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Gov. Scott: Stay vigilant, plan ahead for Tropical Storm Erika

Gov. Rick Scott's message to Floridians late Thursday morning was straightforward: Start preparing for Tropical Storm Erika now.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts that the storm could approach Florida's east coast this weekend and could escalate into a hurricane. If it did, it would be the first to hit the state in 10 years.

This could cause a big problem, he said, especially as millions of people have moved to Florida in that time and haven't experienced a hurricane before.

"We haven't had a hurricane in years," Scott said, addressing reporters in Tallahassee after a statewide emergency management conference call. "The way I think about it is stop and think about your family for a second...How can I make sure they're preapred? Do I have enough water? Do I have enough food? Are they going to need a shelter?"

In addition to making a plan, ensuring people have enough food and water and a place to go in th"We haven't had a hurricane in years," Scott said, addressing reporters in Tallahassee after a statewide emergency management conference call. "The way I think about it is stop and think about your family for a second...How can I make sure they're prepared? Do I have enough water? Do I have enough food? Are they going to need a shelter?"

The state has a website, floridadisaster.org, with resources for hurricane and storm preparation.e event that an evacuation is ordered, Scott said it's important to follow the news.

Read more: The Times' 2015 Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Especially with the likelihood that the storm could escalate during the weekend, he said it's critical that Floridians pay attention to elected officials and follow the news to stay up-to-date about any new information about the storm.

But there remains a lot of uncertainty about the storm and its path. Tropical storms and hurricanes tend to be unpredictable, and it's not yet clear when, where or if Erika will hit Florida.

"Hopefully this will continue just being a drill," the governor said.

In the meantime, get ready. Scott's next briefing on Erika is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Tallahassee.

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