Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis Reuters

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday declared a state of emergency Wednesday as Hurricane Dorian inches toward the Sunshine State.

“It’s important for Floridians on the East Coast to monitor this storm closely. Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster,” DeSantis said in a statement quoted by The Hill.

“I will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely with emergency management officials. The state stands ready to support all counties along the coast as they prepare,” he added.

The executive order DeSantis signed allows the State Emergency Operations Center to activate to a Level 2 on Thursday morning, which the governor says will help boost coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.

The storm, which is expected to hit Florida later this week, was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane earlier on Wednesday as it passed over the US Virgin Islands.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and sustained winds up to 60 mph to the Virgin Islands as well as Puerto Rico and could trigger possibly fatal flash flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.