Georgia officials urge preparation ahead of Florence

- As the East Coast keeps a close eye on Florence as it approaches and gains strength, several Georgia government agencies are asking residents to be prepared.

Catherine Howden, Chief of Staff of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, said they are actively monitoring the storm.

“We are continuing to work with state and local partners to determine best steps to keep Georgians safe,” Howden was quoted as saying.

RELATED: The latest on Florence

"Being prepared can save lives, property and a lot of misery," Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens was quoted as saying. "With Florence quickly approaching, I'm urging all Georgia residents to take action to protect themselves, their homes and their businesses."

Both state agencies are urging residents along the East Coast to prepare now by getting together important documents and their Ready kits.

Hudgens said property owners should make sure they have copies of all insurance policies as well as have the company’s phone numbers handy. Residents should inventory personal belongings and gather important documents to take in case they need to leave their homes.

“Regardless of where the storm is headed, we encourage everyone to take this opportunity to prepare their Ready kits and review communications plans for their family, and to pay attention to guidance from local officials and trusted news sources for the most updated information,” Howden said.

Folks in low-lying areas should review their evacuation plans especially if they are pet owners or require special care. It also is a good idea to make sure those taking medications have enough for a few weeks.

Folks can learn more about making a Ready kit at gema.ga.gov. Those needing insurance guidance ahead of the storm should go to oci.ga.gov.

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