Eye on the Tropics

Hurricane Nicole: What to do now if you’re in Florida

Hurricane Nicole is expected to make landfall in Florida Wednesday evening. Officials are providing suggestions and tips to follow to plan accordingly.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis shared some tips in a news release Wednesday afternoon with some things to consider as well as reminders for Floridians.

  • Stock up on food and water. Take only what you need.
  • Never run a generator inside, close to a house or garage.
  • Use plastic sheeting and sandbags to “ward off rising water.”
  • Take photos of your house outside and inside.
  • Gather all insurance, financial information and other important documents. Put them in plastic bags and take them with you.
  • Secure anything outside or move what you can inside the house or garage.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management on Twitter suggested that you review your disaster plan, that you make sure your supply kit is fully stocked and should include items for children, seniors, and pets and that you find a way to make sure you have access to weather alerts.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nicole was declared a Category 1 hurricane as it made landfall in the Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Twitter said he had declared a state of emergency for 34 counties in Florida on Monday in order to get Floridians prepared in time for the storm to reach Florida.

“We have 16,000 linemen staged, 600 guardsmen activated and 7 Urban Search and Rescue teams on standby to deploy,” said DeSantis.

FEMA in a news release said federal emergency aid has been made available to Florida. They also said President Biden authorized FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts by approving an emergency declaration for the state.

Patronis said Floridians can call the Department of Financial Services’ helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or you can visit their website for more information.