As the powerful Category 5 Hurricane Matthew creeps northward through the Caribbean Sea—wreaking havoc in Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas—three southeastern American states have declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday and, the following day, announced the activation of 500 Florida National Guardsmen over the next two days to deal with what he described as a potential “catastrophe” for the state. On Tuesday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley declared a statewide emergency and announced plans to evacuate the state’s coastline—approximately 1.1 million people—with a goal of moving people at least 100 miles away from the shoreline. North Carolina and Georgia’s governors declared states of emergency for 66 and 13 coastal counties, respectively.