Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Irma, now a Category 4 storm, churns in the Atlantic Ocean.
Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a statement on Monday warning residents of Florida to be prepared:
“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared. I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma’s path – potentially impacting millions of Floridians. Today, given these forecasts and the intensity of this storm, I have declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities as we get prepared for this storm.
In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared. This state of emergency allows our emergency management officials to act swiftly in the best interest of Floridians without the burden of bureaucracy or red tape.
In Florida, we know that the best way to protect our families in severe weather is to have a plan. I urge all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news and visit FLGetAPlan.com today as we all prepare for Hurricane Irma. We will keep monitoring and issuing updates on Hurricane Irma as it approaches Florida.”
Scott is urging residents to be prepared even though it’s still unclear where Hurricane Irma will make landfall in the United States.
The hurricane is now at Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 175 miles per hour.
The last major hurricane to hit Florida was Hurricane Charley in 2004. That storm made landfall in the southwest part of the state as a Category 4 hurricane. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, devastated the Sunshine State in 1992.
Scott said he spoke with President Donald Trump about the hurricane on Monday. He said Trump offered “the full resources of the federal government” and is prepared to respond, even though many resources are currently being spent in Texas, where residents are cleaning up in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the day Governor Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency in Florida. The governor declared a Stare of Emergency on Monday, not Sunday.