‘Just be prepared:’ DeSantis urges Floridians to brace for Hurricane Ian

Florida’s Emergency Operations Center
Florida’s Emergency Operations Center(WCTV)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 11:44 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 1:38 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Governor Ron DeSantis is urging Floridians to finish preparations and have a storm plan in place as Hurricane Ian bears down on Florida.

“This is a really really big hurricane at this point,” the governor said, “Floridians up and down the gulf coast should feel the impact.”

In a news conference at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, the governor outlined the latest steps the state is taking to be ready.

DeSantis asked residents to pay attention to possible evacuation orders in their communities and listen to leaders at the local level for the latest information as the storm moves in.

Hillsborough County officials on Monday announced a mandatory evacuation order for some residents and voluntary evacuations for others. Several other communities in southwest Florida are calling for voluntary evacuations. “Remain calm, there’s no need to panic,” the governor said.

The state is suspending tolls in the Tampa Bay area and along other southwest Florida roadways and bridges. The Department of Transportation is also waiving weight restrictions to allow for transportation of fuel and supplies.

The governor asked people to go to Floridadisaster.org/planprepare to get the latest information from the state on evacuations and other storm preps.

The governor said power outages should be anticipated, but the state is working with utilities to stage power crews who will be ready to restore power as quickly as possible once the storm passes.

“It’s going to cause interruptions, it’s going to be the name of the game, just be prepared for that,” the governor said.

The state has called up 5,000 members of the National Guard for storm response, and another two thousand guardsman from neighboring states are also headed to Florida to assist.