Recuperación Tras Desastres
In 2017, Hurricane Irma devastated large swaths of Florida. As he rode out the storm, Senator Rubio prepared his staff to host Recovery Assistance Centers (RACs) to connect Floridians with federal resources. Over the following months, more than 10,000 people received RAC assistance. Rubio also secured billions of dollars from Congress to rebuild, including $616 million for affordable housing in the Keys, funds for technical assistance for displaced business owners, direct grants to low-income business owners and homeowners, and more than $500 million for the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation.
Also in 2017, Hurricane Maria caused tremendous damage to Puerto Rico. Five days after the storm hit, Rubio surveyed the damage with Representative González-Colón and the U.S. Coast Guard. The following day, he spoke on the Senate floor to explain Puerto Rico’s need for federal aid. Later, Rubio leveraged his position on the Senate Committee on Appropriations to secure funds for Puerto Rican Medicaid, infrastructure, hospitals, community health centers, and vital electrical grid repair.
In 2018, following devastation from Category 5 Hurricane Michael, Rubio quickly secured a federal Major Disaster Declaration. He also pushed a supplemental disaster relief package through Congress that included approximately $380 million for timber growers in Florida’s panhandle. Rubio’s team went door to door and hosted a RAC in the region, assisting more than 2,000 residents in the end. And with Rubio’s urging, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) increased its reimbursements to localities and electrical cooperatives for debris cleanup, security, building repair, and future damage mitigation projects.
HurricaneS DORIAN AND SALLY
In 2019, when Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas, Rubio worked with local officials to supply aid to the islands. He also assisted the families of U.S. citizens with consular services, from passport deliveries to visa appointments. When Hurricane Sally hit Northwest Florida in 2020, Rubio traveled to the region and secured FEMA resources for individuals and families impacted by the destructive winds, historic rainfall, and catastrophic storm surge. He also worked with the Trump Administration to grant a Major Disaster Declaration.
2022 AND BEYOND
2022 saw several major storms, among them Hurricanes Fiona, Ian, and Nicole. Rubio sought federal relief for all three, acting on behalf of Puerto Rico and Florida. In response to Hurricane Ian in particular, Rubio introduced legislation for a $33 billion supplemental disaster relief package. Meanwhile, Rubio staff hosted FEMA registration events in impacted counties and delivered food and water to the needy. They assisted roughly 2,400 people within just a matter of weeks. As recovery efforts continue, Rubio is determined to make sure damaged communities are restored, stronger than ever.