SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - In the event that Hurricane Irma causes damage in this area, now is the time to prepare for what the storm may bring.
Rowan County Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason says he has been closely following the path of Irma, and keeping others informed about the possibilities.
"We began yesterday sharing information with our partner agencies, both public safety and local government across the county," Thomason.
The piedmont has seen damage from storms before, from the devastation of Hurricane Hugo to the damage caused by the more frequent tornadoes and high winds.
"I think we learned a tremendous amount from Hugo," Thomason added. "I think one of the key things we learned from Hugo is that something of that magnitude can actually happen here…it's not just a coastal thing."
At the True Value hardware store in Salisbury on Wednesday there were already people getting ready for severe weather. Flashlights of all types, lanterns, and batteries were the most popular items.
Store manager Gary Ingram says one of his best recommendations is to make sure propane tanks are filled.
"I would recommend keeping your propane tank full, in case the power does go out…that way you can cook, get your food out of your freezer, refrigerator before it goes bad," Ingram said.
Other items Ingram said may come in handy include tarps, bottled water, charcoal for a grill, and power equipment such as chainsaws for clearing debris.
"Our most basic model (chainsaw) is a 16 inch bar, that would be good for small limbs, cleaning up small debris, scrubs, bigger saws for your bigger trees," Ingram added.
Thomason is encouraging residents to have an emergency kit prepared. He says the website https://www.rowancountync.gov/206/ReadyROWAN has a wealth of information on how to be best prepared for emergencies.
Taking care of pets is also something Thomason pointed out.
"Don't leave out your pets in this," Thomason added. "Make sure there's a way to protect them and if you should have to move to a different location make sure there are materials available so that you can properly protect them if you need to."