Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for every Florida county on Monday due to the severity and magnitude of Hurricane Matthew that is projected to near or hit the Sunshine State in just a couple days.
“Hurricane Matthew is a life-threatening category four hurricane and we must all take it seriously," Governor Scott said. "If Hurricane Matthew directly impacts Florida, there could be massive destruction which we haven’t seen since Hurricane Andrew devastated Miami-Dade County in 1992. That is why we cannot delay and must prepare for direct impact now. Today, I signed an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in every Florida county to ensure we have resources for evacuations, sheltering and other logistical needs across our state. We are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best and we will not take any chances to ensure our state is prepared."
“Although Matthew is not currently projected to directly impact Florida, we all know how quickly the track of these storms can change," Scott continued. "While there are no evacuation orders currently in place, this storm could threaten our state with very little notice and no one should be caught off guard. If an evacuation order is activated in your area, leave immediately. Once severe weather comes, our first responders will not be able to rescue you until the weather subsides."
The State of Emergency activates Florida's Emergency Management Plans, authorizes cooperation with the Federal Government, activates the Florida National Guard, and authorizes the waiver of tolls on Florida roads as may be needed.
“Our National Guard stands ready to be deployed if needed. I am also in contact with the utilities across the state and will stay in communication with them regarding their plans if there are any power outages," added Scott. "We are taking steps to move additional fuel to the state’s east coast. On the Florida Turnpike, we also have extra fuel trucks on standby to get anywhere in our state. Again, while we are preparing for the worst, we are hoping for the best and will not take any chances with a storm of this magnitude.”
The Executive Order also provides for the suspension of Florida administrative actions, such as those in the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, in the event those offices are closed to inclement weather.
Pharmacists are also authorized to issue an additional 30 day refill of prescription maintenance medications.
Image credit: NOAA