Gov. Rick Scott has asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal pre-landfall emergency for Florida to help the state get ready for the possibility that Hurricane Irma could hit the state. Scott also announced he is activating the Florida National Guard.
“I am requesting the president declare a pre-landfall emergency for the State of Florida to help preposition necessary resources and support emergency protective measures across the state,” Scott said in a written statement. “Our state emergency management officials are working with our federal and local partners to prepare for any potential impacts from this dangerous storm, and it is crucial that we have access to every available resource to protect our families and communities.”
A pre-landfall declaration would give Florida access to resources and assistance from the federal government to help the state prepare for a possible landfall from Hurricane Irma, a strong Category 5 storm.
A declaration would allow Florida to access federal funds for protective measures such as reinforcing beach dunes, building emergency berms and to prepare for possible evacuations.
In his letter to President Trump, Scott said, “I submit this request in anticipation of the impacts of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane that could result in a major disaster for significant portions of the state of Florida.”
“While we do not yet know the exact path of Irma, major impacts to Florida are potentially possible and we cannot wait to take aggressive preparedness actions,” Scott said in his written statement. “I continue to urge all Floridians to remain vigilant, stay tuned into local weather alerts and have a disaster plan in place today.”
Scott on Tuesday also activated 100 members of the Florida National Guard to begin preparing for the possibility that Irma could hit the state. The governor has also ordered another 7,000 guard members to report to duty Friday morning.
“With Hurricane Irma now a category 5 storm, we must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event,” Scott said in announcing the activation of the guard. “We do not know the exact path of this storm, but weather can change in an instant and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst.”