Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) is leading the Florida Democratic Delegation with a letter to FEMA asking for hurricane preparedness plans and reiterating the need for outstanding reimbursements from Hurricanes Irma & Michael.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting Americans, Florida has just begun to open its economy. However, the sunshine state is bracing itself for the impending hurricane season, which lawmakers are trying to ensure does not affect Floridians in a catastrophic manner.
Based on the seasonal forecasts that have been issued by weather experts, an above-average hurricane season is predicted for this year.
In response, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell argues that “FEMA has been promising us for weeks now that they would be releasing a plan for how they will manage a potentially record-breaking hurricane season during the COVID-19 pandemic,” noting that “hurricane season starts in less than two weeks, and members of Congress have yet to see this plan” come to fruition.”
Moreover, the Florida lawmaker detailed that “as recently as last Thursday, FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech said that it would be released ‘over the next few weeks,’ which is certainly not soon enough.” So, Mucarsel-Powell concluded that “it is a real possibility that we will have to deal with a major storm in the midst of this devastating pandemic,” asserting that “we need to see the plan now so we can make sure that we’re ready for what’s ahead.”
The Florida Democrats also added that “emergency systems across Florida and the nation are already stretched thin due to the coronavirus pandemic, and millions of people are currently struggling financially.” As a result, “with the Atlantic hurricane season on the horizon, it is imperative that a strategy is put in place as soon as possible so that communities, individuals, and families can adequately prepare,” expressing that “coastal communities have no time to lose, and we cannot wait any longer.”