TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott received a full update on Hurricane Irma from the State Emergency Operations Center. Governor Scott has been in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, law enforcement, school superintendents and county leaders who are also working to ensure the state is prepared to respond to any potential impacts from Hurricane Irma. Yesterday, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in all 67 counties within the State of Florida. Governor Scott today requested that President Donald Trump declare a pre-landfall emergency for the State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma to provide important preparation resources and assistance from the federal government. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated to level one, which is a full-scale, 24-hours-a-day activation.
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
- Governor Scott activated 100 members of the Florida Air and Army National Guard to support with planning, logistics and operations in preparation for potential impacts from Hurricane Irma. These 100 members will be stationed in across the state.
- At the direction of Governor Scott, all 7,000 National Guard members will be reporting for duty Friday morning. Additional guard members will be activated this week as needed.
- In addition, 13 helicopters and more than 1,000 tactical high wheeled trucks are on standby.
- Florida has identified air assets and resources from the North Carolina National Guard and is also coordinating with nearby states to assist with evacuations from the Florida Keys.
- The Florida National Guard is coordinating with the National Guard Bureau to identify approximately 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks, 100 helicopters, and Aero-Evacuation crews that are standing by for Hurricane Irma support, if needed.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is preparing search and rescue teams for potential deployment. All teams that were deployed to Texas have since returned or are in the process of returning.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and other partnering agencies are identifying resources for deployment if necessary to respond to the storm.
- The division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is monitoring road and traffic conditions to ensure the roadways are clear and working with the Division of Emergency Management to ensure consistent messaging is provided statewide.
- The division of Motorist Services has its Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles on standby and will deploy them to impacted areas as needed.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is holding teleconferences with districts and agency partners such as the Army Corps of Engineers, Water Management Districts, and Federal Highway Administration to ensure all infrastructure needs are met.
- FDOT will continue to reach out to county emergency operations centers directly to coordinate any necessary response actions, including activating traffic counters, providing local evacuation support and providing maintenance of traffic and other assistance.
- The state is monitoring conditions at all airports and seaports. As of now, there are no closed airports or seaports.
- Governor Scott has rescinded all weight and driver restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies can be quickly brought to Florida.
- While the state is working as quickly as possible to fill grocery store shelves with water and other emergency resources, it is important to be considerate of neighbors and take only what each family needs to be prepared.
- The state is staging mass care supplies such as meals, shelter support trailers and portable water at the State Logistic Resource Center in Orlando for deployments as needed.
- The state is also establishing local points of contact with mass care organizations and volunteer agencies, including working with the American Red Cross to coordinate sheltering and feeding operations. The American Red Cross has also established a Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) in Orlando.
- The Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is running projection models for human-services’ needs (such as food and sheltering) based on a major hurricane impacting the state.
- The Florida Department of Education is in contact with school districts, state colleges and universities for updates before, during and after emergency events.
- At this time, all school districts and colleges are monitoring Irma and her path.
- Districts are preparing in the case that their facilities are needed for shelters. Colleges are making emergency preparations on their campuses and working with students who may need assistance with relocation.
BUSINESS, INDUSTRY, & ECONOMIC STABILIZATION
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) created an event in the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) for Hurricane Irma and are currently updating with up-to-date storm information, situation reports and resources for the business community. FLVBEOC is available at www.flvbeoc.org.
- We have activated the Private Sector Hotline at 850-815-4925. The hotline is available for business inquiries about the storm, preparedness information and post-impact information.
ELECTRIC & NATURAL GAS UTILITIES (Public Service Commission)
- Utilities have been put on notice to start reporting outage and restoral information when notified to begin.
- Utilities are contacting their mutual aid partners to determine availability if external resources are needed to restore services.
- Monitoring the power grid for sufficient power in the state and the natural gas infrastructure for any damages that can cause a loss of service to power plants.
- The state is also requesting utilities to identify any staging areas needed outside of Florida and requesting the status of all nuclear facilities in the event a shutdown is necessary.
- The Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has activated its internal Incident Management Team (IMT) for coordination of activities related to Hurricane Irma and is preparing to respond to deployments as needed, and prepared to order property insurers to submit claims information from Hurricane Irma.
- Additionally, in response to the Governor’s Office Executive Order, OIR has notified all entities writing health insurance in the state of their statutory obligation to allow for early prescription refills. OIR is also coordinating with the Agency for Healthcare Administration and Department of Health.
- The Chief Financial Officer DFS is encouraging all Floridians to keep all insurance and banking information in one, easily-accessible place, consumers can download a copy of the Department’s free Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit. The Toolkit serves as a one-stop shop for all finance, emergency and insurance contact information. Download and complete the toolkit today.
- OIR has updated its “Hurricane Season Resources” webpage, which contains links to information provided by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, and contact information for Florida’s property insurers.
- The state is contacting fuel industry partners (e.g., Florida Petroleum Council, Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association); there are no reported supply, distribution or retail fuel shortages or issues.
- The state is monitoring fuel assistance requests and has contacted emergency fuel and equipment providers for status of emergency fuel supply and equipment.
- While the state is working as quickly as possible to bring fuel to communities, as Floridians prepare, it is important to be considerate of neighbors and take only what each family needs to be prepared.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
- The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating with hospitals and healthcare facilities across Florida on potential evacuation needs.
- DOH is preparing to set up and coordinate staffing for special needs shelters.
- The state has contacted telecommunications partners to activate protective action plans and procedures for Central Offices, tower sites, mobile response units and any other critical infrastructure.
- Telecommunications Partners are monitoring fuel levels for generators and back-up power supply.
- The state is drafting 24-hour staffing schedules and all Telecommunications remain on standby to respond if required.
- At this point, no out of ordinary reports of any major outages.
- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff is currently conducting baseline shoreline assessments to help evaluate beach impacts.
- DEP is reaching out to drinking and wastewater facilities to help ensure preparation steps are being taken.
- All state parks remain open at this time, but no new camping reservations will be accepted for the next 10 days.
- The South Florida Water Management District has begun lowering water levels in canals and moving as much water as possible to tide and south through flood control structures throughout its flood control system in preparation for the storm.
- Routine inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike are taking place and additional inspections will begin once the lake approaches 17 feet. The lake level is currently at 13.67 feet.
- The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
- Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Irma.
- Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.