Gov. Jeb Bush has a simple message to Floridians as Hurricane Charley bears down on the state.
Gov. Jeb Bush says, "Now this is going to be inconvenient, that’s the way life is when you are hit by one of God’s most powerful sources."
Officials from every state agency are mobilized at the Emergency Operations Center, coordinating road closings, opening hundreds of shelters and preparing for Charley’s aftermath, a potential $15 billion in damage.
"During times of emergency we need to go all out, and so this is the first priority and we are going to spend whatever monies that we need, and we are going to provide support for the local government and we are going to seek assistance from the federal government for some of the reimbursement."
People have already arrived from other states to help.
Rick Cox brought a team from Kentucky’s Emergency Management Agency to help coordinate assistance from agencies around the country.
Rick Cox says, "Bringing in people that will help individuals that have been affected in the process so that those people can get back. Sometimes you may even need to bring in equipment such as helicopters from other states."
It’s a massive undertaking. Two million Floridians or more face evacuation, 700,000 senior citizens alone are in the path of the storm. State officials say they’re getting help from the feds to make sure the Port of Tampa is ready for Hurricane Charley.
"The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard are all working for potential spills and cleanup in the Port of Tampa. Another key consideration in the Port of Tampa will be rapidly reopening that port if there are damages. It is a key place for logistics and clerical supplies as well, so those federal teams and state teams are already mobilized and working with this facilities and developing plans to respond back in."
Officials estimate Hurricane Charley could cause $15 billion in damage.