LIVE OAK, Fla. — While Tropical Storm Dorian is still located in the Caribbean Sea, residents across the Suwannee Valley are urged to stay alert.
Marc Land, the Lafayette County Emergency Management Director, said his department has begun preparations from participating in calls with the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center to plans to go over their preparedness plan Thursday with stakeholders in the county.
Those calls and plans are also being conducted in Suwannee County and Hamilton County.
“It’s a little bit early,” he said. “We just don’t know what to prepare for just yet.”
Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John, also the county's Emergency Management Director, echoed that there is still a lot of uncertainty with Dorian's projected path.
“Right now, it’s still up in the air,” Hamilton County Emergency Management Director Henry Land said. “Hopefully it will maintain and be a small rain event.
“That’s what we’re hoping, anyways.”
The latest forecast released early Wednesday morning, though, projected a move north for Dorian, one that could take the storm right through the area. It also is projected that there will be sustained winds of 74-110 miles per hour when it hits the Atlantic coast of Florida around 2 a.m. Monday.
But even if the center of the storm doesn't hit the area, there still may be damage in the form of wind and rain. And with wind and rain could come falling limbs and power outages.
Residents are urged to prepare while staying informed as the storm moves closer.
“That’s the biggest thing, whatever they need — food, water, medicine,” St. John said. “If they feel like their residence isn’t going to withstand high winds, make arrangements to leave the area or stay with friends or relatives.”
Henry Land added: “Stay aware of the situation. Anticipate it. Make sure you have you medications or whatever necessities you have to have.
“Always stay aware, stay informed in case anything changes.”
Marc Land agreed.
“Have a plan,” he said. “Always think about the worst case scenario and have a plan. Make sure they’ve got adequate water and supplies in case we lose power.
“Prepare for (power outages) on the light side of it and if we see where it’s going to be worse, we’ll go from there.”
According to the NWS, there is at least a 60 percent chance of rain from Saturday through Monday.