Cabinet approves hurricane shelter plan, bond sales

May 8, 2012

The Florida Cabinet has approved a statewide shelter plan in advance of the 2012 hurricane season. Ryan Benk reports officials met today in Marathon for a regular Cabinet meeting.

The plan works as a guide for shelters across the state. It includes retrofitted public facilities, existing schools, and the use of hurricane-resistant new schools. That would create a map of more than 939 thousand spaces around Florida that can be used in case of a major storm. Governor Rick Scott says residents need to remember the importance of hurricane preparedness.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of hurricane Andrew, a devastating storm that altered the landscape of south Florida. Hurricane Andrew should be a reminder to all Floridians that preparing for hurricane season is crucial.”

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins Friday; June 1st. State officials say more than half of Florida counties now have a surplus of shelter space.

The Cabinet also took action on $50 million worth of initial bonds for a sewage treatment plant in the Keys. The money is coming from Everglades Restoration bonds which are financed through property taxes. Governor Rick Scott said eventually $200 million dollars will be bonded and spent on the project.

"It's extremely important to the Keys. It's extremely important from an environment standpoint …. and it will create some jobs."

State officials also approved bonds for student dorms at Florida International University, the University of Florida and Florida A&M University. The Cabinet held its meeting at a Marathon elementary school Tuesday. Earlier in the day they helped release a rehabilitated sea turtle.