Florida has State of Emergency Regarding Tropical Depression
Tropical Depression Nine was spotted approximately 1,000 miles southeast of Florida on September 23rd, 2022, and the Sunshine State is expecting it to brush up against its shores. In a direct proactive response, Governor Ron DeSantis is issuing a State of Emergency that is fourteen sections long and is far longer than any typical Declaration we cover at TopMark Funding. How are truckers affected by this turn of events?
The entire Declaration is over 3,400 words long. Here is an abridged version focused towards truckers:
- All statues and rules regarding budgeting are suspended when dealing in affairs directly related to the emergency. This may include contracts normally having a preference for Florida-owned business owners going to out-of-state businesses.
- Section 4.C.8 mentions that each political subdivision in Florida can forgo typical, time-consuming bureaucratic procedures when it comes to the distribution of relief supplies and materials.
- Florida’s Turnpike tolls are to be suspended for purposes of emergency services and evacuation.
- Registration requirements for commercial vehicles directly involved in the Emergency are waived.
- While there are size and weight limits that are still applicable, FDOT may issue permits to allow more generous size and weight restrictions.
- Hours-of-service regulations are waived. Presumably, this exemption would follow the standard hours-of-service exemption, such as requiring a ten-hour break after a delivery beyond typical hours occurs.
- Licensing and registration requirements for IFTA and IRP are shelved. This will enable trucking companies who normally do not conduct business within the Sunshine State to get directly involved.
- Public facilities may be used as public shelters, which is where truckers would likely deliver their relief supplies
- The Declaration prohibits the selling of goods at an “unconscionable price.” Presumably, businesses engaging in price gouging will be punished.
- Under specific stipulations, drivers providing relief can travel through evacuated areas and beyond curfew hours. One such stipulation is that the truck will not impede evacuation in any manner.
The State of Emergency ends November 22nd unless ongoing weather conditions demand its extension.
Between cold snaps in the winter and tropical storms in the summer and late fall, Florida has had quite the year needing disaster mitigation. Hopefully the recent investment in truck driving schools on behalf of the state pays dividends in the years to come.
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