescue crews are continuing to help the people affected by the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, and on Tuesday, the head of the nation’s federal emergency response teams outlined the agency’s efforts underway there.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said she personally visited the collapse site this past weekend.

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“It’s difficult to put into words the devastation that this community is experiencing,” said Criswell. “FEMA is on the ground. We have a recovery center that is working directly with families and loved ones impacted by this tragic event to get them the assistance they need.”

Criswell said FEMA is also preparing to respond to natural disasters around the country, from wildfires on the west coast to the potential for hurricanes in the east and south.

Criswell stressed the goal of FEMA getting assistance to people in need no matter where they live, including communities of color and those in rural areas.

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“As we execute our response to COVID-19 and other disasters, FEMA will continue to prioritize equity across all of our operations,” said Criswell.

Criswell said flooding is the most common natural disaster in the U.S., and it’s the most costly.