OVIEDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - U.S. Senator Rick Scott urged Floridians to prepare for hurricane season now, before it is too late.
On Wednesday, Senator Scott brought together first responders, the American Red Cross, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Housing of Urban Development to talk about the importance of hurricane preparedness.
“Follow the local news and get ready,” Senator Scott said. “Have a plan. Know where you’re going to meet your family. Take this seriously.”
He encouraged people to take advantage of the hurricane preparedness tax holiday from May 31-June 6 to stock up on supplies like generators, bottled water, flashlights, and batteries. He also urged people to pay attention to every aspect of a potential hurricane to avoid tragedies like Hurricane Michael.
“What we watched with Michael and Michael was a horrible hurricane that came very quickly... No one really focused on the storm surge and we lost some lives as a result of that,” Scott said. “You are not going to survive this stuff. Take this seriously and think about your kids and your grandkids. Have a plan.”
Matthew Young, with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s office of Disaster Assistance, also encouraged people to gather important documents before a storm. He said it will make the process of getting financial help easier after a hurricane.
The SBA provides low-interest loans to businesses, homeowners, and renters to recover after a disaster. Young said, “SBA has approved over 52 thousand loans in the last few years just in Florida and that represents over 2.1 billion dollars.”
Hurricane season begins on Saturday, June first. NOAA is predicting a near-normal season this year which means 9-15 named storms with as many as eight becoming hurricanes.
To stay prepared for hurricane season, be sure to download the Fox 35 Weather app to be the first to know when severe weather is on the way.