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Federal health money could help with hurricanes

The 400-mile-wide Hurricane Irma pummels Florida from the Keys and up the Atlantic coast with winds up to 130 mph.
The 400-mile-wide Hurricane Irma pummels Florida from the Keys and up the Atlantic coast with winds up to 130 mph. (NOAA-NASA GOES Project via Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health will receive $11.8 million to help prepare the health-care system to respond to medical “surge” events, such as hurricanes.

The funding will come through the federal Hospital Preparedness Program and is directed to what are known as regional health care coalitions.

The coalitions are groups of health-care and response organizations that work together to prepare and respond to surge events.

In a prepared statement, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he was “glad to see these much-needed funds heading to the Florida Department of Health to ensure that Florida’s hospitals are prepared for the 2019 hurricane season.”

The season began June 1 and will end on November 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicted a near-normal season with nine to 15 named systems, of which four to eight could become hurricanes.