Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall at Florida Panhandle as a Historic Category 4 Storm

According to the latest reports from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the eyewall of the Hurricane Michael is currently moving on shore, making its first landfall at the Florida Panhandle as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm. This is historic since no Category 4 hurricane has ever made landfall at the Florida Panhandle. Early this morning, coastal communities along the Panhandle area began to see initial storm surge as a result of Michael’s approach, and the National Weather Service (NWS) cautioned via Twitter, “Can’t stress this enough, these impacts from the surge is only the beginning, it’s going to get higher!”

NOAA National Hurricane Center Hurricane Michael Forecast Cone as of 10/10/18 at 11:00 am EST

In addition to the life-threatening storm surge, winds, potential flash flooding as a result of heavy rainfall, the NWS is also cautioning those in the path of the storm of possible embedded tornadoes.

Many counties along the Gulf coastline have ordered evacuations to residents, but Governor Rick Scott of Florida cautioned residents of the Florida Panhandle area that “it is not safe to travel across the Panhandle. If you are in a coastal area, do not leave your house. The time to evacuate the coastal areas has come and gone.” The NWS has also warned residents in the path of the storm to “shelter in place immediately” with the arrival of dangerous hurricane force winds. FEMA has also cautioned residents of the dangers of quickly rising flood and storm surge waters.


  • Emergencies have been declared by governors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
  • President Trump has declared an emergency for Florida (EM-3405)

Hagerty will continue to monitor Michael’s movements and provide critical updates on Disaster Discourse. If you are in the path of the storm, please seek guidance from your state and local officials and be safe.

Below is a list of information resources to be prepared for hurricanes and hazardous weather:

Hagerty Consulting is an emergency management consulting firm that helps clients prepare for and recover from disasters. Established in 2001, Hagerty’s work includes some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness projects in more than 30 states, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy. The firm is (and has been) consistently recognized throughout the industry for its innovative thinking, client-centric service, and the superior results it delivers to every project. Hagerty professionals reside in all 10 FEMA regions; the firm’s offices are in Evanston, Illinois (corporate headquarters); Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C. Learn more about how our Recovery and Preparedness Divisions can help you this hurricane season.