Collier County emergency supplies at risk for damage

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Paul Dolan
emergency supplies
Collier County emergency supplies at risk of being damaged. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Collier County is preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best after getting more than $2,000,000 for a warehouse that will be used to store and distribute disaster, emergency, and COVID-19 supply inventory.

The area where Collier’s essential emergency supplies are stored is basically in the open air, leaving them vulnerable to damage from heat and humidity.

The county already lost supplies because of these conditions. But this new project will ensure Collier is self-sufficient.

Rosalina Podolak and 13 others hunkered down during the ferocity of Hurricane Irma. Podolak was not an amateur at doing this, especially considering she’d experienced every storm since Hurricane Andrew.

“Hunkering down and being prepared and having our stockpile emergency our personal photos and documents ready willing and able to go in some kind of plastic form to protect them,” Podolak said.

Collier County has a stockpile of emergency supplies worth $4,500,000 of its own. They’ve collected that amount of money since Irma happened. And, Dan Summers the Collier emergency services director said they want even more to avoid relying on FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

“Remember geographically we are a long way away from southeast U.S. in terms of where some of these regional disaster supply depot’s are it could take days to get extra disaster relief supplies in here,” Summers said.

The importance of these supplies is clear but they’re getting damaged every day from the heat and humidity. Summers said it’s crucial they enclose this garage and turn it into a proper warehouse with air conditioning, that way they don’t have to wait for a disaster to strike.

The area won’t just house hurricane supplies, it’ll also be ready for other types of disasters like storing PPE during COVID-19. The project costs $2,200,000 they’ll seek approval from Collier commissioners in a little over two weeks.

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