Dougherty Co. emergency management teams prepare for Irma - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. emergency management teams prepare for Irma

In the past, emergency operation centers have opened downtown. (Source: WALB) In the past, emergency operation centers have opened downtown. (Source: WALB)
Jenna Wirtz is an Emergency Management Specialist for the city and county. (Source: WALB) Jenna Wirtz is an Emergency Management Specialist for the city and county. (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Albany and Dougherty County emergency officials are already preparing for Irma. 

Emergency Management Specialist Jenna Wirtz said officials have been tracking the storm for the past week. 

Wirtz said Dougherty County will be impacted no matter what, either as a shelter for evacuees or with the weather itself coming through South Georgia, officials want to be prepared. 

Albany is designated by GEMA as a place for people in the Florida panhandle to evacuate to. 

Hotels in South Georgia are already booked solid. 

This week, officials are making sure shelter lists are up to date. 

"And so we're preparing to shelter if we need to," explained Wirtz. "We have plans if we have to evacuate people or assist people who are evacuating from other areas. And all of those things are being ramped up right now so they are ready to go if they are needed."

Wirtz said she's been speaking with people at the state level every day.

Officials are urging people to be prepared for any type of weather. 

Right now, our WALB News 10 First Alert Weather Team is predicting we'll see tropical storm rain and winds. However, this can still change.

Wirtz said now is a good time to put together an emergency plan with your family. 

"It's really just prepare now. The weather is nice. Today is a great day to practice your evacuation plan with your family," said Wirtz. "Today is a great time to figure out where in your home is the best place to shelter. We recommend the first floor, away from windows."

In your emergency kit, officials recommend having a variety of items.

That includes gallons of water, canned food, a weather radio and flashlights with extra batteries, cash and important documents.

They also recommend filling your car now with gas and investing in a solar-powered phone charger. 

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