How many politicians does it take to inform a community about an oncoming (election year) hurricane?
In Miami-Dade, the answer Wednesday morning was 15: four to provide information, and 11 to stand and nod.
As category 3 Hurricane Matthew approached South Florida from the southeast, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez held a crowded press conference in Doral to discuss the approaching storm. In Broward, where a hurricane warning extends across the entire county, Mayor Martin David Kiar was joined by four staff members. In Palm Beach County, Mayor Mary Lou Berger spoke to the media with a company of six, including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.
In Dade, where heavy rain and potentially dangerous tropical storm-force winds are expected but conditions are likely to be less severe than the two counties to the north, Gimenez was joined by 14 elected officials and administrators. The mayor shared some details about the storm and urged residents to take precaution, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced that schools would be closed Thursday and Friday, and Commission Chairman Jean Monestime, who is Haitian-American, gave an update on the storm's impact to Haiti.
Then, Congressman Carlos Curbelo, wearing his #windbreaker, spoke about FEMA preparations. Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales answered a reporter's question about flooding on the barrier island. Everyone else -- County commissioners Bruno Barreiro, Steve Bovo, Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Audrey Edmonson, Sally Heyman, Rebeca Sosa and Javier Souto, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Doral Mayor Luigi Boria and State Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla -- were perhaps there for, ahem, televised moral support.
Not to be outdone, though, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio showed up at the same county emergency operations center a short while later to hold his own press conference. And then Miami city officials called yet another press conference Wednesday to let their residents know that they, too, were ready.
If we're missing any elected officials who are #readyforMatthew, let us know.