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VIDEO & AUDIO: Rubio Discusses Hurricane Irma Recovery

Sep 13, 2017 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined West Palm Beach’s WJNO morning radio show with Joel Malkin, Miami’s WIOD news radio with Brian Mudd, and MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson today to discuss Hurricane Irma recovery efforts in Florida. Key parts are transcribed below.
AUDIO: Rubio discusses Irma recovery with The Palm Beaches WJNO’s Joel Malkin
On power outages
RUBIO: Let me tell you why I worry about power outages. When I hear about power outages, I know the next I thing I am going to start reading about is carbon monoxide deaths. People need to be very careful about that. And then you worry about that. You worry about fires as soon as the power comes on. Someone left something on and you’re not around and you’ve got a fire to respond to. So there are things that come with it.
On getting proper assistance
RUBIO: There’s people that will be eligible for individual assistance here. I encourage people to go on our website and to start finding out that information about where they can go and what they can do to kind of get that personal assistance. We’re going to be making some announcements in the next few days about centers that we’re going to try to open in some of the key places, working with our local officials and our congressional delegation to have people come in if they can’t do it online; fill out personal assistance; help from FEMA – they need vouchers to be able to get cash to go; rent a hotel or a house somewhere until their home is rebuilt. I’d also say to someone if your house is not habitable – if you suffered damage and you can’t get back to your house – it’s not a bad idea to call the utility company and discontinue service or suspend service. Not only will it save you money but I think it could prevent some of these other things that we are worried about.
People with their mortgage company – I’d call your lender. Most lenders will work with you on that forbearance period to help you get back on your feet through all this. Same with credit card companies and everything else.
AUDIO: Rubio discusses Hurricane Irma recovery efforts with Miami WIOD’s Brian Mudd
RUBIO: Most lenders, the vast majority, will work with you on a forbearance. They’re not going to forgive the mortgage and you do have to call them, but they will work with you on forbearance. Some people have said, ‘I don’t know who my servicer is. I don’t have the papers with me. I had to move to a shelter.’ There’s a number that they can call, a toll free number that will help you find out who services your mortgage. That number is 888-679-6377. Call there and they can help guide to you who is servicing your mortgage, the company that is handling it, so you can get a hold of them.
VIDEO: Rubio discusses Hurricane Irma recovery efforts on MSNBC
RUBIO: We’ve lost a number of people now in the aftermath of the storm to generators. And generators that are being run too close to the facility – that carbon monoxide gets in and it’s deadly. So it sounds like the death toll post storm is higher than during the storm and that’s not unusual unfortunately because of incidents like that. Obviously we’ll learn more about the facts but it’s truly tragic. Hopefully we won’t have more of them. People need to be very careful of those generators. …
I think there’s the damage that you can see and the damage that’s going to be around for a long time. You think about all those little family-owned businesses in that area that are not going to have any sort of business activity. There’s not going to be tourism in the Keys here for a while. That’s going to hurt a lot of people economically. …
I just left a tour with Senator Nelson of the agriculture sector. Our crops loss has been devastating for an industry that was already struggling with a pest called greening that was killing trees. We lost a lot of trees and a lot of fruit. These are small, family-owned businesses, three to four generations, not wealthy people. It will be very difficult for them to come back. It takes four years for an orange grove to stand up again when you replant it, and if they do. …
If someone can’t go back to their home because it’s unsafe – water damage, structural damage, if you’re in one of those trailers in the Keys – there’s assistance available to you and just getting people signed up for that so they can get those funds. The Small Business Administration will step in and provide short-term, interest-free loans for businesses that survive while there is a significant period of time of losses. And then obviously with local governments are strained with the costs of all this. No local government can save enough money to pay for the cost of this so there’s all sorts of reimbursements to local governments. And then obviously some long-term assistance from the Agriculture Department as well for our agriculture industry.