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Governor urges Floridians to be ready for Ian

 Image from the Florida Division of Emergency Management
@FLSert on Twitter
Image from the Florida Division of Emergency Management

It's been awhile since Floridians in the greater Tampa Bay region have had to contend with a hurricane.

As people flock to grocery stores and filling stations to get supplies and gas up, Gov. Ron DeSantis is encouraging everyone to be ready for whatever Tropical Storm Ian may bring.

"Even if you're not necessarily right in the eye of the path of the storm, there's going to be pretty broad impacts throughout the state," DeSantis said at a Sunday morning news conference.

"You're going to have wind, you're going to have water, there could be flooding on the east coast of Florida as a result of this. It's a big storm, so just prepare for that and understand that that's something that may happen."

The governor also warned of the possibility of fuel disruptions, evacuation orders and power outages.

He also reminded people that generators should not be used indoors.

A Lakeland girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning in September of 2017 after Hurricane Irma knocked out power in Polk County and her family used a gas-powered generator inside the house.

State Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said Floridians need to know their homes and their evacuation zones.

He said two million people who didn't need to evacuate for Hurricane Irma did. So it's important to know whether you live in an evacuation zone.

"If you're in a manufactured home, low-lying area, or some other structure that cannot sustain winds, you will need to evacuate when your local emergency manager asks you to do so," Guthrie said.

"However, if you are not in an evacuation zone and your home is able to withstand winds, you may choose to shelter in place. You need to be prepared for sheltering in place."

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Susan Giles Wantuck is our midday news host, and a producer and reporter for WUSF Public Media who focuses her storytelling on arts, culture and history.