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Florida Guard, Disaster Relief on Hurricane Sandy Standby for Northern States

October 28, 2012 - 7:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott is offering aid to any Northeastern state needing assistance as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.

Floridas emergency managers are experienced in protecting our 19 million residents and millions of visitors each year, Scott stated in a release.

Our emergency management staff, National Guard, emergency response equipment and resources are on standby to support our fellow East Coast states, in the event they are needed. Many of Floridas private-sector companies are also answering the call to help fellow Americans. The thoughts and prayers of our state are with those in the storms path.

Scotts offer comes as Hurricane Sandy threatens the Mid-Atlantic, New York-New Jersey region and the national media has refocused its attention on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneys comments from a June 2011 primary debate in which he said that states should have a larger role in handling national emergencies.

Romney was responding to a question from CNN chief national correspondent John King that noted FEMA was soon to run out of money and whether the state should be involved.

Absolutely, Romney replied. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better.

Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut -- we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we're doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do?"

CNN reported Monday that Romneys campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg further explained that "states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions."

"As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA."

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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