At 1 p.m. EDT, Florida governor Jeb Bush, as well as others, held a press conference relating to the preparedness of the upcoming Hurricane Wilma. “There is no cause for a New Orleans-like concern,” says Governor Bush. He also says that this category 2 hurricane will affect southern Florida, including Lake Okeechobee. Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, and New York are helping Florida prepare. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations, he says, are currently underway.
For those who are unable to evacuate, shelters are to open up. There are 23 shelters opened at the moment, and more shelters, including shelters for the elderly, will open. The pets of Floridians also will be able to stay at a pet shelter. Over 80,000 MREs, as well as 200 truckloads of ice, are available for those who must take up shelter. This does not include the aid that will come from FEMA, which is expected to double the amount made available by Florida.
As of 10 a.m., over 200 million gallons of fuel, particularly gasoline and diesel, were at Florida ports. These ports are either to be closed, or currently closed at the moment. In addition, tolls for Florida turnpikes were suspended, and traffic is current flowing smoothly. However, as it was said by Director of Florida Emergency Management Craig Fullgate, “You need to pay attention to your local officials.”