In preparation for Hurricane Matthew, all assets and facilities have been secured as part of Florida Wing's pre planned operations. Local unit emergency services personnel are asked to shelter-in-place, maintain communications with local command, and monitor communication outlets such as the hurricane net, wing website, and wing social media for general information. Southeast Region Commander, Col. George Melton stated, "Seventeen Florida Wing aircraft were successfully relocated to the Panhandle yesterday, and nightly HURCON teleconferences have been taking place since last Saturday evening. Georgia Wing is relocating their two coastal aircraft today."
The hurricane has already claimed 11 lives and the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, stated, "We have to be prepared to be hit by a catastrophic hurricane." It's been a decade since Florida has experienced a significant hurricane, leading to concerns by officials that Floridians have become complacent or new residents don't have the experience to appreciate the danger. The governors of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have declared an emergency. Over 7,800 National Guard soldiers have been activated or placed on alert.
Hurricane Matthew currently remains a major hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds of 120-MPH moving northwest at 12-MPH towards the Bahamas and then Florida. The storm will be moving over warmer waters than can further strengthen the storm prior to affecting the east coast of Florida.