This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," Sept. 23, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: With Hurricane Jeanne set to make landfall on Sunday, it will be the fourth killer storm to strike Florida in just six weeks. Joining us from Jacksonville is Florida National Guard Major General Douglas Burnett. General, are you getting ready? I know that you've done a tremendous amount of work in connection with the hurricanes that have already hit Florida. What are you doing to get ready for Jeanne?
MAJ. GEN. DOUGLAS BURNETT, FLORIDA NATIONAL GUARD: Well, Greta, we continue to focus on the requirements over in the Pensacola area, if you will, Escambia County, Walton County, Ocalusa, Santa Rosa. But that need is starting to go away, as we see a lot of locals picking up the supply distribution points, local law enforcement picking that security mission. And that happens as power starts to come back on. So it's a phasing out, as we phase up for Jeanne.
Specifically, we've got soldiers right now that are moving two armories in the St. Lucie County area. They'll be moving down in Palm Beach. We are moving our big Blackhawk helicopters down to Homestead Air Force Base, so they're ready to come in behind Jeanne with search-and-
rescue teams, our Florida National Guard Special Forces soldiers will be there pushing communications back through satellites, letting us get an on-the-ground assessment, much as you're on the scene, news folks are doing, as well.
So we're ready, we're prepared. And this is our fourth major storm this year. We'll be ready to do this job, and our soldiers and airmen have a great attitude about looking after our citizens.
VAN SUSTEREN: General, you and I spoke before Ivan hit Florida and Alabama and that area. After it hit, did it -- were you surprised at the amount of damage, or was that what you had anticipated?
BURNETT: Well, of course, there's a good team out there, a very cohesive team that Governor Jeb Bush has put together that -- two meteorologists on staff. So we expected about what we saw. We saw that continue to move west.
Obviously, we were prepared for a category 5 to go straight up the Keys, up through Fort Myers, Tampa. And the good news was, it was less than a 5. And so we were watching that as it inched westward, so we knew about where it was going. And we responded rather quickly, I believe, and I think the folks in that community would tell you that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what have we learned? I mean, what do you recommend to the people who may get hit by Jeanne?
BURNETT: Key is, when the governor suggests we evacuate, it's time to start doing that. You should have a family plan. That family plan should include what hotel you're going to, what relative you're going to, gasoline in your car, ready to move out when the evacuation order. That is key.
The next very critical piece is, do not come back until you hear from the emergency management directors here in Florida, director Craig Fugate, the local county EOCs. Do not come back -- downed power lines, a lot of wash-outs, water in the roads. We'll let you know, and the National Guard will secure your community, along with local law enforcement.
VAN SUSTEREN: What if you can't afford to evacuate? Because it actually costs money. You have to have transportation, need to maybe stay in a hotel inland. I mean, what do you do if you just can't afford it?
BURNETT: Well, there's friends. That's back to that family plan. Which friend are you going to ride with? Which relative will help you go? And we found the citizens of Florida have come together in a great way.
We did not see too many cases where folks couldn't get a ride out or where that wasn't working. So I think the local counties are doing a great job of providing transportation. Our shelters have been increased greatly since Andrew.
And by the way, a lot of lessons learned from Andrew. Key is early call-up, early evacuation order, and very early response to the needs after the hurricane comes through.
VAN SUSTEREN: What -- can you give me an estimate of how many people still don't have power, or isn't that something you know?
BURNETT: That's not a number I know tonight. Of course, after Ivan went ashore, 95 percent in the Pensacola area did not have power. I will tell you that today, that number has changed significantly, and it'll change almost by the hour.
Lots of crews from the Gulf Power, the Southern companies, if you will, come from adjoining states. So they're restoring power very rapidly over there.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, General, let's hope you get lucky and it misses Florida. Thank you, General.
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