Flagler, St. Johns counties present Paul Renner with FEPA Legislative Achievement Award


Flagler County Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord and St. Johns County Emergency Management Deputy Director Kelly Wilson spent part of “Emergency Management Day at the Capitol” (February 7) presenting House Speaker Paul Renner with the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA) Legislative Achievement Award.

“It is an honor to present Speaker Renner with the FEPA Legislative Award,” Wilson said. “His leadership and support for our communities have been invaluable during the difficult recovery phase of several major hurricanes. We are grateful for his tireless efforts that have served as a steadying force enabling so many affected families and businesses to rebuild. Speaker Renner exemplifies the core tenets of this award.”

The pair – both active participants within the FEPA organization – made the presentation to Renner at his Tallahassee office. Lord nominated Renner and Wilson is the chair of the FEPA Awards Committee and they happen to come from Renner’s district – the 19th District

The FEPA Legislative Achievement Award is presented to a local, state, or federal Legislator for outstanding leadership in sponsoring legislation which improves Emergency Management in the State of Florida.

“Under Speaker Renner’s leadership, the Legislature has navigated the impacts of two catastrophic hurricanes – Ian and Idalia – in addition to Hurricane Nicole. In response to these significant disasters, the Legislature has passed historic legislation providing unprecedented funding and programs for local governments, businesses, and residents,” Lord said in the nomination. “These programs have allowed communities to recover quicker and build back in a more resilient fashion. It takes a true leader, such as Speaker Renner, to sort through the competing demands to ensure the success of the most critical programs and projects.”

“Emergency Management Day at the Capitol” provides top leadership in local Emergency Management to meet and speak with their legislators about their departments, as well as county or regionally specific topics.

“As a member of both the Flagler and St. Johns County Legislative Delegations, I am committed to working with my colleagues to provide critical funding and programs our local governments, businesses, and residents need to preserve our coastal communities,” Speaker Renner said. “Florida’s peninsula is uniquely vulnerable to hurricane threats, and when disaster strikes, we have an obligation to act. Thanks to the dedicated work of so many across our state, our communities have been able to recover faster and will continue to build so future generations can enjoy everything our region has to offer.”

Lord was twice invited in 2023 to address the Florida House Select Committee about hurricane resiliency and recovery as part of a panel discussion that also included representatives from Lee, Charlotte, Collier, and Volusia counties. All five counties suffered impacts from either or both Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole, and the committee wanted an update about how all the counties were faring one year later following the impacts of Hurricane Idalia.

“It was a pleasure to nominate Speaker Renner after all he has done for Floridians to improve hurricane resiliency and recovery. He always lends an ear to emergency management,” Lord said. “It was an absolute honor to be able to present this award to him today.”

By Julie Murphy

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