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Emergency agencies and residents prepare for local Hurricane Ian impacts

Hurricane Ian is headed toward our coast, and before it gets any closer there are efforts already being coordinated to keep you safe.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As Hurricane Ian approaches the coast of South Carolina, those who coordinate emergency services and notifications are getting ready for the impact of storms.

"Our priorities include support to counties, and contingency planning for possible transportation, shelter, and supplies," said SC Emergency Management Division Director, Kim Stetson. 

Brett Robertson, a USC professor who specializes in Environmental Communication says that emergency systems are getting ready to advise people during the storms.

RELATED: Latest forecast: Ian ready to make landfall in South Carolina

"Emergency notifications are really important, and right now it's important to make sure that you are signed up for all local and state alerts and local apps, like local news to make sure you know what's happening in the moment," the professor explained.

Robertson says emergency agencies will get ready to help guide people, and let them know how and when to prepare, residents just have to follow directions.

He says only 25% of people will prepare themselves for natural disaster emergencies, but people in the midlands like Hannah Guignard are stocking their pantry just in case.

RELATED: Here's when the Midlands of South Carolina will see the effects of Hurricane Ian

"Yeah I know that it's supposed to rain a lot and I really don't want to go out in all of that tomorrow, so I've just got stuff to make chili in my crock pot so I can stay home," Guignard said.

Others like Harry Stokes were filling up an extra gas can today just in case.

"Yeah I'm filling up because I have a generator so just in case we do lose power, we can keep the fridge going," Stokes stated as he stood at a gas pump.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is expanding services and hours of the department's Care Line until further notice. Staff will be available to answer questions about health department services suspended during Hurricane Ian and general questions about Medical Needs Shelters.

The Care Line number is 1-855-4SC-DHEC (472-3432) and will be open for calls 24/7 beginning Thursday, Sept. 29, until no longer needed. DHEC will notify residents when the Care Line resumes its regular hours and services.

The eye of Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall at around 2 P.M. Friday.

To get continued updates on Hurricane Ian and its impact on the Midlands, you can download the WLTX Weather app.

RELATED: Ian latest updates | SC Governor says 'be smart, don't be a statistic'

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