Hours before the National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm and hurricane watches for South Florida ahead of Hurricane Matthew, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez asked residents to be prepared for tropical storm-force winds by Thursday.
“The message is very simple right now, it’s: You should be prepared for the eventuality of a hurricane,” said Gimenez.
The Mayor and other county officials told residents to prepare by having three days of food and water, filling up gas tanks now, clearing yard debris and testing generators before the storm gets here. Residents who need electricity for things like home dialysis machines and other medical devices are being urged to register for assistance by calling 3-1-1.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the district planned to keep schools open Wednesday, though after-school extracurriculars may be canceled.
And school itself may be cancelled Thursday depending on conditions:
“Should the winds pick up and exceed the speeds of 39 mph, then our school buses cannot operate and that will shut down the school system,” said Carvalho.
Schools would also be cancelled if evacuation orders are issued. Many schools serve as emergency shelters.