With the 2020 Hurricane Season beginning on June 1, this week, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor requesting that FEMA issue guidance to address the CDC’s coronavirus guidelines and procedures to keep Floridians safe and healthy in the event of a major storm.
The letter, which was sent on Wednesday, is below.
Dear Administrator Gaynor:
Thank you for your efforts to respond to the coronavirus outbreak throughout the United States. Our nation continues to be gripped by this pandemic, and we must do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and help Americans get back to their normal, daily lives. We thank you, and the hardworking people throughout the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for your tireless work on this front.
Unfortunately, we are just 54 days away from the start of the 2020 hurricane season, a time that puts many Floridians on edge without confronting the coronavirus. With hurricanes, early planning and preparation is key, and while officials are currently focused on the pandemic, we must start thinking about June 1. This is especially important in light of current social distancing protocols. To ensure our communities are properly prepared, we urge FEMA to issue guidance to state and local governments, tribes and territories regarding hurricane preparedness and response that addresses Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and procedures in the wake of the coronavirus. In addition, we ask that you take into account how to properly evacuate and shelter those who either have, or are suspected to have, the coronavirus in the event of a storm. Consistent and sound guidance will be crucial to saving lives during a natural disaster.
It is our hope that the pandemic will quickly pass, but all points indicate we will be dealing with this virus for the foreseeable future. In this new normal, our goal is to make sure that Floridians have their hurricane plans in place as soon as possible.
Thank you for your attention to this vital matter, and we look forward to working with you to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season.