NEW: What Hurricane Irma means for Northwest Florida

Image LicensePhoto: NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

City officials and meteorologists here in Northwest Florida have one message: monitor the storm and have a disaster plan.

Monday, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties within the State of Florida in response to Hurricane Irma. This does not mean that every county will be impacted.

The City of Pensacola wrote in a news release, "City officials are aware of the weather forecast and we are taking necessary precautions. Escambia County Emergency Management is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma. Residents are urged to do the same by monitoring our local media for the most up-to-date forecasts daily."

It is still too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on Escambia County and Northwest Florida. That is because there is no reliable way to forecast potential impacts to an area that is more than about five days away from a specific location. However, ccording to the National Hurricane Center, there is an increasing chance that the Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys will see some impacts later this week and weekend.

For tips, checklists, plans, and more to ensure you and your family are prepared, click here.

What to do now

Review or make a family plan. This includes:

Know where you will go. If you live in an evacuation zone, know where you will go and how you will get there. Will you go to a friend or relative’s home, a hotel, or as a last resort, a public shelter? It is always easier to go tens of miles, not hundreds. Find a list of shelters, including special needs and pet-friendly here.

Have a communication plan. Plan now how you will contact one another and where you will meet.

Plan for those with special needs. Make arrangements in advance to accommodate those in your family with special needs like the elderly, children and pets. Always have at least an extra 3-10 days stock of medical supplies, medication and any other special items you may need.

Understand Watch vs. Warning, the hurricane cone and what steps you need to take when. Learn more by clicking here.

Take photos of important documents and your valuables. Save these to a secure cloud site, thumb drive or keep on your mobile device.

Get a Kit - Your disaster kit should have at least three days of nonperishable food and three gallons of water for each person and pet in your home, along with other supplies. Click here to see our latest disaster guide shopping list.

Stay Informed - A tropical system can develop very quickly. Be sure you take time every day to monitor the local media. Escambia County also has several tools available for our residents. Learn more here. Monitor local media and legitimate online and social media sources like Escambia County Emergency Management, US National Weather Service Mobile, NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center and Florida SERT.

Prep your yard - As we are entering the height of hurricane season, it is also recommended that residents take a few minutes to inspect their home and yard. Check for, fix or remove loose items on your home and sheds. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and down spouts. Trim trees and shrubs around your home.

Below is a list of additional resources that can keep you up to date and connected to health and safety services.

City Notifications

Escambia County Emergency Management

National Weather Service

Weather Radar

Pensacola 311

Now citizens have multiple ways to contact 311 -- simply dialing 311, email at, visiting this website, or by downloading our Pensacola 311 mobile app, available for iPhone/iPad, Android, and Blackberry. Non-Emergencies Only - Pensacola 311 is designed to handle non-emergency issues only. If you require emergency assistance, please utilize one of the following numbers:

Fire/Police/Emergency Medical Services: 911

Pensacola Energy: 850-474-5300

Sanitation Department: 850-435-1890

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