PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Receives Briefing on Idalia Preparation in Sarasota

August 28, 2023

SARASOTA, Fla.— Today, Senator Rick Scott received a briefing from local law enforcement and emergency management officials on Tropical Storm Idalia and preparedness efforts in Sarasota County. Earlier this morning, Senator Scott released the following statement urging Floridians along the Gulf Coast to stay alert and get prepared TODAY for Tropical Storm Idalia, which the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts to become a major hurricane that could impact Florida as early as Tuesday, August 29 and bring life-threatening storm surge to the Big Bend (7-11 ft.) and Tampa Bay (4-7 ft.) regions.


Joining Senator Scott at the briefing was Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, Sarasota County Mayor Kyle Battie, Sarasota County Director of Emergency Services Rich Collins and Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners Chair Ron Cutsinger.


Senator Rick Scott said, “Sarasota County may be outside of the current cone, but it is not safe from the dangerous impacts of Idalia. With the National Hurricane Center now forecasting Tropical Storm Idalia to become a deadly major hurricane, every Floridian must stay alert, take this storm seriously and PREPARE NOW. Even a small shift in the track of this storm could bring unbelievably catastrophic impacts to Sarasota County. As we saw with Ian, the storm track can change last minute and Michael showed us that these storms can intensify incredibly fast—from a tropical storm to a deadly Cat 5 in less than three days. You need to be prepared to evacuate even if you’re outside of the cone. The NHC is forecasting 7-11 FEET of storm surge in the Big Bend and 4-7 FEET of surge in the Tampa Bay area. You cannot hide from rising water. THIS STORM SURGE WILL KILL YOU. If asked by local officials to leave your home, GET OUT! Less than one year ago, we lost more than 150 people to major Hurricane Ian. That can never happen again. Do not delay, make a plan NOW.


“I have been receiving regular briefings from Dr. Mike Brennan, the Director of the National Hurricane Center, and my team and I will continue to be in contact with local and state officials to make sure Florida is ready. Right now, my message to all Floridians is simple: get prepared and get out if asked to do so. Florida is resilient because Floridians know how to prepare and now is the time for every family to make sure they have a plan, gas in their vehicles, seven days of food and water, medication and emergency supplies. Preparedness saves lives and Floridians must be ready.”


Senator Scott encourages all Floridians to visit his website to find helpful hurricane preparedness resources and to make a disaster readiness plan today. See the latest on Tropical Storm Idalia from the National Hurricane Center at or @NHC_Atlantic on Twitter, and from the Florida Division of Emergency Management at or @FLSERT on Twitter. Additionally, this week, Floridians can take advantage of stocking up on tax-free hurricane preparedness items through Florida’s 2023 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday running August 26th through September 8th. Learn more HERE.