Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Hurricane Irma Preparedness


Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Hurricane Irma Preparedness

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott received a full update on Hurricane Irma at the State Emergency Operations Center. The Governor is traveling the state today to meet with local officials, ensure communities have all the resources they may need, and to encourage families and visitors to be fully prepared.

Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches are in effect for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys. Additional watches should be expected. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in Miami Dade and Monroe Counties and voluntary evacuation orders have been issued in Broward and Collier Counties. Additional orders are expected as the storm nears the state. The Governor will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, city and county leaders, and utility officials who are also working to ensure the state is prepared to respond to any potential impacts from Hurricane Irma.



  • A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the Florida      peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita      Beach, including the Florida Keys.
  • A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Florida      peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita      Beach, including the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.


  • Miami Dade has issued mandatory evacuations for all of      Zone A, the Barrier Islands of Zone B, and all mobile homes. Miami Dade      residents can find their zones by clicking HERE.
  • Broward County has issued voluntary evacuations of      mobile homes and low-lying areas.
  • Collier County has issued voluntary evacuations of      Marco Island.
  • Monroe County has issued mandatory evacuations for      visitors and residents. A dedicated transportation hotline is available      specifically for individuals in the Keys at 305-517-2480.
  • School buses are available for transportation needs in      Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. At this time, Miami-Dade is using      these services to help evacuate those with special needs and Broward has      buses on stand-by.
  • Additional evacuations are expected throughout the      state. All Floridians should pay close attention to local alerts and      follow the directions of local officials.
  • Shelters are opening in coastal counties throughout the      day, including shelters for people with special needs, pets and general      populations. DOH is coordinating the set up and staffing for special needs      shelters. A list of all open shelters will be available at
  • The state is working with the American Red Cross to      identify shelter capacity both during and following the storm.


  • Governor Scott has activated a total of 4,000 members      of the Florida Army and Air National Guard to support with planning, and      logistics operations in preparation for potential impacts from Hurricane      Irma. These members are stationing across the state and actively assisting      with preparation efforts.
  • At the direction of Governor Scott, all remaining      National Guard members will be reporting for duty no later than Friday      morning. Additional guard members will continue to be activated this week      as needed.
  • The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the      North Carolina National Guard to utilize air assets to assist with ongoing      evacuations in the Florida Keys.
  • The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the New      Jersey National Guard and approximately 130 soldiers and more than 50      vehicles are in route to provide transportation assets for movement of      troops, supplies and equipment to aid mobilization efforts during      Hurricane Irma operations.
  • The Florida National Guard has 1,000 high water      vehicles, 13 helicopters, 17 boats and more than 700 generators on      standby.
  • The Florida National Guard is coordinating with the      National Guard Bureau to identify approximately 30,000 troops, 4,000      trucks, 100 helicopters, and air evacuation crews that are standing by for      Hurricane Irma support, if needed.


  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission      (FWC) has more than 200 officers standing by for the first wave of      response based on potential storm impacts. Thirty teams with supporting      resources such as trucks, coastal and river patrol boats, an ATV and two      shallow draft boats are preparing for evacuation support, search and      rescue missions, or any additional needs.
  • FWC is also coordinating with partners in states such      as Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana and      Arkansas in case additional officers or resources are needed.
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)      established 18 emergency response teams for deployment to impacted areas      and those teams will begin deploying tomorrow to pre-staging locations.      Each FDLE region is operating its Regional Law Enforcement Coordination      Team in advance of the storm to assist local law enforcement with any      needs.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is coordinating with      local troops to support evacuations, emergency preparedness and response,      including assisting with hospital evacuations in Broward County and      escorting fuel trucks.
  • A total of 330 FHP troopers are currently on standby      for deployments. A 33-member team is currently in route to the Fort Myers      area for quick response efforts once storm track and potential impacts are      determined. Additionally, equipment such as high water recovery vehicles      have been prepared for quick deployment to assist with recovery and road      clearance efforts.
  • The Division of Motorist Services has its Florida      Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles on standby and will deploy them to      impacted areas as needed.


  • Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of      Transportation (FDOT) to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida      in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Tolls will be suspended for the      duration of the storm’s impacts to Florida.
  • Real-time traffic information and evacuation routes is      available at
  • FDOT is coordinating with Google’s emergency response      team to prepare to ‘close’ roads in Google Maps in real time in the event      that Hurricane Irma forces the closure of any roads in the aftermath of      the storm. Google Maps are used for Uber and Waze among other directional      pplications.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has      suspended construction contractor work and prepared key evacuation routes      for possible shoulder use.
  • FDOT is coordinating with 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.


  • Volunteer Florida is coordinating with volunteer      organizations across the state and has partnered with the American Red      Cross to provide shelter operations training to volunteers and AmeriCorps      grantees. To volunteer, go to or call      1-800-FL-Help-1.
  • Governor Scott has set a goal of 17,000 volunteers. So      far, more than 1,000 state employees and more than 5,700 members of the      public have signed up with Red Cross to take the volunteer sheltering      training.
  • Volunteer Florida has fielded 250 calls from      individuals interested in volunteering.
  • Volunteer Florida is also registering volunteers at Over 1,900 individuals have registered to volunteer      in the last 24 hours.
  • Volunteer Florida has 43 Community Emergency Response      Teams (CERT) on standby to deploy to areas of need. Many of these teams      have begun to work in local call centers and prepare for sheltering      assistance.
  • American Red Cross teams are coordinating feeding at      shelters and have staged 26 tractor trailers at the State Logistics      Response Center, 150 trailers at the State Farmers Market, and 100      emergency response vehicles in North Florida.
  • The Salvation Army is on standby with 32 cooking units      and two field kitchens stationed in Palm Beach and Miami. They are also      coordinating additional supplies awaiting deployment from neighboring      states.
  • The Florida Baptist Convention has 35 kitchens on      standby ready to feed 35,000 meals a day.
  • Feeding Florida has received nine truckloads of food      from Kellogg’s to assist in shelters with 16 additional trucks coming in.      They currently have more than 4,000 food boxes on hand capable of      sustaining a family of four for five days.
  • Church World Service has hygiene kits and cleanup      buckets on standby.
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida has showers      and trailers available in Pensacola and Lakeland for deployment, as well      as supplies such as chainsaws, shovels, safety equipment and 1,200 tarps.
  • Church of Latter Day Saints has chainsaws, tarps, and      water on standby.
  • United Methodist Church has hygiene kits and flood      buckets on standby.
  • Angel Flight SE has 700 pilots based in the southeastern      U.S. available to assist.
  • Church of Scientology is activating volunteers for FL      and receiving volunteers and donations in Clearwater.
  • Church of Latter Day Saints is transporting material      (primarily tarps, chainsaws, food and water) to Orlando, more on order      from Atlanta Bishop’s Storehouse
  • Mission North American Disaster Relief is staging      equipment in various locations across the state and have two shower      trailers available.
  • UMCOR has 2,500-3000 flood buckets on hand and 3,000      hygiene kits.
  • United Way is arranging enhanced staffing for 211 to      support and direct residents.


  • While the state is working with retail partners to fill      grocery store shelves with water and other emergency resources as quickly      as possible, it is important to be considerate of neighbors and take only      what each family needs to be prepared.
  • Governor Scott has requested federal resources such as      disaster tarps, water, baby food supplies, supply trucks, search and      rescue personnel and equipment and incident management teams.
  • The state has established 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 and is actively opening shelters.
  • The state is staging mass care supplies such as meals,      shelter support trailers and water at the State Logistic Response Center      in Orlando for deployments as needed.
  • Food Safety Response Teams are beginning to be placed      on standby for recovery assessments.
  • The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)      has released September Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)      benefits to current recipients who have not yet received them to assist      with Hurricane Irma preparations.


  • The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA)      operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility.      All state veterans’ homes are currently operational.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has closed      the Homestead, Naples, Key West, Key Largo and Naples Community Based      Outpatient Clinics. The VA Medical Center in Miami and all satellite      clinics will close for scheduled and walk-in appointments beginning noon      Friday.
  • Veterans from storm-impacted areas who require      immediate assistance may contact: VA Health Resource Center Disaster      Hotline: 1-800-507-4571.


  • Governor Rick Scott directed state offices to close in      all 67 Florida counties this Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma.
  • State offices in Monroe, Charlotte, Miami-Dade, Glades,      Hendry, Okeechobee, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, and Lee Counties are      closed. Today, Manatee County and Palm Beach County offices will close early.
  • In partnership with the American Red Cross, salaried,      non-essential state employees can receive expedited volunteer      certifications for disaster services so that they may assist in or operate      shelters in response to Hurricane Irma impacts and preparation. Florida      law allows Governor Scott to grant full-time, salaried state employees up      to 15 days of administrative leave for emergency volunteer efforts through      the American Red Cross. Employees can register HERE.


  • The Florida Department of Education is in contact with      school districts, state colleges and universities as all continue to      monitor Irma and her path. School closures are available at
  • The Florida Department of Education is coordinating      with school districts across the state to ensure they are working with      local governments and emergency management officials to offer school      busses transportation support if needed.
  • 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.

K-12 Public Schools Closures

  • Alachua County (Monday)
  • Brevard County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Broward County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Charlotte County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Clay (Friday, Monday)
  • Collier County (Thursday, Friday)
  • DeSoto County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Dixie County (Friday, Monday)
  • Duval County (Friday, Monday)
  • Florida Atlantic University Lab School (Thursday,      Friday)
  • Flagler County (Friday, Monday)
  • Glades County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Hardee County (Friday)
  • Hendry County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Hernando County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Highlands County (Friday, Monday)
  • Hillsborough County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Indian River County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Lake County (Early Release Friday – high schools at      1:20PM, elementary at 2PM, middle at 3PM, Monday)
  • Lee County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Manatee County (Friday)
  • Marion County will be (Friday, Monday)
  • Martin County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Miami-Dade County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Monroe County (Closed until further notice)
  • Nassau County (Friday, Monday)
  • Okeechobee County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Osceola County (Friday, Monday)
  • Orange County (Monday)
  • Palm Beach County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Pasco County (Friday)
  • Polk County (Friday)
  • Sarasota (Friday)
  • School for the Deaf and Blind (Thursday, Friday)
  • Seminole County (Monday)
  • St. Johns (Friday, Monday)
  • St. Lucie County (Thursday, Friday)
  • Volusia County (Friday, Monday, Cancelled ACT test      administrations scheduled for Saturday, September 9, at area high      schools.)

Florida College System Closures

  • Broward College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • College of Central Florida (Thursday, Friday, Saturday,      Sunday, Monday)
  • Daytona State College (Thursday, Friday)
  • Eastern Florida State College (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida Keys Community College (Closed until further      notice)
  • Florida SouthWestern State College (Thursday, Friday)
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville (Friday, Saturday,      Sunday, Monday)
  • Hillsborough Community College (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday)
  • Indian River State College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday,      Sunday)
  • Miami Dade College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • New College of Florida (Thursday, Friday, Saturday,      Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
  • Palm Beach State College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday,      Sunday)
  • Pasco-Hernando State College (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • Polk State College (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • Seminole State College (Friday, Saturday, Sunday,      Monday)
  • State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (Thursday,      Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • St. Johns River State College (Friday until further      notice)
  • St. Petersburg College (Thursday, Friday, Saturday,      Sunday)
  • Valencia College (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)

State University System Closures

  • Florida Atlantic University (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida Gulf Coast University (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida International University (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday)
  • Florida Polytechnic University (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
  • University of Florida (Sunday, Monday)
  • University of Central Florida (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday, Monday)
  • University of North Florida (Friday, Saturday, Sunday,      Monday)
  • University of South Florida (Thursday, Friday,      Saturday, Sunday, Monday)



  • For more information, please click HERE

Governor Scott has taken the following action to expedite fuel delivery:

  • Governor Scott has directed state police to escort fuel      delivery trucks so they can quickly deliver fuel to gas stations along      evacuation routes. This includes the Florida Keys, where police      evacuation escorts have been offered to identified gas station employees      so gas stations can stay open as long as possible.
  • Governor Scott has rescinded all weight and driver      restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies can      be quickly brought to Florida.
  • Following a request from Governor Scott, the same      restrictions have been waived in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and      North Carolina.
  • Governor Scott has spoken with President Donald Trump,      Vice President Mike Pence, FEMA administrator Brock Long, Department of      Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator      Scott Pruitt, and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about      waiving rules and regulations to get gas into Florida quickly.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved      an emergency fuel waiver at the Governor’s request which will allow more      fuel to quickly enter the state.
  • All Florida ports are operational and are prioritizing      fuel shipments.

Fuel Updates

  • The state has worked with fuel suppliers to identify      excess fuel in the Western Panhandle to potentially arrange escorts to      ensure that there is fuel supply where needed for evacuations.
  • Emergency fuel contractors have secured 1.5 million      gallons of fuel for initial delivery and confirmed that additional fuel      supply is on standby for future deliveries.
  • The state is working to identify other fuel ships that      can be diverted to Florida ports for fuel supply.
  • There is currently a fuel ship in route from a refinery      in Mississippi to the Port of Tampa for resupply. The Governor has      directed the State Emergency Response Team to arrange a military escort      into the port. This is in addition to a ship currently in Tampa that is      unloading more than 300,000 barrels of fuel to resupply gas stations in      the evacuation zones.



  • 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
  • The state has 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.
  • The state is conducting daily Private Sector conference      calls to provide situational awareness and to address concerns of private      sector partners.
  • DEO is continuing to coordinate with CareerSource      Florida, local workforce boards, and other public-private partners.
  • Major retailers are being contacted to provide the      status of emergency supplies.



  • VISIT FLORIDA remains in contact with all destination      marketing partners and emergency contacts and has activated the Homepage Banner      and Florida Now page on to advise consumers.
  • Through VISIT FLORIDA’s partnership with Expedia,      has been activated to provide accommodations availability information for      visitors, residents and first responders.
  • VISIT FLORIDA is sending a targeted Facebook message to      approximately 250,000 domestic and international visitors currently in      Florida advising them of Hurricane Irma and urging them to take necessary      precautions.
  • VISIT FLORIDA’s Welcome Centers have transitioned to      emergency information centers to help direct evacuees with the most up to      date information.
  • VISIT FLORIDA’s Welcome Center staff are all Red Cross      Certified and stand ready to assist at shelters and other areas as needed.


  • Under a State of Emergency, individuals are able to      refill prescriptions early. All health insurers, managed care organizations,      and other entities that are licensed by the Office of Insurance Regulation      and provide prescription medication coverage as part of a policy are      required to waive time restrictions on prescription medication refills.
  • The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating      with hospitals and healthcare facilities across Florida on evacuation      needs. DOH has aided in the evacuation of seven hospitals and five      non-hospital health care facilities thus far.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)      has Disaster Medical Assistance Teams on standby for Florida. These rapid      response teams aid in the provision of medical care to those who need it      after the storm.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ regional      offices have contacted providers and waiver support coordinators to ensure      APD customers have a hurricane plan in place and that communities for      people with developmental disabilities are preparing for the storm. Two      group homes in Monroe County have evacuated. Others are evacuating on Thursday.      Many will be going to a special needs shelter at Florida International      University.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ Southern      Region is on standby to evacuate. One group home has been evacuated from      the Central Region. Two more are planning to evacuate this      morning. One group home from Broward County has evacuated.


ELECTRIC & NATURAL GAS UTILITIES (Public Service Commission)

  • Utility providers are working on staging and asset      allocation so they can return power as quickly as possible following the      storm and are prepared to start reporting outage and restoral information      when notified to begin.
  • The state is monitoring the power grid for sufficient      power and the natural gas infrastructure for any damages that can cause a      loss of service to power plants.
  • The state is coordinating with utilities to identify      potential fuel, equipment or resource needs.
  • Memos for several gas companies to have access to their      facilities have been issued.



  • The state has contacted telecommunications partners and      activated protective action plans and procedures for Central Offices,      tower sites, mobile response units and any other critical infrastructure.
  • Comcast has opened more than 137,000 free Xfinity      WiFi hotspots throughout the state for individuals in      need, including non-Xfinity customers, to help residents      and emergency personnel stay connected if Hurricane Irma makes      anticipated landfall in Florida. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots,      which are located both indoors and outdoors in places such as shopping      districts, parks and businesses, please visit
  • Telecommunications Partners are monitoring fuel levels      for generators and back-up power supply for cell towers.
  • The state has finalized 24-hour staffing schedules and      all Telecommunications remain on standby to respond if required.      Additional resources are being identified and preparing for potential      deployment.
  • At this point, there are no out of ordinary reports of      any major outages.
  • Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) has been      sharing vital information about Hurricane Irma through their broadcast      network, social media and station websites.
  • FPREN is also reporting important news and information      through the Florida Storms app and social media pages.
  • The state is monitoring the State Law Enforcement Radio      System (SLERS), which is fully operational.



  • The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff      is currently conducting baseline shoreline assessments to help evaluate      beach impacts. DEP is also assisting in identifying and fortifying      vulnerable areas of shoreline.
  • DEP is reaching out to drinking, wastewater and      hazardous waste facilities to help ensure preparation steps are being taken,      and has issued an emergency final order to ensure recovery efforts are not      hampered or delayed.
  • Sixteen Florida State Parks are currently closed.      DEP is preparing to close more than 20 additional parks by the end of the      day today. A full list of closures can be found at


  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District      has begun a pre-storm drawdown that includes water releases from Lake      Okeechobee. The Corps anticipates the releases will last a short time,      with future water management decisions dependent on the water level in the      lake after the storm passes.
  • 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 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.
  • Field station staff are also inspecting key parts of      the flood control system and ensuring adequate supplies of fuel and      equipment for pump stations.
  • The District is closely coordinating with local      drainage districts and governments to help them prepare their local canal      systems for stormwater runoff from the hurricane.



  • 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.
  • Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis 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.
  • Consumers with questions about their policies and those      who need help filing a claim should call the CFO’s free Insurance Consumer      Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
  • 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.


State Emergency Operations Center/ Contact Information:

  • The State Emergency Operations Center has been      activated to level one, which is a full-scale, 24-hours-a-day activation.
  • The Florida Emergency Information Line has been      activated and is available 24/7 for families and victors at      1-800-342-3557.
  • The media line is 850-921-0217.
  • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live      updates on Hurricane Irma.
  • Visit to find information on shelters, road closures, and      evacuation routes.
  • On Monday, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in all 67 counties      within the State of Florida.
  • On Tuesday, Governor Scott requested, and President      Donald Trump approved, a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the State      of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma which provided important      preparation resources and assistance from the federal government.
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017
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