Prepare, don’t panic, Gov. DeSantis says as Hurricane Ian inches closer

‘They’re constantly resupplying the fuel. … There’s no need to panic buy fuel.’

Floridians should heed local evacuation orders and make plans ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Ian, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday, but they shouldn’t panic or over-purchase supplies.

As of the 11 a.m. Monday update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm is just south of Cuba with sustained winds of 80 mph. It’s projected to make landfall in Levy County on Wednesday evening. A hurricane warning has been issued for part of the Florida Keys and a hurricane watch for Inglewood south to Naples.

The size of the storm means residents all throughout the Gulf Coast will feel the effects of Ian well before the eye of the storm hits the state.

“The impacts are going to be much, much broader than that,” DeSantis told reporters at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. “You will see storm surge in places like Southwest Florida even though the storm is projected to be 150 miles off the coast of Southwest Florida.”

DeSantis also cautioned that residents should be calm as the storm approaches, without overbuying gas or other supplies.

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“There’s no need to panic buy,” DeSantis said. “If you normally don’t drink a lot of water you may not need to go out and get a lot of water right now.”

He acknowledged traffic is likely to congest in the Tampa area as more portions come under mandatory evacuation orders, but said gas supplies will continue to pour in until Ian arrives.

“When you have millions of people in a metro area, you’re going to have traffic. That’s just a reality,” DeSantis said. “They’re constantly resupplying the fuel. … There’s no need to panic buy fuel.”

Residents can go to the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website to see which evacuation zone they’re in, and to the Department of Education’s website to see the status of school closures in their area.

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