Dear Members and Advocates,

Last week, the excitement over the filing of our Ex Post Facto lawsuit overshadowed a disaster that struck the Florida panhandle. Hurricane Michael was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in Florida. It caused over 8 Billion Dollars in property damage and displaced tens of thousands of residents. We are only starting to hear from some of our members who have been without utilities since. We are  beginning to assess the needs of those affected and determining whether anyone was turned away from an emergency shelter or otherwise impacted because of their status as a person required to register.

Last year, following Hurricane Irma, we reached out to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to ask what registrants need to do in order to remain compliant with the registration laws during an emergency – especially when roads cannot be safely navigated and registration locations are closed. Even though Florida Statutes provide no exceptions for hurricanes or other natural disasters from even the IN PERSON reporting requirements (this is an issue that is being addressed in a forthcoming lawsuit), here is what the FDLE advised:

“[I]n the event of natural disasters and other unforeseen emergencies, registrants may contact the local sheriff’s office to give notice of the situation, request guidance, and/or inform of their travel, evacuation, location plans.  If a registrant is unable to establish communication with their local sheriff’s office they may contact the FDLE registry 24-7 for assistance in making contact and/or noting their emergency situation and intended location/travel status etc.”

A copy and paste of the FDLE’s advise is available on our site (https://floridaactioncommittee.org/fdle-responds-to-facs-request-for-clarification/). If you followed their instructions and had any issues, please notify us immediately. If you are in an affected area and have been displaced, please remember to contact your local Sheriff’s office or DHSMV (as applicable) to make registration arrangements. If they are unavailable contact the FDLE at 1-888-357-7332.

We recognize how dispassionate it sounds to be reminding our members of their registration obligations in the wake of a natural disaster that caused so much devastation. We’re providing the information because we’ve been asked for it. The reality is; Florida keeps people on the registry whether they are dead or alive, so you might as well stay alive. Worry about saving your ass before you worry about covering it!

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee

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