Gov. Rick Scott in Panhandle to Prepare for TS Nate

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott and two cabinet members visit Bay County to talk about the potential threat of Tropical Storm Nate.

CFO Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam joined the governor this morning at Bay County's EOC in Southport to insure Panhandle residents are storm ready.

The governor declared a state of emergency for 29 counties, including Bay, and activated the state's emergency operations center to a level one.

Though Tropical Storm Nate's paths seem to be shifting west away from the state, Governor Scott wants the Panhandle to remain vigilant.

"If this storm slows down there is a greater chance it's going to go to the east so we have got to be very prepared," he said. "Remember we are on the bad side of the storm, so rain, potential storm surge, and tornadoes. Historically, there have been more tornadoes if a storm comes up on the Gulf Coast."

After Hurricane Irma hit South Florida less than a month ago, Governor Scott said he is working to strengthen hurricane preparation and response in the state.

"We've got to get more propane. I don't want people to do the right thing and have a generator -- and then run out of gas," he said. "I've already talked to Gulf Power and they're ready. Our utilities through Matthew and Irma have done a really good job at bringing in resources."

He is confident this part of the state will be ready for whatever comes.

"I know we have the resources here to all work together to take care of the Panhandle if we end up getting hit," he said. 

Residents are encouraged to prepare for the worst, make a plan, and get a hurricane supplies kit.

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