Speed Reads

State of Emergency

Biden cancels visit to Florida after approving state of emergency over looming hurricane

President Biden has approved an emergency declaration for the state of Florida in light of Tropical Storm Ian intensifying to hurricane strength in the Caribbean, Politico reports.

According to White House officials, the emergency declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to send additional emergency relief efforts to supplement Florida's storm response. 

The president also postponed his scheduled visit to Florida on Tuesday, which included a planned appearance with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist in Orlando. 

The storm is expected to move past Jamaica and Cuba before reaching Florida's Keys on Thursday. Recent forecasts from the National Hurricane Center predict Ian will become a "major hurricane" by the time it approaches Florida's west coast.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) extended his initial emergency declaration to include the whole state after previously covering only a few counties. On Sunday, he activated 2,500 members of the Florida National Guard, warning Floridians to be vigilant and prepare. He also warned residents of potential "fuel disruptions."

In response to questions about plans to pause political ads while the government shifts its focus to preparing for the storm, Sam Ramirez, spokeswoman for Crist, said, "As of right now, we have not made any final decisions as far as ads. But we are preparing to mobilize and deploy campaign assets in any way we can to support in potential recovery efforts," per Politico.