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Florida stands ready to help states devastated by deadly tornado outbreak

Florida's top leaders are offering their assistance.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida, a state that's no stranger to natural disasters, is offering its experienced disaster teams and support to the nine states impacted by deadly tornadoes that ripped through parts of the Midwest and Tennessee Valley. 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has been coordinating with similar offices in affected states in an effort to identify any resource gaps and offer services.

If requested, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie say Florida is prepared to deploy emergency management crews, urban search-and-rescue teams, ambulance strike teams and disaster recovery specialists.

In a statement, Florida's governor called the tornado outbreak an "unthinkable tragedy" and offered the prayers of he and the first lady.

“The State of Florida has been communicating with our partners in the impacted states since early Saturday morning and we stand ready to provide any assistance needed during this time," DeSantis wrote. "We’ll continue to work with them to ensure they have the resources they need to respond.”

Guthrie said the affected states had helped Florida through prior crises, and the state intended to return the favor if asked.

"The destruction reported so far is catastrophic and the Division will continue to work closely with our emergency management counterparts as they respond to this disaster," Guthrie added in a statement.

State leaders said Floridians interested in helping could make tax-deductible donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund or click here to learn more about volunteering.

The tornado outbreak killed 88 people, 74 of whom were in Kentucky, according to the Associated Press. In addition to Kentucky, the tornadoes wreaked havoc in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana and Ohio. They destroyed a nursing home in Arkansas and caused major damage to an Amazon facility in Illinois.

10 Tampa Bay's Stephen Adams contributed to this report.

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