Friday, Sept. 30 update: Chatham County will end the local state of emergency at 6 PM Friday, September 30, 2022. The local state of emergency began on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, in response to Hurricane Ian’s threat to Chatham County.
Hurricane Ian, making landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 5 storm. is one of the first major storms headed for Chatham County in several years.
Savannah and Chatham County, particularly the eastside, anticipates up to eight inches of rain and five feet of storm surge (which will swell an already high tide of 10.8 feet) on Thursday night.
While officials said they do not see a need for evacuation, there are several key steps to prepare for the flooding and wind gusts set to lash the Georgia coast Thursday evening through Saturday morning.
All things Ian:
Here are some things to do ahead of Ian's arrival:
Secure your yard, house
With strong winds expected to batter Savannah and the county, officials are urging homeowners to secure any outdoor objects before Thursday, including yard furniture, trash bins, gardening supplies, toys and playsets or any objects that could fly away and cause damage to your property or others'.
Inside, be sure to take photos of important items for insurance purposes and ensure that everything is secure.
If the power goes out, be sure to keep your fridge closed to keep food from spoiling and cold from escaping. And while officials do not anticipate homes losing water, having emergency bottled water on-hand is imperative.
In the event of flooding, a tree falling or other storm-related emergency, law enforcement and first responders will be ready to assist people.
Be ready to go
Chatham Emergency Management Agency Director Dennis Jones emphasized the need for people to pack emergency kits for themselves, their children and their pets. An emergency kit should already be packed ahead of a natural disaster.
The federal government lists the following as essentials for an emergency kit:
Battery-powered or hand crank radio
Wrench or pliers (to shut utilities off)
Cell phone with portable charger
Jones also said to include any books, toys or games for children and pets, in case the power goes out and they need to be comforted and/or entertained.
Know who is available to help
All first responders are on alert and preparing for the storm's impacts, according to Jones, but there are also a few other places to find help:
Sandbags: Tybee residents can get them at Memorial Park, 402 Jones Ave., Tybee; Port Wentworth residents can pick them up at Fire Stations 1 (317 Cantyre St.) and 2 (6781 GA-21) and City Hall (7224 GA Highway 21)
Savannah 3-1-1 line: The city's helpline is now running 24 hours a day. Call in for help, or to report safety hazards.
Stay up to date
The Savannah Morning News will be sharing regular updates throughout the rest of the week and weekend about Hurricane Ian. Our social media for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is @savannahnow and our website is savannahnow.com.
Other resources include:
National Weather Service (Charleston, SC, office): https://www.weather.gov/chs/
Chatham Emergency Management Agency: https://www.chathamemergency.org/
City of Savannah: https://www.savannahga.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=Updates-722
Chatham County: https://www.chathamcountyga.gov/
Savannah/Hilton Head Airport: https://savannahairport.com/
Savannah-Chatham Public School System: https://www.sccpss.com/Pages/default.aspx
Contact Zoe at firstname.lastname@example.org, @zoenicholson_ on Twitter, and @zoenicholsonreporter on Instagram.
This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Hurricane Ian Impact: What Savannah residents should know for storm