TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s governor and emergency management leaders say the Federal Emergency Management Agency is already assisting the state in preparing for Ian’s impact.
“We have declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties given the uncertainty of the path of the storm,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, in a news conference on Sunday.
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DeSantis was joined by a regional FEMA leader and by Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
“We could see a situation where we have Category 4 storm surge and potentially a Category 1 or 2 hurricane at landfall,” Guthrie said.
To prepare, Gurthrie said his office is now holding twice-a-day calls for all 67 county emergency management officials and state agencies.
As of Sunday afternoon, he said FDEM had already received 122 requests from county officials for resources, such as food, water, generators, pumps and emergency personnel.
“We are loading, and by the end of the day, we will have loaded 360 trailers with more than two million meals and more than one million gallons of water to be ready to be sent it to impacted areas,” he said.
He also said FEMA has urban search and rescue teams on standby. The agency has also moved medical transport units to the Orlando area.
DeSantis said the state has waived the weight restrictions for commercial trucks in an effort to get as many supplies as possible into the state ahead of the storm, but he warned power outages could hit large areas.
“Florida Department of Emergency Management is working with all of the fuel and the utility partners throughout the state of Florida,” he said. “Once this storm hits, there’s going to be a need and a strong effort to get the power back on for as many people as quickly as possible.”
The governor also warned that just because some storm prediction models are pushing the forecasted path to the west, much of the state could still be impacted.
“Even if you’re not necessarily right in the eye of the path of the storm, there’s going to be pretty broad impacts throughout the state,” he said. “You’re going to have wind, you’re going to have water, and there could be flooding on the east coast of Florida as a result of this. It’s a big storm.”
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