The National Hurricane Center on Tuesday warned that Hurricane Michael is likely to be a major hurricane as it nears the coast of Florida on Wednesday.
Michael, forecasters said, could be a Category 3 storm with winds in excess of 125 mph when it makes landfall.
While emergency management agencies are advising those living in coastal areas along the northern Florida Gulf coast to be aware, they are also warning Georgia residents that they are likely to feel the storm’s effects.
The National Weather Service says Georgia will likely see impacts from Michael from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday evening.
If you live in Georgia, the NWS says to be on the lookout for heavy rainfall, damaging winds and possible isolated tornadoes.
Here are some of the storm preparations you should complete as soon as possible if you live in Georgia, and some information from a Ready.gov publication that includes a checklist of what to do in advance of the storm:
Preparing your home
1. Winds from a downgraded hurricane can cause trees and branches to fall. If you can, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
2. Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. Clear your yard of unsecured items such as lawn chairs.
After the storm
1. Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
2. Check in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
3. Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
4. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 1 foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
5. Avoid floodwater, as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
6. Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
7. Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
8. Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. That’s known as “back-feeding” and puts people at risk of electrocution.