President Trump declares Major Disaster in Florida as state responds to Hurricane Michael

President Trump declares major disaster in Florida as state responds to Hurricane Michael. / Photo: MSNBC

President Donald Trump has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Michael in Florida, per Governor Rick Scott's request.

Governor Scott has been in constant communication with federal, state and local emergency officials and state agency leaders to ensure the state is prepared to respond to Hurricane Michael.

Click here to see the declaration.

The state had many preparedness-actions set in place.


  • The State Emergency Response Team estimates that more than 375,000 Floridians were ordered to evacuate.



  • At Governor Scott’s direction, the Florida National Guard has activated 3,500 soldiers and airmen for pre-landfall coordination and planning, with an emphasis on high water and search and rescue operations.
  • The Florida National Guard has more than 1,000 high water vehicles, 13 helicopters and 16 boats and is preparing for possible missions to include humanitarian assistance, security operations, and search and rescue.
  • The Florida National Guard will continue to work closely with civilian partner agencies, other National Guard states and active duty counterparts.


  • More than 1,000 State Law Enforcement Officers have been deployed to impacted areas in the Panhandle and Big Bend.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has assembled teams with 150 officers from outside the impacted area that are deploying to Bay, Gulf and Jackson counties. They are responding with a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, ATVs, airboats and four wheel drive vehicles. An additional team of 60 officers is being built currently to respond.
  • FWC staff and partners are setting up a command post in Marianna at the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center.
  • One FWC helicopter is up out of Milton, surveying Bay and Gulf counties.


  • There are more than 1,000 search and rescue personnel deploying to the impacted areas. They are bringing:
  • 11 Urban Search and Rescue teams with more than 400 personnel.
  • 5 fire engine strike teams with 50 fire engines and 110 firefighters.
  • Two Reconnaissance teams.
  • A Florida Fire Forest Service Incident Management Gold Team.
  • 7 swift water rescue teams.


  • FDOT is currently deploying crews and equipment from around the state to assess damage to, and safety of critical infrastructure, and to clear access to affected areas as soon as possible.
  • FDOT is coordinating with the Florida Highway Patrol reopening bridges and roadways when clear and safe to travel.


  • The state is working to ensure adequate food resources are available for Florida residents impacted by Hurricane Michael, prioritizing based upon need. Specific activities include the following:
  • Approximately 2 million meals ready to eat are prepared to be distributed
  • Approximately 1 million gallons of water is prepared to be distributed.


  • DOH is in contact with hospitals and other health care facilities within the area of operations to determine operational status.
  • Critical patients within the impact zone have been air lifted from damaged health care facilities to receiving hospitals.
  • DOH has 20 Ambulance Strike Teams and has activated the FEMA ambulance contract for a total of 400 Advanced Life Support (ASL) ambulances to assist with rescue operations, health care facility evacuations, and local EMS augmentation.

    DOH also has:
  • Ambulance strike teams are actively evacuating patients from damaged health care facilities to receiving hospitals. This will continue until all patients have been evacuated to safety.
  • AHCA will hold a joint call with the Florida Health Care Association and all residential and inpatient healthcare facilities including all areas of the panhandle and east to Jacksonville. AHCA and the Florida Hospital Association will hold a joint call with all hospitals in the panhandle.
  • Restoration efforts are underway at the Clifford C. Sims State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Panama City. Support teams from other State Veterans’ Homes are assisting in support and The following national VA hotlines are available to assist Veterans:
  • Veteran Disaster Hotline: 1-800-507-4571 (24/7 operations)
  • Pharmacy Customer Care: 1-855-574-7288 (8:00 am – 4:30 pm EST)
  • Veterans Benefits Administration Hotline: 1-800-827-1000
  • Vet Center/Counseling: 1-877-WAR-VETS


  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has opened the Business Damage Assessment Survey for businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. Businesses with damage should complete the survey at
  • Businesses can also visit to view tips for assessing storm damage and to register to receive updates on storm recovery.


  • Bay will be closed Tuesday (10/9) - Thursday (10/11)
  • Citrus will be closed Tuesday (10/9) - Thursday(10/11)
  • Gilchrist will be closed Tuesday (10/9) – Thursday (10/11)
  • Jackson will be closed Tuesday (10/9) - Thursday (10/11)
  • Okaloosa will be closed Tuesday (10/9) - Thursday (10/11)
  • Washington will remain closed through Thursday (10/11)


  • State offices will be closed today through Thursday in the 35 counties included in Governor Scott’s emergency order.
  • DMS will stay in contact with all state offices and has asked them to report closures in WebEOC.


  • As the state’s lead agency for coordinating volunteers and donations before, during and after disasters, Volunteer Florida has established resources for individuals and groups who would like to support Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael.


  • The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated at a level one, which is a full-scale, 24-hours-a-day activation.
  • The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
  • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Michael.
  • Visit to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.

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