VERO BEACH, Fla. — Residents in Indian River County are concerned about Hurricane Ian and are taking steps to prepare for the major storm and hunker down if necessary.
Cecily Garcia and her husband, Fredrick, got a little freaked out about the impending storm, but the couple quickly realized they had work to do.
"We're just removing some of the stuff outside the house and bringing it in, incase the wind blows so it doesn't hit anybody's house or damage somebody's cars," Cecily Garcia said.
The National Weather Service is projecting that Ian will be a major hurricane. Currently, they forecast the storm will hit Florida's west coast. however, it doesn't mean places like Indian River County won't see any impact.
Fredrick Garcia said he's concerned about the roof and the loss of utilities.
"Yeah, electricity especially. Water? I'm getting ready," he said. "I'm putting a tub full of water in case we need it for bathrooms. Making sure I wash up before the storm and I'm leaving it in God's hands."
The emergency management team here in Indian River County is preparing for the worse, including tropical force storm winds, possible flooding and tornados.
On Monday, the Emergency Operations Center activated at level two, which means they're observing the storm and staying in touch with law enforcement and fire and rescue.
"Level three is monitoring; level two is slightly elevated activation where we bring in some folks," said Ryan Lloyd, "and then a level one activation would be coined a full activation, in which we bring in different people or stakeholders and there are also emergency support functions."
Since Ian has been slowly approaching Florida, the timing also gives them a chance to get things organized.
"Obviously, there's usually several days notice, so we start reviewing the data that's provided by the National Weather Service along with the Florida Division of Emergency Management," he said, "and we start making plans and preparations."
Cecily said storms like Ian scare her.
"You just never know. You have to expect the unexpected," she said.
Lloyd said most injuries happen after a hurricane in flash flooding.
Indian River County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents that 911 is for emergencies only. For storm-related questions or concerns, please call the Indian River County's Emergency Information Center at (772) 226-4000.
For the Indian River County Disaster Guide, click here.
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