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Now is the time to plan, prepare as Ian heads to Florida

Now is the time to plan, prepare as TD9 heads to Florida
Now is the time to plan, prepare as TD9 heads to Florida 03:05

MIAMI - As South Florida keeps tabs on a tropical storm making its way across the central Caribbean, now is the time to prepare for any possible impacts.

Tropical Storm Ian is moving to the west-northwest and is forecast to become a tropical storm and then a hurricane late weekend into early next week.

South Florida is included in the forecast cone from early to the middle of next week. Although there is still some uncertainty regarding exactly where this will end up, for now, everyone should monitor the storm's progress and have a hurricane plan and supplies ready to go.

"Now is the time to make sure you have a hurricane plan in place for yourself and your family and to double check that you have a hurricane emergency kit that is fully stocked," said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.  

Cava told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "It has been hurricane season for a while and I know we have a lot of newcomers who have not experienced a storm before so we just want to emphasize that we are watching and we have really good projections."

Cava remembers the flooding she saw after a deluge of rain in Saga Bay on June 8th and while she toured the flooded areas. 

She said, "The storm could be coming here. So we don't know. Let's not wait. Let's make sure we go out and get supplies and anyone who is vulnerable should be in contact with our office. We are definitely aware of what the storm system can be. We are definitely looking at lowering the water levels and having pumps available in case we have an incident like that. It is not the time to let your guard down. It s time to know that we live in paradise and we get a lot of storms."

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez urge preparedness for Tropical Depression Nine 00:59

Miami-Dade Commissioner Chairman, Jose "Pepe" Diaz said "My concern is the amount of rain and a lot depends on when the storm goes towards Cuba and when it turns around. We will still be on the dirty side of the rain and may get a lot of rain and that worries us."

Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez said no decision had been made yet on whether his officers would go to shifts of 12 hours on and 12 hours off next week. 

"We will be prepared to follow protocol as we get information from the National Weather Service and the Emergency Operations Center. Right now we are monitoring everything to make sure the department is prepared and as information comes in we will adjust accordingly. My concerns are public safety, particularly those in the community who are vulnerable such as the homeless and those with special needs. That's why we are reaching out to make sure they have everything they need."

Pete Gomez, the Director of the Office of Emergency Management for Miami-Dade, said "We are communicating with the National Weather Service and the Florida Division of Emergency Management and with other counties to make sure we are on the same page. Right now we are monitoring everything and we are very aware of key developments. We are also coordinating with solid waste and water and sewer and we could be arranging extra pickups." 

This weekend is the time to prepare for any possible impacts that could occur due to possible heavy rain, high winds, and possible localized flooding.

First, check your hurricane kit to see what supplies you may be lacking. Even though you may not need it, stock up, better to be safe than sorry. The kit should include nonperishable food, water, batteries, candles, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, and a supply of medications. It also should have plastic, duct tape, and a utility knife to cover broken windows.

Don't forget your pets, stock up on their food and medications, too.

Next, get your yard and property ready. Trim your trees, hedges, and shrubbery to reduce the risk of flying branches during high winds. Clean up debris and put it in trash cans.

If high winds are expected, bring outdoor furniture inside and secure anything else that is not tied down. Boat owners should make sure their boats are secure.

More preparation tips can be found in the CBS4 Hurricane Guide 2022.   

Make sure you have materials and tools to put up your storm shutters if high winds are expected. Windows also can be protected with plywood. Tape is not a suggested protective measure for windows.

Emergency managers also suggest you make a family emergency communication plan.

Keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half full so you don't have to worry about long lines at gas stations and can avoid gas shortages prior to a storm. It also comes in handy in case you have evacuate.

Owners of electric vehicles should keep the battery charged at between 50% - 80% capacity at all times, depending on the type of vehicle and what the vehicle's manual recommends.

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