TAMPA, Fla. - As families in Texas and Louisiana continue to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, officials here in Florida are urging folks to get prepared for Irma, just in case.
Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in all 67 counties within the State of Florida in response to Hurricane Irma – a major Category 5 storm approaching Florida. By declaring a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties, Governor Scott is ensuring that local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this dangerous storm and are not hindered, delayed or prevented from taking all necessary actions to keep communities safe.
Governor Scott released the following statement:
“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared. I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma’s path – potentially impacting millions of Floridians. Today, given these forecasts and the intensity of this storm, I have declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities as we get prepared for this storm. In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared. This state of emergency allows our emergency management officials to act swiftly in the best interest of Floridians without the burden of bureaucracy or red tape. In Florida, we know that the best way to protect our families in severe weather is to have a plan. I urge all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news and visit FLGetAPlan.com[floridadisaster.org] today as we all prepare for Hurricane Irma. We will keep monitoring and issuing updates on Hurricane Irma as it approaches Florida.”
Governor Rick Scott wants people here to have their disaster relief kits ready. He sent that warning in a series of tweets on social media.
Disaster preparedness should be a priority for every Florida family. Visit https://t.co/eq4cIicsIU to get a plan today.
The governor wants people in Florida to have a few things on hand, like bottled water, extra clothing for the weather, a first aid kit and a flashlight and batteries, as well as non-perishable food in case of an emergency.
"This time we are very well prepared," said Hector Bonet who has been hit before --- three times back in 2004. "We did everything this morning, went to Home Depot, got some things ready."
"After Texas, it's got everybody on their toes," said Candace Sanders.
"(We) have a generator, water, canned foods, some MRE's," said William Sanders.
The Sanders know with two kids, it's better to be prepared than sorry.
"Right now it looks like this storm is going to move faster than Harvey so that's good news from the flooding standpoint. We're not expecting this storm to get to a place and just sit over it for two or three days," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Marc Austin.
In areas of South Florida people are taking that warning very seriously. Some stores are already out of the essentials.