TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On Oct. 7, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued and executive order declaring a state of emergency in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy and Citrus counties, as the state continues to monitor and prepare for Hurricane Michael.
This state of emergency ensures that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm, officials note. Scott is also urging all utilities and local partners to ensure mutual aid agreements are in place and review the number of generators they have to ensure they have all the resources needed.
Scott has also directed the Florida National Guard to activate 500 guardsmen to assist with planning and logistics, and to prepare for response in impacted areas.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has announced the temporary suspension of intrastate movement requirements for the transportation of animals from the areas expected to be impacted by Hurricane Michael.
Additionally, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi have waived their interstate import requirements for Florida pets and livestock.
“By suspending the movement requirements for the transportation of animals, we can ensure that Floridians and visitors can quickly and safely move their pets and livestock out of harm’s way,” Putnam said.
During an emergency, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides necessary food and water to affected areas and helps protect animals and pets. The department’s Florida Forest Service is responsible for incident management and assists emergency responders in clearing debris and distributing supplies. Additionally, the department’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement provides law enforcement services to police departments and county sheriff’s offices as necessary.
More information about hurricane preparedness can be obtained at www.FloridaDisaster.org/info.