Private enterprise will play a major role in any post-hurricane recovery. That's the word from Curt Sommerhoff, the director of Miami-Dade County's Emergency Operations Center.
Case in point: a number of grocery stores and gas stations are now equipped with a generator.
In the past, filling up after a hurricane was a mission. Long lines plagued consumers. Getting gas was time-consuming, and compounded by those filling up gas cans for use in generators.
Now, under a state-mandated program, almost 60 gas stations will be able to provide gasoline – and that total hopefully will be augmented by stations that have escaped power outages.
"That’s fantastic, yeah. I mean, you know how long those lines get," said Melissa Chamarro as she got some gas for her car at a Redbird Citgo Thursday.
In addition, almost 100 local grocery stores, including Sedano's, Winn-Dixie and Publix, are generator-ready. In the past, grocery stores were not open during big storms and often lost perishable food to the lack of refrigeration.
Pedro Mesa of the Sedano's on Calle Ocho said the big generator at his store should run the whole establishment without a problem.
"We've tested it two or three times a year before the season comes," Mesa said, as customers stocked up just in case Tropical Storm Isaac gets serious.
If Isaac hits South Florida, power outages should not deter Sedano's, Mesa said.
“We’re going to be totally running. We have generators in all of our 34 stores," he said.
Back at the Redbird Citgo, Luis Duarte was loading up on propane and gasoline. He gave some advice about avoiding gas lines before and after a hurricane.
“I remember those, but if you get prepared early, then you avoid all that hassle," he said.
Station owner Enrique Finkelstein sounded a word of caution, however.
“We always have run out of gas prior to a storm, always. When you order gas, even though you order it in advance, they don’t deliver it because they have to close the port," he said.