© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

FEMA Administrator Has No Response For Helping Restore Telecommunications

FEMA Administrator Brock Long giving a press conference at Lee County's Emergency Operations Center.
FEMA Administrator Brock Long giving a press conference at Lee County's Emergency Operations Center.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Administrator was at the Lee County Emergency Operations Center Wednesday. 

FEMA's Administrator Brock Long said search and rescue operations are winding down in Florida. He said most Floridians are probably worried about getting power and filing insurance claims. 

"Insurance is the first line of defense," said Long. "You need to activate your policies and go through to see what you're qualified for, from an insurance standpoint." 

Long said FEMA isn't the only federal resource people can turn to. He said they can look to entities like the Small Business Administration. 

Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio sent a joint letter to Long on Tuesday, asking FEMA to wrangle local, state and federal officials to restore communications in Florida. The letter said 7.1 million cable and telephone subscribers in Florida have been impacted.

View the letter below:

When asked about how he plans to act on Nelson and Rubio's request, Long had this to say: 

"I don't have a clue what you're talking about. I've talked to senators very closely. The lines of communication have been very clear, so I'm not sure where that's coming from." 

WGCU presented him with the letter. 

"Okay," Long said. "Thank you." 

The FEMA administrator tossed the letter aside. 

After the press conference Long said, "Sorry man, I don't know what that is. I'll take a look at it later." 

In the letter, the senators wrote that wireless phones provide displaced residents with a critical lifeline to first responders, family and friends, important information about the state's recovery and government assistance. 

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Quincy Walters is a reporter and backup host for WGCU.