“This will free up much-needed federal funding and assistance as we prepare for Irma,” Scott said during a 6:15 p.m. briefing with reporters at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
Scott had made the request of Trump’s administration earlier Tuesday after declaring a state emergency in all 67 Florida counties on Monday night.
Scott said he’s been assured by officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency that the ongoing response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas “will not impact” the agency’s response to Irma in Florida.
Scott emphasized the need for Floridians across the state to get prepared, citing the uncertainty of Irma’s track.
He warned that storm surge could go “miles and miles” inland and that surge and extreme winds were the “biggest concern right now.”
“It is important for all Floridians to keep an eye on this incredibly dangerous storm. Do not sit and wait to prepare. Get prepared now,” Scott said. “This storm has the potential to devastate this state and you have to take it seriously.”
If there’s an evacuation order in your area, follow it.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Scott said there were no fuel shortages as of Tuesday evening, and the state was working to identify retailers where bottled water was sold out. Scott asked Floridians to “be considerate of your neighbors and take only what you need to evacuate and stay safe.”
“We’ve been in touch with retailers and more supplies are on the way,” he said. “If you visited a store today and found a shortage, you should go back tomorrow and get your supplies once everything has been replenished.”
Scott plans to visit the Florida Keys and Miami on Wednesday to meet with local officials and monitor preparations.
Scott said he expects additional evacuation orders to be issued beyond those starting Wednesday in Monroe County and parts of Miami-Dade County. Where those evacuations might be won’t be determined until Irma’s path is more certain, he said.
“If there’s an evacuation order in your area, follow it,” Scott said.