TALLAHASSEE – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam provided an update Friday regarding the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ efforts to prepare for Hurricane Irma and help protect Floridians’ lives and property.

“We will continue to be there for every Floridian as this devastating hurricane nears landfall in the Sunshine State,” said Commissioner Putnam.

In preparation for Hurricane Irma, the department has done the following:

Florida Forest Service

Closed the following additional eight Florida State Forests: Big Shoals State Forest, John M. Bethea State Forest, Twin Rivers State Forest, Goethe State Forest, Ross Prairie State Forest, Indian Lake State Forest, Newnan’s Lake State Forest, Withlacoochee State Forest Preparing to dispatch three 30-person incident management teams to support urban search and rescue operations both in south and north Florida Preparing five chainsaw teams to help remove debris and open roads after the storm Staging heavy equipment, high water vehicles, large tankers, refrigerated trucks, mobile command posts and communication cashes are all ready for deployment. Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness

68 truckloads (approx. 1,330,080 liters) of water and 931,832 of shelf-stable meals on order to be delivered to mass care organizations pre-landfall; Submitting requests to FEMA for an additional 3.6 million USDA Foods meals; Working 8 active missions for USDA foods for host shelters and commercial food purchases to support disaster relief meal preparations; Storing 18.7 million pounds of USDA foods in warehouses in Winter Haven, Fla. and Pensacola, Fla., which could provide 405,227 meals to residents; Leveraging FEMA food and resource assistance for 4.1 million shelf stable meals; 4.1 million liters of water; 127,000 infant/toddler kits; and an additional 1.7 million USDA Foods meals; and Publishing an Emergency Administrative Rule to allow schools to operate the Summer Food Service Program and receive reimbursement for eligible meals in communities affected by Hurricane Irma. Division of Animal Industry

Coordinating with the State Animal Response Coalition as they are providing needed supplies, crates and volunteers to Collier and Brevard counties; Coordinating with the State Animal Response Team to provide Mobile Animal Response to 8 counties per their request for assistance; Suspended movement requirements for pets and livestock to allow citizens to evacuate quickly and easily; Supporting county officials in establishing pet-friendly shelters; Providing citizens resources on pet and livestock hurricane preparedness and evacuation planning, including providing resources to locate pet-friendly shelters; and Planning with other state, federal and non-governmental agencies to provide relief to livestock and pet owners, after the storm has passed. Division of Marketing via State Farmers Markets

Staging the Plant City State Farmers Market for baby supplies; Used the Suwannee Valley State Farmers Market as a staging area for 25 trailers, each equipped to provide 800 people with cots, blankets and more; and Using the Palatka State Farmers as a staging area for Putnam County EOC emergency vehicles; and For more information and tips on hurricane preparedness, visit FloridaDisaster.org.