PANAMA CITY BEACH - If Karen does have Florida in her sights, some are wondering if the shut down of the federal government will hamper relief efforts.
As director of the Red Cross, Bob Pearce has spent his week preparing for possible weekend storms.
He says despite the federal government shutdown, we are ready for whatever mother nature throws at us.
Pearce said, "Of course the state of Florida is not shut down, Bay County is not shut down, none of the municipalities are shut down, the Red Cross is not shut down. The immediate response is going to be the same as it always has."
Emergency Services, Brad Monroe said, "Emergency or every disaster starts at the local level, and builds to the federal level."
That means the first line of defense will be local emergency management centers and organizations like the Red Cross.
Governor Scott has promised to use the National Guard if necessary.
This also would not be in conflict with the federal shutdown.
Scott said, "In the event of a response to a natural disaster, where we were asked to respond on behalf of the state, that would fall under our state mission, and also is state funded. Currently, that is not impacted by the federal government shutdown."
As of now, officials are hopeful that the worst case scenario won't play out.
"I can't tell you how many times over the years we have done a lot of work that no one sees because we were fortunate enough to not have to open shelter. And as of now, unless the forecast changes a lot, I think we are going to be lucky again," Pearce said.
Red Cross officials have vehicles and supplies standing by if shelters are ultimately called for by County Emergency Managers.