BREAKING — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in all counties on Sunday in preparation for Hurricane Irma after the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning in Atlanta – for the first time in the city’s history.

The Governor declared the state of emergency in 159 counties after Irma’s forecasted path threatened to unleash deadly wind gusts, heavy rain and possible flooding as early as Sunday night, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.


“I want to caution all Georgians that just because the weather appears calm now, do not take that for granted,” Deal said in an earlier news conference.

“Ahead of Hurricane Irma, I’ve issued an executive order prohibiting price gouging and waiving rules and regulations for motor vehicles transporting supplies, equipment, personnel, goods and services associated with disaster assistance and relief,” said Deal.

Deal expands state of emergency to include all 159 counties

“Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command and ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the emergency declaration to include an additional 65 counties. The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia. State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel.

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Following a briefing from officials and visit with emergency responders, Deal will hold a media avail tonight at the State Operations Center at 6 p.m.


To read the executive order, see attached or click here.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website here.”

The National Weather Service issued a Tropical Storm Warning in Dodge County. Wind gusts up to 60 mph with tropical storm-force winds could whip through starting Monday morning and into Tuesday, forecasters said. Peak winds were expected to reach 30 to 40 mph. Officials said Irma, a Category 3 storm as of Sunday afternoon, can damage porches, carports, sheds and unanchored mobile homes.

Fox News reports that Atlanta hotels and shelters were filled with evacuees by Sunday morning. At the luxury Georgian Terrace Hotel, staff were flexible with rules to accommodate evacuees. Guests walked pit bulls through the lobby. Large families pulled roller bags and clutched blankets as they squeezed into small rooms without enough beds.

In its 5 p.m. ET advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the storm was located about 5 miles north of Naples and about 30 miles south-southeast of Fort Meyers, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour, and heading north at 14 mph. Irma was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane.

The nearly 400-mile-wide storm is expected to increase its speed Sunday night as Irma is expected to move north through Monday, according to the NHC. Irma is forecast to move inland toward north Florida and southwest Georgia Monday afternoon.

The storm threatens to wreak havoc in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee has it heads north. President Trump spoke to the governors in the states from the Camp David presidential retreat.

There are immediate steps you can take to ensure you, your family and friends are ready for whatever weather comes our way. Follow the tips below and visit the Ready Georgia website or use the Ready Georgia app​ to begin your planning now.

GEMA/HS Prepares for Hurricane Irma press release​

Make a Communications Plan 
If your family isn’t together when a disaster strikes you should know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency. The Ready Georgia app also has an “I AM SAFE” text message tool that allows you to send a text message to emergency contacts in your disaster plan.


Build a Ready Kit
Put together a Ready Kit that includes the supplies you and your family would need for three days. Some items to include are sufficient water, non-perishable food, medications, important documents and any other essential items. Once you’ve gathered all the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, seniors or family members with special needs. Add those items to your kit and start packing it today.


Know the location of your local shelter 
In the event of an evacuation, have a plan for where you and your family are going. If you plan to go to a local shelter have the address and directions printed out and in your Ready Kit. If you have a pet, check in advance to see if the shelter or hotel you plan to use is pet friendly. Most public shelters can’t accept pets due to health regulations, so plan accordingly.


Stay informed
Advance warning is the most powerful preparedness tool for severe weather. Every family should have multiple methods for receiving severe weather alerts, including at least one with an audible alert to wake you in the middle of the night if necessary.
There are many options for staying in touch with changing weather conditions:

  • NOAA Weather Radio: Watches and Warnings issued by National Weather Service (NWS) air on these radios.
    Television Stations: Local or national news stations monitor and broadcast weather alerts.
  • AM/FM Radio: Radio stations are required to air Emergency Alert System messages.
  • Smartphone Applications: Numerous free and paid smartphone applications have been created to notify the public of severe weather. Some of these applications use GPS tracking on your phone and will notify you of severe weather warnings based upon your location. Ready Georgia’s free app provides severe weather alerts and also gives you mobile access to your emergency plan and other preparedness resources.
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA): WEA are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. The alert system doesn’t require you to download an app or subscribe to a service. The WEA message will usually provide the category and time, the agency issuing the alert and what action you should take.

GEMA/HS will provide additional information and updates regarding Hurricane Irma via this website, and our social media.

We will keep you updated.

We send our prayers out for all the people being hit by this hurricane.

Stay safe PATRIOTS!

God Bless.

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