A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach and the Florida Keys.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.
EVACUATIONS AND SHELTERS
Based on recent forecasts, the US Army Corps has been reviewing how the federally operated Herbert Hoover Dike will be impacted. Governor Scott spoke to Col. Jason Kirk with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today and the Corps. believes there will be additional impacts from excessive wind pushing some water over the Dike. While they have assured the Governor that the structural integrity of the Dike will not be compromised, Governor Scott has ordered voluntary evacuations beginning immediately in the cities surrounding the southern half of Lake Okeechobee from Lake Port to Canal Point in Hendry, Palm Beach and Glades counties. Mandatory evacuations will be put in place for these communities beginning tomorrow morning. Information regarding transportation and sheltering will be released tomorrow morning. This decision was made due to Governor Scott’s sole focus on life safety as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. The seven cities affected by these orders are as follows:
o South Bay
o Lake Harbor
o Moore Haven
o Belle Glade
o Canal Point
Brevard – mandatory evacuations for Zone A, Merritt Island, barrier islands, and some low-lying mainland areas along Indian River Lagoon beginning Friday
Broward – voluntary evacuations mobile homes and low-lying areas; mandatory East of Federal Highway including barrier islands beginning Thursday
Collier – mandatory evacuations for Goodland, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, all mobile homes beginning on Friday
Flagler – mandatory evacuations for nursing homes, all varieties of assisted living facilities, and community residential group homes within coastal and Intracoastal areas and voluntary for zones A, B, C, F beginning on Thursday; mandatory for Zones A,B,C,F, and substandard housing beginning on Saturday
Hendry – voluntary evacuations for low-lying areas, non-slab-built homes, mobile home and RVs beginning on Thursday
Lee – mandatory evacuations for barrier islands – Bonita Beach, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Island beginning on Friday AM
Manatee – voluntary evacuations for Zone A
Martin – voluntary evacuations for mandatory for barrier islands, manufactured homes, and low-lying areas beginning Saturday
Miami-Dade – mandatory evacuations for all of Zone A, all of Zone B, and portions of Zone C. Miami Dade residents can find their zones by clicking HERE.
Monroe – mandatory evacuations for visitors and residents. A dedicated transportation hotline is available specifically for individuals in the Keys at 305-517-2480
Palm Beach – mandatory evacuations for Zone A and B, voluntary for Zone C
Pinellas – mandatory evacuations all mobile home and Zone A
St. Lucie – voluntary evacuations
School buses are available for transportation needs in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. At this time, Monroe has accepted 10 buses to help with evacuations, Miami-Dade Counties are using these services to help evacuate those with special needs and Broward has buses on stand-by.
Additional evacuations are expected throughout the state. All Floridians should pay close attention to local alerts and follow the directions of local officials.
Shelters are continuing to open, including shelters for people with special needs, pets and general populations. DOH is coordinating the set up and staffing for special needs shelters. A list of all open shelters will be available at floridadisaster.org/shelters.
The state is working with the American Red Cross to identify shelter capacity both during and following the storm.
Governor Scott has activated a total of 4,000 members of the Florida Army and Air National Guard to support with planning, and logistics operations in preparation for potential impacts from Hurricane Irma. These members are stationing across the state and actively assisting with preparation efforts.
At the direction of Governor Scott, all remaining National Guard members will be reporting for duty tomorrow morning. Additional guard members will continue to be activated this week as needed.
The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the North Carolina National Guard to utilize air assets to assist with ongoing evacuations in the Florida Keys.
The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the New Jersey National Guard and approximately 130 soldiers and more than 50 vehicles are in route to provide transportation assets for movement of troops, supplies and equipment to aid mobilization efforts during Hurricane Irma operations.
The Florida National Guard has coordinated with the Ohio National Guard and Pennsylvania National Guard to have teams standing by for Hurricane Irma support.
The Florida National Guard has 1,000 high water vehicles, 13 helicopters, 17 boats and more than 700 generators on standby.
The Florida National Guard is coordinating with the National Guard Bureau to identify approximately 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks, 100 helicopters, and air evacuation crews that are standing by for Hurricane Irma support, if needed.
The Florida National Guard Joint Operations Center at Camp Blanding has activated to Level 1 to facilitate Hurricane Irma mission command and coordination efforts.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has more than 200 officers standing by for the first wave of response based on potential storm impacts. Thirty teams with supporting resources such as trucks, coastal and river patrol boats, an ATV and two shallow draft boats are preparing for evacuation support, search and rescue missions, or any additional needs.
FWC is also coordinating with partners in states such as Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas in case additional officers or resources are needed.
FDLE is assisting with fuel escorts in impacted areas. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) established 18 emergency response teams for deployment to impacted areas and those teams will begin deploying tomorrow to pre-staging locations. Each FDLE region is operating its Regional Law Enforcement Coordination Team in advance of the storm to assist local law enforcement with any needs.
The entire Florida Highway Patrol, approximately 1,700 troopers, is on 12-hour shifts, with the primary mission to assist emergency preparedness and response, including escorting fuel trucks.
A total of 330 FHP troopers are currently on standby for deployments. A 33-member team is currently in route to the Fort Myers area for quick response efforts once storm track and potential impacts are determined. Additionally, equipment such as high water recovery vehicles have been prepared for quick deployment to assist with recovery and road clearance efforts.
The Division of Motorist Services has its Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles on standby and will deploy them to impacted areas as needed.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Tolls will be suspended for the duration of the storm’s impacts to Florida.
Real-time traffic information and evacuation routes is available at http://www.FL511.com
FDOT has increased the number of road rangers who are patrolling Florida’s roadways 24/7 to assist motorists.
Around the state, FDOT has 13 Traffic Management Centers where hundreds of DOT workers are monitoring traffic cameras 24/7 to ensure traffic flows continue and evacuations proceed without interruption.
FDOT officials are also monitoring road cameras at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee around the clock to help keep traffic moving.
FDOT is coordinating with Google’s emergency response team to prepare to ‘close’ roads in Google Maps in real time in the event that Hurricane Irma forces the closure of any roads in the aftermath of the storm. Google Maps are used for Uber and Waze among other directional applications.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has suspended construction contractor work and prepared key evacuation routes for possible shoulder use.
· FDOT is coordinating with county emergency operations centers directly to coordinate any necessary response actions, including activating traffic counters, providing local evacuation support and providing maintenance of traffic and other assistance.
· The state is monitoring conditions at all airports and seaports. Key West International Airport will be suspending operations this evening. All seaports are open and making preparations.
Volunteer Florida is coordinating with volunteer organizations across the state and has partnered with the American Red Cross to provide shelter operations training to volunteers and AmeriCorps grantees. To volunteer, go to volunteerflorida.org or call 1-800-FL-Help-1.
Governor Scott has set a goal of 17,000 volunteers. So far, more than 1,500 state employees and more than 8,300 members of the public have signed up with Red Cross to take the volunteer sheltering training.
Volunteer Florida is working with the Red Cross to identify staffing for host shelters in Sarasota, Alachua and Leon Counties.
Volunteer Florida has 43 Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) on standby to deploy to areas of need. Many of these teams have begun to work in local call centers and prepare for sheltering assistance.
American Red Cross teams are coordinating feeding at shelters and have staged 26 tractor trailers at the State Logistics Response Center, 150 trailers at the State Farmers Market, and 100 emergency response vehicles in North Florida.
The Salvation Army has the capability to provide 100,000 meals a day. Salvation Army is on standby with 32 cooking units and two field kitchens stationed in Palm Beach and Miami. They are also coordinating additional supplies awaiting deployment from neighboring states.
The Florida Baptist Convention has eight kitchens ready and the ability to feed 90,000 people immediately. Twenty-seven more kitchens are on standby ready to feed 35,000 meals a day.
Feeding Florida has received nine truckloads of food from Kellogg’s to assist in shelters with 16 additional trucks coming in. Feeding Florida currently has more than 4,000 food boxes on hand capable of sustaining a family of four for five days. Feeding Florida has 3,000 shelf stable meal boxes ready to distribute to staging areas in Miami and Orlando. Volunteers are compiling 20,000 food bags, which hold 20 pounds of food and can be distributed as needed. Feeding Florida also has baby food/formula kits available for distribution.
Church World Service has hygiene kits and cleanup buckets on standby.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida has showers and trailers available in Pensacola and Lakeland for deployment, as well as supplies such as chainsaws, shovels, safety equipment and 1,200 tarps.
Church of Latter Day Saints has chainsaws, tarps, and water on standby.
United Methodist Church has hygiene kits and flood buckets on standby.
Angel Flight SE has 700 pilots based in the southeastern U.S. available to assist.
Church of Scientology is activating volunteers for FL and receiving volunteers and donations in Clearwater.
Church of Latter Day Saints is transporting material (primarily tarps, chainsaws, food and water) to Orlando, more on order from Atlanta Bishop’s Storehouse
Mission North American Disaster Relief is staging equipment in various locations across the state and have two shower trailers available.
UMCOR has 2,500-3000 flood buckets on hand and 3,000 hygiene kits.
United Way is arranging enhanced staffing for 211 to support and direct residents.
While the state is working with retail partners to fill grocery store shelves with water and other emergency resources as quickly as possible, it is important to be considerate of neighbors and take only what each family needs to be prepared.
Governor Scott has requested federal resources such as disaster tarps, water, baby food supplies, supply trucks, search and rescue personnel and equipment and incident management teams.
The state has established local points of contact with mass care organizations and volunteer agencies, including working with the American Red Cross to coordinate sheltering and feeding operations. The American Red Cross has also established a Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) in Orlando and is actively opening shelters.
The state is staging mass care supplies such as meals, shelter support trailers and water at the State Logistic Response Center in Orlando for deployments as needed.
The state is sending 120,000 dehydrated meals to The Salvation Army and The Florida Baptist for distribution as needed.
Food Safety Response Teams are beginning to be placed on standby for recovery assessments.
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has released September Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to current recipients who have not yet received them to assist with Hurricane Irma preparations