As Hurricane Irma churns its way toward the Caribbean Monday, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all 67 Florida counties.
Scott issued a statement Monday evening announcing the decision:
“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.”
The governor is expected at an event in Naples on Tuesday.
Southwest Florida residents have begun preparing for the storm as forecast estimates make the possibility of a Florida landfall more likely than they had in previous days.
Many stores throughout the area were running low on hurricane supplies such as batteries and bottled water.
If Irma continues on the expected forecast track, the area could begin feeling the effects of the hurricane as early as Friday.
Officials recommend in the case of a hurricane to have a disaster plan prepared well in advance of a storm’s arrival. For more information on how to prepare for a disaster, visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management. To get updates and alerts, click here for Lee County, and here for Collier.
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