Florida Division of Emergency Management Issues Updates on Preparedness Efforts for Tropical Storm Nicole
~ State Emergency Operations Center activates to Level One in response to Tropical Storm Nicole ~
Today, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) activated the State Emergency Operations Center to Level One in response to Tropical Storm Nicole. This activation is in addition to the ongoing recovery effort for Hurricane Ian. The state has been activated for Hurricane Ian for 46 days.
As of 5:00PM EST, Tropical Storm Nicole is located 411 miles east of Vero Beach, Florida with maximum sustained winds of 65mph and moving west-southwest at 10mph. Currently, Nicole is forecast to reach hurricane strength on Wednesday and approach Florida’s East Coast Wednesday night or early Thursday morning before moving across Central and Northern Florida Thursday. Floridians are reminded to prepare for an increased risk of coastal and river flooding, rainfall, heavy winds, tornadoes, rip currents and beach erosion.
The following Watches and Warnings are in effect:
- Hurricane Warning: Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Volusia counties.
- Hurricane Watch: Broward, Flagler, Palm Beach and St. Johns counties.
- Storm Surge Warning: Brevard, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Martin, Nassau, Palm Beach, Putnam, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia counties.
- Storm Surge Watch: Broward, Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Jefferson, Levy, Pasco, Taylor and Wakulla counties.
- Tropical Storm Warning: Alachua, Bradford, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hendry, Lake, Marion, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties.
- Tropical Storm Watch: Baker, Charlotte, Citrus, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwanee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla counties.
Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order (EO) 22-253, declaring a State of Emergency for 34 counties in the potential path of Tropical Storm Nicole.
The state remains in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service and county emergency management officials of all 67 counties ahead of impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole. State preparedness efforts include:
Florida Division of Emergency Management
- FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) for the Tropical Storm Nicole response.
- FDEM is in constant communication with all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate protective actions and needed resources ahead of potential storm impacts.
- FDEM has activated the State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) to provide an additional resource for Floridians to receive up-to-date information regarding Tropical Storm Nicole, as well as Hurricane Ian recovery resources. Residents and visitors can call this toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3557.
- FDEM Liaisons are being deployed to Brevard, Lake, Martin, Orange, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia counties at their request to provide on-site response assistance and to conduct damage assessments after the storm.
- FDEM is deploying shelter support staff to address staffing needs in counties that have opened their public hurricane shelters.
- FDEM has deployed 18 pallets of water to Orange County and is staging additional commodities to ensure food and water are readily available if counties request it.
- Eight Urban Search and Rescue teams are prepared to deploy to impacted areas.
- Approximately 16,000 linemen are staged and prepared to deploy for power restoration efforts after the storm.
- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) issued a memorandum for emergency response vehicles to bypass weigh stations in response to Tropical Storm Nicole and coordinated with Georgia and Tennessee to allow Florida-bound utility convoys to bypass their state’s weigh stations.
- The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating the deployment of personnel and healthcare resources such as ambulances to support patient movement efforts.
- DOH has coordinated with the Office of Insurance Regulation to distribute an alert regarding permitted early prescription refills during a State of Emergency. This alert was sent to health insurers, managed care organizations, health entities, and licensed health care providers. The alert can be found here.
- The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and its facilities in the projected impacted areas of Tropical Storm Nicole have finalized storm preparations to ensure the safety and security of staff and youth. These actions include fueling all vehicles, moving vehicles in low-lying and flood-prone areas to higher ground, testing and ensuring adequate fuel supplies for generators in the event of loss of power, and ensuring food, medicine and emergency supplies are stocked and ready.
- The Florida Department of Education is consistently updating their website with school district closures, as well as State University System and Florida College System Closures.
- Eastern Florida State College will be closed Wednesday, November 9 through Friday, November 11.
- Daytona State College will be closed Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10.
- Indian River State College will be closed Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10.
- Lake Sumter State College will be closed Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10.
- Palm Beach State College will be closed Wednesday, November 9 and Thursday, November 10.
- Seminole State College will be closed Wednesday, November 9 through Friday, November 11.
- Valencia State College will close Wednesday, November 9 at 2:30 pm and remain closed Thursday, November 10.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is directing the public to myfwc.com/notices/ for information about wildlife management areas, fish management areas, shooting ranges and FWC office closures due to the forecasted effects of Hurricane Ian.
- Residents and visitors can visit FloridaStateParks.org/StormUpdates for closings to state parks in anticipation of impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole.
- National Estuarine Research Reserve and Aquatic Preserve closures can be found at floridadep.gov/rcp/aquatic-preserve.
Private Sector Support
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Inquiries may also be emailed to ESF18@em.myflorida.com.
- DEO is updating FloridaDisaster.biz with real-time information for business owners to prepare their businesses, families and employees for Tropical Storm Nicole.
An updated list of state building closures can be found here. The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) Emergency Information Hotline is 888-336-7345.