Floridians know that, ready or not, an active hurricane season is coming. And a Florida Senator is raising grave concerns about whether the federal government is ready.
Sen. Rick Scott wrote a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell Wednesday demanding answers on whether FEMA has the resources needed to assist people in Florida and beyond when tropical systems wreak their inevitable havoc.
The timing of the letter is no accident. Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and inflation metrics including the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index are at historic highs.
“With the start of hurricane season rapidly approaching, Americans preparing for potential storms are facing skyrocketing prices and empty shelves, making it even more difficult to take the steps needed to keep their loved ones safe during and after a natural disaster,” Scott wrote.
“The pressures of inflation and supply shortages are felt to an even greater degree by those on low and fixed incomes and by small businesses working to help their communities prepare for possible disasters. These issues cannot be ignored, and demand action from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure that storm preparedness does not fall victim to President Joe Biden’s raging inflation and supply chain crises,” Scott added.
The letter poses questions about federal stockpiles of food, fuel and potable water ahead of storms, while suggesting the federal government should proactively communicate with citizens about its relative level of storm readiness.
“Given the ongoing supply chain crisis,” asks Scott, “what guidance is FEMA planning to issue to families about preparedness and ensuring the availability of emergency supplies?”
As Governor, Scott messaged heavily around storm readiness from the beginning of hurricane season through the final tropical systems of the year. He clearly is carrying on that tradition as a Senator.
Americans can expect yet another tropical season with higher-than-normal activity. Colorado State University scientists expect at least 19 named storms.
Of those systems, nine are expected to be hurricanes, and four of them are expected to be major storms of Category 3 intensity or higher.