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CFO PATRONIS TO DHS: SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES MUST BE ADDRESSED FOR HURRICANE SEASON

6/8/2022

CITES HISTORIC PRICE OF DIESEL AS CONCERN FOR POST-STORM RECOVERY EFFORTS.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise concerns on supply chain issues impacting hurricane response and post-storm recovery efforts in Florida.
 
Read the full letter below and here.

Dear Secretary Mayorkas:

I am Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, who also serves as State Fire Marshal. With hurricane season starting last week, we were in South Florida participating in hurricane readiness events with local leaders and first responders – and it’s concerning that supply chain issues may present major hurdles to quickly recovering and rebuilding after storms hit.

Under normal circumstances, I would hope that Americans could trust that the federal government has plenty of plans in place, but as hurricane season has just started, millions of Americans are watching the baby formula crisis unfold – and Joe Biden publicly proclaimed that he was not briefed on the issues surrounding the shortage. If a Category 5 storm hits any part of Florida, we cannot have the President telling families that he was unaware that supply chain issues impeded critical supplies from making their way to our state. Someone needs to tell him right now that these issues cannot be ignored.

I have been through enough hurricanes to know that following disasters, families try desperately to get back to their homes to begin the hard work of rebuilding. That’s why it is so important that federal officials not allow for the lack of available supplies of both building materials, and medical devices, to impede recovery efforts. Moreover, as the price of diesel remains at historic highs, I am concerned about trucker availability as their margins continue being squeezed. The price of diesel is devastating the trucking industry, and the longer this crisis goes on, the less prepared our country becomes in responding to disasters. As you understand, supplies cannot do anyone any good unless we’ve got a capable workforce that’s available to transport them.

Therefore, I am requesting your plan for addressing supply chain issues and describing additional plans in coordination with other federal authorities like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and/or the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for acquiring and pre-positioning supplies in advance of storms.

Additionally, I believe you should make that plan publicly available. Florida has an incredible system of ports, rail lines and interstates, so I would like to share your plans with state leaders to ensure the federal government is properly utilizing Florida’s incredible infrastructure.

It is of national interest that you coordinate with hardware stores, and health care institutions, on ensuring that availability of building materials and life-saving equipment will not be a problem should the United States face multiple disasters at once. With hurricane season, we cannot tolerate the same incompetence that allowed the baby formula shortage to occur, to again rear its ugly head for a storm. The availability of these supplies are often the difference between life and death, and we cannot rebuild our communities with excuses. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer