State officials lead effort in relief of Hurricane Irma

By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
September 12, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Many areas of the state are still without adequate gas, food and water. However, the Governor, the Emergency Management Director and the Head of the National Guard all say it is on the way.

Because of Irma’s sheer size, relief efforts have been complicated, leaving few places out of harm’s way to stage relief supplies.

Governor Rick Scott was asked what he would say to those who have lost hope because they haven’t seen food, water, or gas from any relief efforts. He responded, “I think if you go all around the state, people are working hard to get it to everybody. I tell everybody we have a hot line here. It’s 1-800-342-3557. Call us. You call us about anything and we’re going to do everything we can to get you all the resources you need.”

Planners say if you are not seeing the kind of relief you think you should be seeing in your neighborhood, it’s because somebody else needs it more.

Bryan Koon, Florida’s Emergency Director, said, “The purpose of all the people working for us is to do everything we can to restore Florida back to normalcy. We’re working on restoring the power. We’re working on getting the fuel back in the ground.”

And with the storm now gone, National Guard Adjutant General Michael Calhoun says relief is on the way. Calhoun explained, “I think the main effort we have today is to have about 16 aircrafts in the air to sling low pallets down to the points of distribution, that way the citizens can have some water and food until power is restored.”

Even former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been touring damaged areas of the state. He accompanied the Governor this morning to thank the efforts of those working in the state Emergency Operations Center.

Tebow said, “There are a lot of people who are hurting. A lot of people have fear and doubt about the unknown, and maybe they’ve lost a lot of their possessions. But there people who love them and are praying for them, and are there to support them. And so we want people to know they are not in it alone. People genuinely love and care about them, and that’s something that can be life changing.”

If you are looking to grab a meal outside during hurricane recovery, the FL Restaurant and Lodging Association, which works with state emergency managers to plan recovery, says the best thing you can do is to look where power is back on.

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