Wausau- People along the coast have been keeping an eye on what tropical storm Isaac has been doing. But Washington County officials have been reminding inland residents they needed to be prepared too.
Washington County Public Safety Director, Roger Hagan said, just because you're in the woods, didn't mean you're out of the woods in terms of potential impact from Isaac.
"Our concern is going to be low land flooding and flash flooding of roads. Infrastructure's going to stand a chance of being washed out or impacted. And actually, we could have some tree damage because the wet ground has loosened the trees and everything and if we have strong winds at all we could lose trees" Hagan explained.
As Isaac's slow move continued toward the gulf, Hagan told us he was worried people living off the coast wouldn't be prepared. He said often times, people just assumed they were safe.
"If it strengthens and comes ashore in the Panama City area, the south part of our county is only 20 miles inland. In fact, Ebro is 18 miles from Panama City Beach" Hagan told us.
Much like the National Hurricane Center, Hagan's department said they were hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. He said they were planning to declare a local state of emergency on Monday.
"That sets in motion our comprehensive plan. It will activate the E.O.C. and allow us to open shelters. So probably for Washington County, the 'pull the trigger' time is going to be Monday" Hagan said.
If needed, shelters would be set up at Vernon High School and Middle School. Also, Chipley High School and Roulhac Middle School would be set up as shelters, with Roulhac equip for people with special needs. All of the shelters would be prepared to accommodate evacuee's from the neighboring coastal counties.
But Hagan as told us, these services were only helpful if people acted on them in time.
"If this storm strengthens and there comes a point in time that I can't send somebody out to get you and you have to shelter in place, often times those situations have a tragic outcome. We don't want that to happen. We want the inland counties to be just as prepared as the coastal counties" he said.