Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Hurricane Irma Preparedness

9/8/2017

Gov. Scott Issues Updates on Hurricane Irma Preparedness

TAMPA, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott received a full update on Hurricane Irma from the State Emergency Operations Center and a briefing on Lake Okeechobee impacts by the South Florida Water Management District. The Governor is continuing to travel 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. 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.

EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

WATCHES AND WARNING

  • A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Sebastian Inlet      southward around the Florida peninsula to Venice and the Florida Keys.
  • A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for North of Sebastian      Inlet to Ponce Inlet.
  • A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jupiter Inlet      southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, the Florida Keys,      Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay.
  • A Hurricane Watch is in effect for North of Jupiter      Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia County Line, and North of Bonita Beach to      Anclote River.

EVACUATIONS AND SHELTERS

  • Based on recent forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps has been      reviewing how the federally operated Herbert Hoover Dike will be impacted.      Governor Scott spoke to Col. Jason Kirk with the U.S. Army Corps of      Engineers and the Corps. believes there will be additional impacts from      excessive wind pushing some water over the Dike. While they have      assured the Governor that the structural integrity of the Dike will not be      compromised, Governor Scott has ordered voluntary evacuations beginning      immediately in the cities surrounding the southern half of Lake Okeechobee      from Lake Port to Canal Point in Hendry, Palm Beach and Glades counties.      Mandatory evacuations are in place for these communities beginning this      morning.This decision was made due to Governor Scott’s sole focus on life      safety as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. The seven cities affected by      these orders are as follows:
  • South Bay
  • Lake Harbor
  • Pahokee
  • Moore Haven
  • Clewiston
  • Belle Glade
  • Canal Point
  • Brevard – mandatory evacuations for Zone A, Merritt      Island, barrier islands, and some low-lying mainland areas along Indian      River Lagoon beginning Friday
  • Broward – mandatory East of Federal Highway including      barrier islands beginning Thursday
  • Charlotte – Voluntary evacuations
  • Collier – mandatory evacuations for Goodland, Everglades      City, Chokoloskee, all mobile homes beginning on Friday
  • Flagler – mandatory evacuations for nursing homes, all      varieties of assisted living facilities, and community residential group      homes within coastal and Intracoastal areas and voluntary for zones A, B,      C, F; mandatory for Zones A,B,C,F, and substandard housing beginning on      Saturday
  • Glades – mandatory evacuations around Lake Okeechobee
  • Hardee – voluntary evacuations for low-lying areas,      mobile homes, and port structures
  • Hendry – mandatory evacuations for low-lying areas,      non-slab-built homes, mobile home and RVs, areas near Lake Okeechobee
  • Indian River – voluntary evacuations for barrier      islands, low-lying areas
  • Lee – mandatory evacuations for barrier islands –      Bonita Beach, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Island      beginning on Friday AM
  • Manatee – voluntary evacuations for Zone A
  • Martin – mandatory evacuations for barrier islands,      manufactured homes, and low-lying areas beginning Saturday
  • Miami-Dade – mandatory evacuations for all of Zone A,      all of Zone B, and portions of Zone C. Miami Dade residents can find their      zones by clicking HERE.
  • Monroe – mandatory evacuations for visitors and      residents. A dedicated transportation hotline is available specifically      for individuals in the Keys at 305-517-2480
  • Palm Beach – mandatory evacuations for Zone A and B,      voluntary for Zone C and Lake Zone E
  • Pinellas – mandatory evacuations all mobile home and      Zone A
  • Sarasota – voluntary evacuations in Zone A, mobile      homes
  • St. Lucie – mandatory evacuations for north and south      Hutchinson Island, low-lying areas
  • 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 continuing to open across the state,      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 floridadisaster.org/shelters.
  • The state is working with the American Red Cross to      identify shelter capacity both during and following the storm.

STATE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER/ CONTACT INFORMATION

  • The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated      at a 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.
  • Floridians can text FLPREPARES to 888777 in order to      receive text alerts from FDEM.
  • The media line is 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.
  • On Monday, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in all 67 counties      within the State of Florida.

MILITARY SUPPORT

  • Governor Scott has activated the entire force of the      Florida Army and Air National Guard – 7,000 guard members – 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.
  • The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the      Illinois National Guard to use aircraft to help move Meals Ready to Eat      (MREs) from Cecil Field to Avon Park.
  • The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the New      Jersey National Guard and approximately 130 soldiers and more than 50      vehicles will provide transportation assets for movement of troops,      supplies and equipment to aid mobilization efforts during Hurricane Irma      operations.
  • The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the      Ohio National Guard and Pennsylvania National Guard to have teams standing      by for Hurricane Irma support.
  • 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 National Guard Joint Operations Center at      Camp Blanding has activated to Level 1 to facilitate Hurricane Irma      mission command and coordination efforts.

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • 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, ATVs and shallow      draft boats are preparing for evacuation support, search and rescue      missions, or any additional needs.
  • FWC has over 500 law enforcement vessels standing      ready.
  • FWC has reached out to partners in nine other states to      make plans in case additional resources are needed in response to      Hurricane Irma. Texas Parks and Wildlife will join the response today with      60 officers and 20 boats. Other states that have already volunteered to      help include Georgia, Mississippi, Delaware, South Carolina, Missouri,      Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
  • FDLE established 18 emergency response teams for      deployment to impacted areas and those teams are starting to deploy to      prestaging locations.  FDLE regions in impacted areas are operating      Regional Law Enforcement Coordination Teams in advance of the storm to      assist local law enforcement with any needs. FDLE agents continue to      provide fuel escorts in impacted areas. Seven logistics teams have      been established to assist with planning before and after the      storm. FDLE regions are helping staff local emergency operations      centers.
  • The entire Florida Highway Patrol, approximately 1,700      troopers, is on 12-hour shifts, with the primary mission to assist      emergency preparedness and response.
  • FHP continues to conduct emergency missions, including      numerous fuel truck escorts to various locations including Ft. Pierce,      Wellington, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville. FHP is also escorting a DOH      disaster response communications trailer and coordinating multiple      requests from local sheriffs for assistance with evacuation efforts that      are beyond their resources.
  • In addition to these missions, all 10 FHP troops across      Florida have a 33-person Quick Response Force (QRF) team, for a total of      330 troopers, on standby for response where needed. FHP is pre-deploying      one team to the Ft. Myers area for quick response after landfall with      follow up teams available once the storm track/landfall is determined.
  • Additionally, all special equipment such as command      posts and high water recovery vehicles have been prepared for quick      deployment after landfall 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.
  • Though state offices will be closed, DHSMV’s Field      Support Help Desk, Customer Service Call Center and Technical Assistance      Center will be operational with limited staffing on Friday, September 8 to      assist customers or tax collectors who need assistance as they prepare for      the hurricane.

 

TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS

  • Governor Scott has directed the Florida Department of      Transportation (FDOT) to work with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to      implement a limited Emergency Shoulder Use (ESU) plan for Hurricane Irma      evacuations on I-75 at Wildwood to north of U.S. 90 in Columbia County.      Motorists should only use the left shoulder when directed by law      enforcement. This approach will increase traffic capacity during Hurricane      Irma evacuations using existing paved shoulders.
  • 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 www.FL511.com
  • FDOT has increased the number of road rangers who are      patrolling Florida’s roadways 24/7 to assist motorists.
  • Around the state, FDOT has 13 Traffic Management      Centers where hundreds of DOT workers are monitoring traffic cameras 24/7      to ensure traffic flows continue and evacuations proceed without      interruption.
  • FDOT officials are also monitoring road cameras at the      State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee around the clock to help      keep traffic moving.
  • 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      applications.
  • 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. Operations are suspended at the Key West International Airport.      All seaports are currently open but closures could be announced as soon as      today.

 

VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS 

  • Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund      to support individuals who are impacted by Hurricane Irma. The Florida      Disaster Fund helps provide financial support to Florida’s communities in      times of disaster. To make a contribution, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org      or text DISASTER to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10.
  • 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 volunteerflorida.org or call      1-800-FL-Help-1.
  • More than 17,000 Floridians have signed up to      volunteer, exceeding Governor Scott’s volunteer goal. Floridians are still      encouraged to sign up.
  • Volunteer Florida is working with the Red Cross to      identify staffing for host shelters in Sarasota, Alachua, Leon Counties.
  • The Salvation Army now has the capability to provide      100,000 meals a day. 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.
  • Eight of the Florida Baptist Convention kitchens have      arrived. They have the ability to feed 90,000 people immediately and have      requested food from USDA.
  • Feeding Florida has 3,000 shelf stable meal boxes ready      to distribute to staging areas in Miami and Orlando. Feeding Tampa Bay is      putting together 1,000 reusable bags each with 20 pounds of food which      will create approximately 17,000 meals. Feeding Florida also has baby      food/formula kits available to distribute. Shipments from Kellogg’s have      begun arriving.
  • AmeriCorps members from Volunteer Florida grantee Heart      of Florida United Way is staffing the 211 Crisis Hotline in Central      Florida
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

HUMAN SERVICES

  • 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.
  • The state is sending 120,000 dehydrated meals to The      Salvation Army and The Florida Baptist for distribution 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.

VETERAN SERVICES

  • The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA)      operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility.      All state veterans’ homes are currently operational.
  • For information on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs      (VA) closures, please click HERE.
  • Veterans from storm-impacted areas who require      immediate assistance may contact: VA Health Resource Center Disaster      Hotline: 1-800-507-4571.

STATE OFFICE CLOSURES

  • Governor Rick Scott has directed all state offices in      all 67 Florida counties to close Friday, September 8 – Monday, September      11.
  • 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.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS

  • Governor Rick Scott has directed all public K-12      schools, state colleges, state universities to close Friday, September 8 –      Monday, September 11.
  • 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 www.fldoe.org/irma.
  • 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 as 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.

 

FUELS

  • 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, North      Carolina, and Virginia.
  • 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.

Fuel Updates

  • Yesterday, 8.4 million gallons of fuel was shipped into      Port Everglades and more than 5 million gallons of fuel was shipped into      Port Tampa Bay.
  • The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer      Services issued an order allowing for the sale of premium motor fuel at a      lower cost.
  • All Florida ports are operational and are prioritizing      fuel shipments. However, once Port Everglades closes for safety tonight,      gas will no longer be being resupplied into much of Southern Florida until      after the storm.
  • Gas stations in the Florida Keys are closed and      employees were evacuated. Monroe County has been supplied 10 school buses      to help people evacuate safely. A dedicated transportation hotline is      available specifically for individuals in the Keys at 305-517-2480.
  • Vice President Pence announced yesterday that the      federal government has waived additional rules and regulations to allow      more fuel to get to Florida fast.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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

  • VISIT FLORIDA remains in contact with all destination      marketing partners and emergency contacts and has activated the Homepage Banner      and Florida Now page on visitflorida.com to advise consumers.
  • Through VISIT FLORIDA’s partnership with Expedia, Expedia.com/Florida      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.
  • Airbnb today activated its Disaster Response Program to      connect Floridians forced to evacuate from their homes due to Hurricane      Irma and relief workers arriving to provide assistance with temporary      housing through local Airbnb hosts free of charge.
  • Airbnb hosts in the following Florida communities are      eligible to take part in the program and list their homes for free to      evacuees and emergency relief workers: Bay County, Escambia County, Leon      County, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County, Holmes County,      Washington County, Calhoun County, Franklin County, Jackson County,      Liberty County, Gadsden County, Gulf County, Wakulla County, Madison      County, Jefferson County, Taylor County. These free listings are available      until September 28.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL

  • 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 coordinated the evacuation of 17 hospitals and 196 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 is working      with providers and partners to determine where available temporary housing      that might be available for clients displaced by the storm
  • Two large providers in Central Florida have offered APD      the use of their vacant group homes if people with developmental      disabilities are displaced by the hurricane.
  • Regional Offices are contacting a few final customers      in independent/supported living today. All waiver support coordinators and      providers were contacted earlier to ensure everyone has an emergency plan      for Hurricane Irma.

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.
  • Duke Energy Florida is mobilizing approximately 7,000      lineworkers, tree professionals, damage assessment and support personnel      to safe locations prepared to respond to outages once Hurricane Irma      reaches Florida.
  • Florida Power and Light has activated its emergency      response plan and has thousands of workers preparing to respond to Irma.      FPL is also working with out-of-state utilities and electrical contracting      companies to secure additional resources and has opened more than 20      staging sites throughout the state, where restoration crews, trucks and      equipment are stationed.
  • 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.
  • Approximately 24,000 restoration personnel have been      activated to help restore power as quickly as possible following the storm’s      impact.
  • The state is coordinating with utilities to identify      potential fuel, equipment, lodging or resource needs.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • Free Xfinity WiFi hotspots are      available 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 Xfinity.com/wifi.
  • The state continues coordination      with telecommunications partners to pre-stage resources and      refuel generators 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 for cell towers, mobile switching      centers and central offices.
  • The state is working with city, county and state      entities to re-route phone lines, install emergency phone lines and      coordinate back-up communications equipment and methods.
  • 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 Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services      suspended restrictions to allow out-of-state gas dealers to assist with      fueling generators that support the constant operation of cell phone      towers in the event of loss of electricity.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) staff      has completed 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.
  • 53 Florida State Parks are currently closed. DEP is      preparing to close more than 79 additional parks by the end of the day. A      full list of closures can be found at https://floridastateparks.org/content/storm-information.

 

LAKE OKEECHOBEE

  • 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 13.68 feet.
  • The South Florida Water Management District continues      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 continue inspecting key parts of      the flood control system and ensuring adequate supplies of fuel and      equipment for pump stations.
  • Pump stations will be staffed and operating around the      clock during and after the storm.
  • 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.

 

INSURANCE

  • 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.
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017
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