ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - As Hurricane Irma gets closer and closer to making landfall, the City of Rock Hill is bracing for the impact. City leaders have had several meetings this week in preparation for power outages, flooding, and other issues brought on by the storm.
"We're always on, and we're going to be here so we've already told our workers to take care of their families and prepare now, so we can be ready to help the community," General Services Director Cindi Howard said.
Howard says if wind speeds get up to 35-40 miles per hour, they will hold off on sending crews out for their safety. So as the city prepares, they want you to be prepared at home too.
"We know the storm is coming our way, so we got to be prepared," Walmart shopper Robin Crockett said.
"Looking for some water, flashlights, and batteries, been looking for it all day," Walmart Shopper Thomas Walker said.
However, just because you need to stock up on water, doesn't mean you have to buy it.
"You can take precautions before, you can fill your bath tub and containers and so forth," Howard said.
To preserve your food if the power goes out, switch your refrigerator to the coldest setting now. Then if the power goes out, keep the door shut as much as possible.
You could also stock up on ice or make more ice from your ice machine now, and put your food in a cooler.
If you plan to leave your home when Irma hits, there is a simple way to tell if your food thawed out while you were gone. Freeze a cup of water and set a quarter on top of the frozen water. When you return home if the quarter is at the bottom of the cup, you know the water and the food in your freezer thawed out.
Once the storm is over, emergency management officials say not to go outside right away or start driving immediately. With potential flooding, downed trees, and other debris, you do not know what could be under the water you are driving over.
"A lot of times there could be many holes and nails and things like that, that you just don't see," Howard said.
Also, remember not to call 911 for power outages. If you have a power outage you would like to report in Rock Hill, call 329-5500.
For other hurricane preparedness techniques, click here.