On Saturday, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida. This comes as Tropical Storm Ian gains strength and is expected to become a Hurricane sometime on Sunday. On Friday, Governor DeSantis issued a state of emergency for multiple counties ahead of the arrival of Ian. The initial state of emergency included Osceola County but not Orange County, so only half of Walt Disney World was included.
“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”
Along with DeSantis’ declaration, President Joe Biden also declared an emergency for the state. This released federal funds for the state and also activated FEMA to begin to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance to protect lives and property.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Ian is forecast to gain strength rapidly and become a hurricane before arriving in Florida. Where exactly it will make landfall is unknown at this time as the storm’s path still evolves. With it becoming a hurricane on Sunday, it is forecast to become a major hurricane by late Monday or Tuesday. On Saturday, Ian had sustained winds of about 45 mph and was about 230 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica.
If you plan to visit Walt Disney World or Florida in the coming week, continue to watch weather reports and warnings to see how this storm will impact both Walt Disney World and Florida. Walt Disney World allows for changing or cancellation of reservations if a tropical storm or hurricane warning is issued within seven days of travel. This is becoming increasingly likely as the storm moves closer to Florida.