Gearing up for Isaias in Palatka

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -As Isaias heads closer to Florida, people who are under a tropical storm warning like Palatka are gearing up for some heavy rain. We'll show you what residents and emergency managers are saying about being ready for the first threatening storm of the season.

Whether it's a tropical storm, a category 1 hurricane, or even higher, emergency managers say it's time to once again make sure you have a plan for the worst to happen.

Putnam County's Emergency Coordinator Ryan Simpson said, "they should take every storm seriously, today is really the day residents should finalize any plans and finalize preparations is they have a kit. Recommendations are they have 5 days worth of water and commodities so they can sustain themselves through power loss or anything a storm may bring."

Spencer Schreffler who has lived in Palatka his whole life said, "yeah we usually stock up on bottled water and canned goods just to get ready. We try and make sure we got extra bottles of frozen water in the deep freeze just in case we do lose power."

Right now for Putnam County, there are no plans to open shelters and no evacuation orders. Because of COVID-19 emergency managers are asking everyone to only use shelters if they’re even open if you really don’t have anywhere else to go.

Simpson explained, "we're utilizing guidance through the CDC and American Red Cross which includes additional spacing for family units and individuals at the shelter. Really the message is that residents should basically seek shelter at friends or family homes that live in a side built home and use shelters as a last resort if they're open."

However, even with Isaias set to hit late Sunday night and possible storm surge to the St. Johns river of 1-2 feet, at least in Palatka there doesn’t seem to be too much worry from the locals.

Schreffler said, "they've seen just about everything except for an earthquake, they aren't worried. They'll probably stock up on a few supplies just in case, but as far as any, I don't know storm generators, boarding up windows, cutting down extra limbs in case of power lines I honestly couldn't tell you."

You can also sign up for a free emergency notification service directly through the Putnam County website. Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.