"It's very important to us to get the word out to people to be prepared. To have a plan" said Walton County Emergency Manager Russell Beaty.
Part of that preparedness includes having an emergency plan, disaster supply kit and emergency contact information.
"People need to also consider knowing the evacuation routes that they're going to take. They need to know where the closest open shelter is. Not all shelters are open during all storms" said Beaty.
Those choosing to ride out a storm should be able to take care of themselves for at least the first seventy-two hours after a hurricane. That's usually when rescue crews are working to get to those in need. Hurricane preparedness is more than just the well-being of you and your family it's also about protecting your property. Which means choosing the right materials to make sure your home stays safe."
"I'd say just anything to repair a window after it's broken. To prepare it before it's broken. Anything to stuff underneath the door to keep the water from flowing in” said Ace Hardware Owner Mike Richardson.
Richardson says he's seen a lot of residents wait till the last minute to prepare for a hurricane.
"A lot of time it's just plywood to get a quick cover up on your windows. Masking tape, duct tape, plastics just to get ready for any water intrusion that might happen" said Richardson.
Richardson also says buying the necessary items now to prepare for an approaching storm later can not only save money but save lives. Emergency Management officials say you should also include animals and any medications in your preparedness plans.