Why does Florida need an SDF?

Florida is the third most populated state in the US and the only state in the top four that has no state defense force (SDF).  The other most populated states all have very successful and active state defense forces (#1-California, #2-Texas, #4-New York). 

Since one of the main missions of an SDF is to provide support to the National Guard and other agencies during disasters and other emergency operations, one would think that Florida would have such a force.  This is especially true due to Florida's geographic location, Florida is sure to be affected at least once per hurricane season. 

In 2017, in preparation for Hurricane Irma, Florida Governor Rick Scott went on national TV and asked for help from volunteers, especially nurses and medical volunteers, to come and assist with and/or prepare for mass evacuations.

Florida has an organization called VolunteerFlorida.org whose mission is to coordinate the efforts of all the volunteers organizations that they have listed on their website.  After contacting VolunteerFlorida for a request of their effectiveness during this time, no reply has been received.

Missions like these are what SDFs across the country train for.

There are many volunteer organizations across the country and across the state that say they will assist when called, but most of the time, when the call goes out, few people respond for a variety of reasons.  These groups have good intensions but few of these groups conduct regular training or even vet their volunteers to ensure that they are of good character. 

When they do respond, most of the volunteers have just joined the organization for the purpose of that one particular deployment.  Little training, if any has been done with the volunteers and sometimes they deploy and become one of the problems emergency managers must deal with. (What to do with eager, but untrained volunteers).  A disaster is not the time to do on-the-job training.  There simply is no time for that.

A primary mission of the Florida State Defense Force could be service during disasters and emergency operations or anytime additional, low cost personnel are needed for state duty.  Many states have a deployable SDF that consists of hundreds of previously identified, vetted, trained eager volunteers that can be called to duty for any reason that the Governor or the Adjutant General of Florida so directs.

Formed along military lines, the Florida SDF can be deployed anywhere in the state of Florida.

 

What kinds of people can be part of the Florida SDF?

Most members of other state defense forces are citizens of the states in which they live.  Many are military retirees or veterans who have civilian careers but still wish to serve in uniform and be part of the military camaraderie and  culture without the requirement for federal duty and deployments.  Many have already deployed to overseas war zone.

Each member has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be well used in times of need.  Other members of the SDF can be citizens who have always wanted to serve in uniform, but for whatever reason could not join the armed forces but still want to serve in uniform.