DATE: September 5, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe
Public Information Manager, Broward County Commission
Broward County's Emergency Operations Center moved to a Level 3 activation (Monitoring & Assessment) at 6:30AM Tuesday in preparation for Hurricane Irma, Mayor Barbara Sharief announced in a news conference this morning. Irma is a serious Category 5 storm that poses a threat to South Florida. Broward County may experience tropical storm force winds as early as Friday evening, and local conditions are expected to worsen through the weekend.
"The Broward County Commission is prepared to declare a local state of emergency, if needed," said Sharief. "A local state of emergency allows Broward County officials to suspend normal government operations and order protective actions that may be necessary to ensure the health, welfare and safety of our residents."
If the storm continues on its current path, Broward County will move to a Level 2 (partial) activation at 3PM today and a Level 1 (full) activation Thursday morning. Pre-storm activities related to sheltering and outreach to residents with special needs is already underway, the Mayor said. "Our Emergency Hotline is open and taking calls from residents. We anticipate the hotline will go to 24/7 operations beginning at 8AM Wednesday. You can also reach the hotline by calling 311 or 954-831-4000."
At this time, residents should be focused on finalizing their plans and completing their preparations.
• If you live in an evacuation zone, determine where you will evacuate. Going to stay with family or friends outside the evacuation zone is the best choice since shelters only provide for basic needs. Broward County is working with counties to the north and south to coordinate evacuations, as necessary.
• Stock up on emergency supplies, including fuel and food supplies.
• Check supplies of important medications.
• Plan for any special needs members of your family may have, including children, elderly and pets.
• Please do not trim trees or vegetation at this time. Items left curbside as the storm approaches can become harmful projectiles in high winds.
Port and Airport Travelers
• Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades are operating normally at this time.
• Passengers should contact their airline or cruise line for information on departures and arrivals. Friends and family members of passengers currently on a cruise and scheduled to arrive this weekend should also contact their cruise line for updates on any possible schedule or port changes.
• Three petroleum ships are in port with another two waiting off-shore. The Port's 12 petroleum tenants provide gas and other petroleum products to 12 Florida counties and four international airports. Broward County is not aware of any fuel shortages at this time.
Mayor Sharief stressed the importance of residents staying informed and aware as conditions change. Residents are encouraged to media reports for up to the minute information and public safety advisories, follow Broward County on Twitter@ReadyBroward, subscribe to Broward County's new emergency alert notification system, AlertBroward, and "like" us on Facebook@BrowardEMD. For details on all of these services, visit Broward.org/Hurricane.
The Broward.org/Hurricane website contains a wealth of information on how to prepare for a storm, shelter locations, hurricane kit preparedness checklist and more. News conferences will be webcast live where possible, watch live on Facebook/BrowardEMD and Twitter.com/BrowardCounty via Periscope. Follow #Irma for official details on the hurricane.