~State Emergency Operations Center activated to Level One~

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, August 25, 2012, 11:45 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE – Due to the forecasted impacts of Tropical Storm Isaac beginning Sunday in the Florida Keys through mid-week in the Panhandle, this morning Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 12-199, to declare a statewide state of emergency. The Executive Order designates Florida Division of Emergency Management Director, Bryan W. Koon as the State Coordinating Officer. The State Emergency Operations Center is now operating at a Level One, full activation.

An Executive Order is a standard process that is issued prior to land fall to provide adequate time for cities and counties to begin preparing for potential storm impact.  The Executive Order directs all state agencies, including the Florida National Guard, to provide any necessary assistance when requested by local governments. The State Emergency Response Team stands ready to support requests for assistance from local officials.

“While Florida is facing another tropical storm, our State Emergency Response Team prepares for these types of weather events year round. The Executive Order is a normal step in these preparations, activating resources to assist local officials in response to an emergency. Florida’s emergency response officials are accustom to protecting the 19 million residents and hundreds of thousands of visitors that are here every day,” said Governor Rick Scott. “I am leading twice daily briefing with local, state, federal partners as well as those involved with the Republican National Convention. Preparation is a key to success and all visitors can be assured they are safe in Florida.”

Florida’s emergency responders are ready. It’s important that Florida’s residents and visitors stay informed, have a plan and make preparations. For information on road and bridge closures, flooding concerns and evacuation plans, follow instructions from local emergency management officials. For questions related to the Convention, please contact the Republican National Committee.

Individuals planning to travel to Florida this weekend for the Republican National Convention are advised that as of this morning, the Tampa International Airport is open for business. Travelers should check with their airline before changing any travel plans to Florida.  There is no need to cancel hotel reservations at this time due to Tropical Storm Isaac. Florida is the number one tourism destination in the country and is accustom to handling weather events as related to visitors.

All Floridians, and visitors to the state, are reminded that the time and effort required to prepare does not compare to the life saving impacts those actions can have for you, your family and your business. Having a plan can help ensure your loved ones know what to do when a disaster, such as a hurricane, threatens your community. An emergency plan should include an evacuation route, a place to reunite if separated from your loved ones and the nearest shelter in case of evacuation.

A disaster supply kit that can sustain your family for up to 72 hours is a necessity. Flashlights, batteries, water, nonperishable food and other essential items may help keep your family safe and healthy if the power goes out for an extended period of time or emergency relief cannot access a damaged area. Visit to learn more about important items for your disaster supply kit and to design an emergency plan for your family or business.

For the latest information on Tropical Storm #ISAAC, follow Florida Division of Emergency Management on Twitter at and on Facebook at

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The Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Volunteer Florida, was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The Commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; coordinates volunteers in a disaster; and inspires everyone from youths to seniors to people with disabilities to serve their communities. For more information,

AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service each year and administers President Obama’s national service initiative United We Serve.  Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting