The Federal Emergency Management Agency had numerous teams deployed and ready to respond, said FEMA spokesman Jeff Byard.
Michael, spinning in the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 storm Tuesday afternoon, is expected to strengthen even more before making landfall Wednesday, possibly as a Category 3.
8, 2018, showing the forecast beach erosion, overwash and inundation effects of Hurricane Michael's predicted landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
The speed of the storm barreling toward the Florida Panhandle - Michael was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour (19 kph) - was among the hazards worrying forecasters at the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday morning. That's just below the threshold for a "major" hurricane.
"I just got a crew that came in that are staying also and they're in here helping me get everything buttoned up, tightened down, getting the food secure", Givens said.
Voluntary evacuations were also ordered for Santa Rosa, Hernando, Leon and Liberty counties.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall Wednesday in Florida before crossing Georgia and the Carolinas as a weaker storm.
Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along the Panhandle and Florida's Big Bend regions, mostly rural areas known for small tourist cities, beaches and wildlife reserves, and the state capital, Tallahassee.
Michael is projected to plow into Florida's Panhandle at midday on Wednesday, unleashing potentially devastating waves as high as 13 feet (4 meters) that could rush inland for miles around the storm's center, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned. The water has the potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...
"Think about what we've seen before with storms like Hurricane Irma", he said.
"We're a little nervous", she told ABC News. Many gas stations in Tallahassee had run out of fuel, including the Quick "N" Save, which was also stripped clean of bottled water and down to about two dozen bags of ice.
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That includes 64-year-old Shannon Sullivan, who returned for ice and beer after gassing up and buying water the day before.
The hurricane continues to move northward at 12 mph just shy of 300 miles away from Panama City and about 270 miles from Apalachicola.
"Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades", Gov. Rick Scott said.
Michael has been lashing western Cuba as it churned toward the United States. He said many houses that suffered roof damage in Florence are still covered in tarps and could be vulnerable to strong wind and rain.
High winds weren't the only danger.
He said that forecasters aren't expecting the same kind of major river flooding caused by Florence, and conditions should improve on Friday.
Although Michael will produce heavy rain showers, the storm's accelerating forward movement should allow those downpours to move through and not over-saturate most areas.
As of 5 a.m. ET on October 9, Michael's center was about 420 miles south of Panama City, Florida and 390 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida.
Hurricane Michael satellite as of October 9, 2018.
Michael gained new strength over warm tropical waters amid fears it would swiftly intensify into a major hurricane before striking Florida's northeast Gulf Coast, where frantic coastal dwellers are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from the risky storm heading their way.
Panama City could see a storm surge at depths from 6 to 9 feet.
"It looks like what we are planning for Wednesday is tropical storm-force winds of 39 to 57 miles per hour", said Jonathan Lord, Flagler County's emergency services chief.