Governor Rick Scott today received a full briefing on Hurricane Florence from the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Governor Scott has also spoken to the governors of Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia to offer support as they prepare for impacts from Hurricane Florence. Florida emergency managers are in constant communication with these states as the storm approaches. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott: Florida Deploys Strike Teams, State Resources in Preparation of Florence
Florida Division of Emergency Management
Following a briefing today by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), Governor Rick Scott urged Florida residents, visitors and businesses in North Florida to prepare for extreme cold weather conditions, including potential snow, sleet or ice accumulations, as a severe weather system moves into the area tonight. The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Watches and Winter Weather Advisories for Baker, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Nassau, Suwannee, Taylor and Union Counties. Additional counties in the Florida Panhandle may also be included in these advisories later today.
Governor Scott said, “In Florida, you should always be prepared for potential severe weather, regardless of the time of year. As this weather system moves through state, families and visitors across North Florida should prepare for potential hard freezes and below-freezing travel conditions. Floridians should closely monitor local media outlets for updates and important information. The state is working closely with local partners in North Florida to keep Floridians safe, and will continue to closely monitor weather conditions.”
Governor Scott directed the following state actions in preparation for the severe weather:
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
- FDOT crews will conduct winter weather operations by spraying state roads and bridges later tonight and into the early hours of Wednesday ahead of freezing temperatures.
- Spraying will consist of a saline solution that is designed to lower the freezing temperature of the precipitation falling on the bridge surfaces.
- Motorists may notice an increased number of FDOT vehicles on state routes as FDOT maintenance and operations staff monitor winter weather conditions on bridges and roadways.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)
- FHP troops A (Pensacola), B (Gainesville), G (Jacksonville) and H (Tallahassee) will be on 12-hour shifts monitoring any impacted roadways in coordination with FDOT.
- FHP Quick Reaction Force teams from other areas in the state also remain on standby if additional highway safety needs arise in winter storm-impacted areas.
- Motorists should dial *FHP (347) from their mobile phone if they are on the road and need assistance.
Florida Department of Health (DOH)
- State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip held a call to discuss preparations with county health officers in impacted areas.
- This cold snap could trigger increased risk of Carbon Monoxide poisonings and home fires due to incorrect usage of generators and heaters. Watch this #FLHealthMinute video to learn about Generator Safety.
- DOH staff is prepared and on standby to staff special needs shelters if needed.
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)
- The Agency for Health Care Administration will host a call today with administrators, owners and CEOs of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and related associations in affected areas of the state to ensure health care facilities are preparing for inclement weather and monitoring conditions.
Florida Department of Education (DOE)
- DOE is monitoring any potential school closures across Florida.
Florida Department of Management Services (DMS)
- DMS is monitoring and will advise regarding any potential government building closures.
If severe weather threatens your area, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
- Ensure your NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio is on and programmed for your area or stay tuned to a trusted local media outlet for the most current weather situation.
- Ensure your disaster supply kit is prepared and heed all instructions from local officials.
- Pay attention to warnings issued & remember the 5P’s of cold weather safety – protect people, pets, plants, pipes and practice fire safety.
- The following counties have or are planning to open cold weather shelters in anticipation of this event:
- Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Leon, Columbia, Gadsden, Liberty, Wakulla, Suwannee, Clay, Duval Hillsborough, Citrus, Pasco, Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Osceola, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia.
*Individuals should contact their local emergency management office for the best information regarding shelter availability.
For more information and tips from the Florida Division of Emergency Management, visit FloridaDisaster.org or follow @FLSERT on Twitter.
Resolution also commends Florida Division of
Emergency Management for ongoing efforts
The Florida League of Cities Board of Directors today announced a resolution thanking Gov. Rick Scott, his executive team, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management for their tireless efforts and dedication leading Florida through preparations, response, and recovery associated with Hurricane Irma.
The resolution recognizes Gov. Scott for his steady guidance throughout Irma, including constant updates to Florida residents and consistent communication with municipal leaders in order to keep their communities safe.
Governor Rick Scott said, “I appreciate the Florida League of Cities for this resolution. Our first responders, volunteers and emergency management professionals are the ones who deserve all of the credit for the preparations, response and ongoing recovery from Hurricane Irma.”
The League of Cities also commended the governor for the plans and actions he executed to assist Florida residents with evacuation and preparedness efforts throughout Irma. For example, Gov. Scott worked with the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls across the state to make it easier for residents to evacuate and emergency responders to get to locations where they were needed.
The Florida League of Cities acknowledged how accessible both the governor and the Division of Emergency Management were for expediting discussions, solutions, and advice to help local government officials meet the needs for their cities. The League specifically praised recently departed DEM Director Bryan Koon, who left that position after Irma had passed, for his efforts.
Governor Rick Scott today will again be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) on potential storm impacts. Governor Scott and the State of Florida are continuing to actively monitor a tropical depression in the southwest Caribbean, and are urging everyone in Florida to remain vigilant. The state receives regular weather updates from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). At this time, the depression is forecast to move north – northwest into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend and has the potential to be a hurricane impacting the Florida Panhandle in the coming days.
Governor Scott said, “As we closely monitor this storm, it is so important for Florida families to remain vigilant, restock hurricane supply kits and ensure hurricane preparedness plans are in place. Based on current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, we expect the storm to strengthen into Tropical Storm Nate today and move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. This storm has the potential to become a hurricane and impact the Florida Panhandle this weekend, and families must be ready. Let’s remember, we are still in the heart of hurricane season and while it’s hard to imagine experiencing another storm right now, everyone has to be prepared. We will continue to work with the National Hurricane Center to learn more as this storm develops and I encourage all Floridians to visit www.FLGetAPlan.org today to get prepared.”
Governor Rick Scott today directed every county impacted by Hurricane Irma to submit a detailed debris clean-up plan to the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) by noon on Tuesday, September 19th. Following a major storm like Hurricane Irma, it is incumbent on each Florida county to immediately execute its debris clean-up plan so other restoration efforts, such as power restoration, are not hindered by the presence of debris. Plans submitted to DEM will be posted publicly on the Division’s website. All plans must include an estimated date of completion. Any county that plans to request reimbursement for debris removal following Hurricane Irma must submit a plan.
Governor Scott said, “Today, I am directing every Florida county impacted by Hurricane Irma to submit a detailed debris clean-up plan no later than noon tomorrow, September 19th. Let me be clear – debris removal is a function handled and directed at the local level and following a storm like Irma, it is my expectation that every county immediately and aggressively begins work to clear debris in its communities. That is what Florida families and businesses expect.
“Every county should already have a debris clean-up plan in place as part of its emergency response plan and it should already be executed. Any county experiencing issues with the vendors involved in debris clean-up should immediately execute an emergency procurement to get a different vendor. Today, more than 370,000 homes and businesses in Florida are still without power and while utility companies are working non-stop to turn the lights on, the presence of debris can hinder work and delay restoration which is unacceptable. Within seven hours of the storm leaving the state, the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) had cleared all major interstates and turnpikes. DOT has been working around the clock to clear all state and many local roads and assist in recovery efforts. As we all work to recover from Irma, the state stands ready to assist communities in any way possible.”
Governor Rick Scott this morning spoke with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to get an update on potential storm impacts. Governor Scott and the State of Florida are continuing to actively monitor a tropical depression off the western coast of Florida, and is urging everyone in Florida to remain vigilant. The state receives regular weather updates from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and as of 6:00 a.m. today, the NHC advised that the storm, designated Tropical Depression Six, had formed 65 miles South – Southwest of Tampa. There is currently a Tropical Storm Watch in effect from Anclote River in Pasco County southward to Englewood in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties and the depression is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches through Monday night along the west coast of Central Florida between the Tampa Bay area and Naples. At this time, the depression is forecast to move quickly across the Florida peninsula on Monday and then exit the state offshore of the east-central Florida coast around midnight. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours and the system is not forecast to become a Tropical Storm. A flood watch has been issued for Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Lee, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota and Pinellas counties.
Governor Scott said, “As we know in Florida, storms can quickly develop, bringing severe weather to our state in a moment’s notice. Last night, this storm posed no threat to Florida. Now, after rapidly intensifying overnight, a tropical depression will impact the Tampa area and Floridians must prepare for impacts to Southwest Florida. Just as with last year’s storms, I encourage Floridians to get prepared and visit FLGetAPlan.com.
“We are working closely with the National Hurricane Center and continuing to monitor the storm’s development and its potential impacts to Florida. We know that heavy rainfall is expected across Central Florida for the next few days. Our focus is on keeping Florida families safe and we will continue to release updates on this storm as it develops.”
FDEM Director Bryan Koon, said, “With Tropical Depression Six off the coast, all Floridians must be prepared. We are continuing to monitor this storm and its potential impacts, and I encourage everyone to visit FLGetAPlan.com to find storm resources and information.”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management is the state agency charged with preparing for all types of disasters in Florida. The Division is the state’s disaster liaison with federal and local agencies, and is the lead consequence management agency for the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). The Division maintains the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee and the State Warning Point, the 24-hour communications and command center for response coordination. Follow the Division on social media at facebook.com/FloridaSERT or on Twitter @FLSERT.