Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMiami) –  More than half a million Miami-Dade County residents are under evacuation orders as Hurricane Irma comes to closer to Florida.

“This is probably over 650,000 people that we’re asking to relocate and evacuate,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez after expanding new orders.

The number rose to 700,000 by Wednesday evening.

Mayor Gimenez issued evacuation orders for all Zones A, B and parts of C over life-threatening storm surge expected during the storm. People who live in mobile homes were also ordered to evacuate.  Click here for a full map of the evacuation zone or click here  to check if your address is under evacuation.

The mayor says he based his decision to issue mandatory evacuations due to the potential for deadly storm surge.

“Tropical Storm winds could be affecting Miami as soon as Saturday,” said Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stood side-by-side with Mayor Gimenez and called this the ‘Golden Hour’ to prepare.

“This is the golden hour already. Lives could be saved if you do what needs to be done now,” said Rubio.

Rubio reassured the public that he spoke to ICE who said immigration status is not and will not be a factor in rescues during and after the hurricane.

Related: Numbers & Apps To Know Before, During & After Hurricane Irma

The county has opened shelters to house those evacuating. However, the mayor said it should be a last resort.

“Our shelters should be a refuge of last resort for people who truly have no place to go,” said Gimenez. “We encourage everyone to provide assistance to family, to coworkers, to friends who are in evacuation zones. Call up family, friends, coworkers, anyone you know who does not live in an evacuation zone and ask them for shelter. Now is the time for us to come together and help each other out.”

The following shelters are now open in Miami-Dade County:

  • Miami Carol City Senior at 3301 Miami Gardens Drive in Miami Gardens
  • Miami Central Senior at 781 NW 95 Street in Miami
  • North Miami Senior at 13110 NE 8th Avenue in North Miami
  • TERRA Environmental at 11005 SW 84 Street in Miami
  • South Miami Senior High: 6856 SW 53rd St, Miami, FL 33155
  • North Miami Beach Senior High: 1247 NE 167th St, Miami, FL 33162
  • Felix Varela Senior High: 15255 SW 96th St, Miami, FL 33196
  • Darwin Fuchs Pavilion: Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center (pet friendly): 10901 Southwest 24th Street, Miami, FL, United States, 33165

Miami-Dade is opening 13 more shelters on Friday.

The Red Cross says if you show up to a shelter, don’t come empty-handed.

“Please, three days worth of water and food – one gallon per person, per pet if you are going to a pet shelter,” said Roberto Baltodano. “They need to understand an evacuation shelter won’t have the comforts of home.”

You also have to bring your own form of bedding.

Miami-Dade Police said they will help as long as weather permits them to.

Schools are closed Thursday and Friday. All employees, other than essential employees, are off. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said they will make a decision on whether they will open Monday during the weekend.

The main number right how is 35 mph. If winds reach that high, trash pick up, public transportation and operations at Miami International Airport will stop.

PortMiami will be closed down starting 8 a.m. Saturday. Ships will leave the port Friday at noon.

Those who have boats in marinas, are asked to secure their boats as soon as they can.

The mayor said that eventually – probably by Friday or Saturday – all drawbridges will be locked.

Miami-Dade parks and libraries are closed.

Miami-Dade County offers a variety of apps and alerts to stay up to date. You can sign up for Miami-Dade Emergency Alerts  that will let you know through email or texts about public safety issues, recommended public protective actions, or other emergency information. Their SAFE app lets users find open and available evacuation centers and Disaster Assistance Centers near you. To report damage info to the county, click here.  

For more information, you can also call Florida’s Emergency line at 1-800-342-3557. A major issue during hurricanes is price gouging. If you believe you’re a victim of price gouging call 1-866-966-7226 to report it. Veterans in need of assistance can call 1-800-507-4571.