JACkSONVILLE, Fla. – Although Hurricane Irma is about 2,500 miles from Florida’s shores, people along the Florida coast are being encouraged to review their preparedness plans, know their evacuation zones, review their insurance policies and update their disaster kit.
News4Jax surveyed the Emergency Operations Centers, and the directors all said Irma is too far out to begin any physical preparations, but they said they’re ready to make moves when the time is right.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said his county’s EOC is monitoring any storms that could threaten and is making sure the county is prepared. He said county agencies will hold meetings next week on Irma’s progression and decisions on preparations will go from there.
In Jacksonville, Mayor Lenny Curry said preparations are already underway ahead of Irma and that the county’s EOC is working closely with the state to coordinate and improve evacuation routes.
Curry emphasized he wouldn’t hesitate to order evacuations if Irma is expected to make landfall in the area.
In St. Johns County, where some are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew, people are more aware of what’s happening in the tropics. The emergency management coordinator said the department is keeping a close eye on Irma. The county held a hurricane exercise in June and improved communication for a faster response. Flagler County Emergency Management technician told News4Jax that the county is reviewing plans it can quickly put into action and briefing staff. They’ve also fixed a technical problem discovered with the Palm Coast call center during Hurricane Matthew.