At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., led a letter to Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, asking for a congressional briefing on how the state will plan for hurricane season during the coronavirus pandemic.
Demings rounded up every Democrat in the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill.
“Each year, millions of Americans are forced to flee from natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and fires,” Demings said. “We crowd together in shelters, pack hotels, and struggle to find food and other essentials. With hurricane season in the South and wildfire season in western states less than six weeks away, I am deeply concerned about the lack of preparation and information-sharing. Families need to be able to make plans. State and local governments need federal support to prepare for safe evacuations. Only by working together and looking ahead can we save lives when these inevitable disasters happen.
“Since time is of the essence, it is vital that our federal, state, and local partners work to develop policies, plans, and best practices for how state, local, and federal partners can keep people safe during a pandemic-disaster event. While the immediate situation must be our top concern, this is not merely a concern for today. As climate change continues to escalate and the risk of future disasters and future pandemics becomes more likely, this is a problem that deserves urgent and ongoing attention,” Demings added.
Hurricane season starts on June 1.
First elected to Congress back in 2016, Demings sits on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.