Sarasota County officials will declare a local state of emergency at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaac, said Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane.
The county is currently forecasting the possibility of the storm developing into a category one hurricane, with winds of 80 miles-per-hour, sometime this weekend in the Gulf of Mexico. That would mean tropical storm-force winds hitting Sarasota County early next week, McCrane said.
Siesta Key residents should clear debris from their property, which could become dangerous projectiles if the storm continues on its current forecasted track, McCrane said, and have a plan in place if the county orders an evacuation.
The emergency operations center in the county administration building has not been activated, but if Tropical Storm Isaac stays on track it will be operational Sunday. Emergency officials will begin notifying people with special needs Saturday to determine if they need to be transported to designated shelters the following day, given the current storm forecast.
It will be the second time the county declares a local state of emergency this year, which authorizes Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid to spend county funds while coordinating staff response, and opens the county for state and federal funding.
Sarasota County last declared a state of emergency for Tropical Storm Debby in June, and prior to that in 2010, in response to the BP oil spill.
Click here to view the Tampa Bay Area Hurricane Guide.
Click here to view a list of items suggested for a home disaster survival kit.
Click here to view emergency shelters in Sarasota County.
Click here to view items recommended by Sarasota County Emergency services to have on hand.