The governors of Florida, Alabama and Georgia declared states of emergency as Michael closed in, and hundreds of Florida National Guard members were activated.

With a month to go before Election Day, Florida voters in evacuation zones were given an extra day to register to vote, once offices reopen after the storm.

The governor also told Florida hospitals and nursing homes to do all they can to assure the safety of the frail and elderly. After Hurricane Irma last year, 14 people died when a South Florida nursing home lost power and air conditioning.

“If you’re responsible for a patient, you’re responsible for the patient. Take care of them,” Scott said.

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Associated Press writers Jonathan Drew in Raleigh, N.C.; Andrea Rodriguez in Cuba; Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Fla.; and Tamara Lush in St. Petersburg, Fla., contributed to this report.