Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of hurricane

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisDeath and destruction: A timeline of Hurricane Dorian How to take politics beyond charges of racism South Carolina gov declares state of emergency after Dorian shifts course MORE (R) declared a state of emergency Wednesday as Hurricane Dorian inches toward the Sunshine State.

“It’s important for Floridians on the East Coast to monitor this storm closely. Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely with emergency management officials. The state stands ready to support all counties along the coast as they prepare.” 

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“Because of the uncertainty in the track of this storm, every resident along the East Coast needs to be ready,” added Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz. “As updates come out, it’s important that Floridians continue to pay attention to media and local officials as the track of this storm has been changing and can continue to change rapidly.” 

The executive order DeSantis signed to declare the state of emergency allows the State Emergency Operations Center to activate to a Level 2 on Thursday morning, which the governor says will help boost coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies. 

“By having an Executive Order in place and by activating the State Emergency Operations Center to a Level 2, we are fully prepared to support any community that might be impacted,” said Moskowitz.

The storm, which is expected to hit Florida later this week, was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday as it passed over the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is expected to bring heavy rain and sustained winds up to 60 mph to the Virgin Islands as well as Puerto Rico and could trigger fatal flash flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.