Prepare for hurricanes before it’s too late, says Sen. Rick Scott | Letters

April 17, 2020

Tampa Bay Times
Letter to the Editor: Sen. Rick Scott
April 17, 2020

As Floridians, we know better than anyone that preparedness saves lives. As we continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of coronavirus so we can get back to our everyday lives, we must also prepare for what lies ahead.

The 2020 hurricane season is quickly approaching, and preparing for a storm this year might look a little different. You’re probably asking questions like: How can I evacuate if I’m socially distancing? What would a hurricane shelter look like if we’re avoiding crowds? How do I build a disaster preparedness kit for my family if I can’t go to the store?

Hurricane season begins June 1. While we all hope that in two months the threat of coronavirus is over, we must prepare for the worst.

Federal, state and local officials need to address how to keep families safe while adhering to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on coronavirus. Floridians have to get creative in their preparedness efforts. And the time to start thinking about this is now.

To the extent that your family is financially able to, consider purchasing supplies for your disaster kits online. That includes vital supplies like food, water, flashlights, batteries and other necessities. Every family and business needs to make or revisit their emergency plans. You can find resources and information at

As your senator, I’ll do everything I can at the federal level to protect Florida’s families and businesses. I’m working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to issue guidance to states, local governments, tribes and territories on addressing hurricane preparedness in the wake of coronavirus.

I know everyone is exhausted from the effects of coronavirus, but we cannot let our guards down. In case of a storm, always stay tuned to your local news reports and follow the direction of local law enforcement and emergency management officials. As I always say, you can rebuild your home, but you cannot rebuild your life.

We must keep doing everything we can to take care of each other and protect our families. Don’t wait to take action. Start getting prepared today.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott

The writer, a Republican, represents Florida in the U.S. Senate and is a former governor.