Firefighters: Prep, but prep safely ahead of Dorian

Firefighters at Orange County Fire Rescue Station No. 41 started shuttering their own building's windows Wednesday -- just in case the area ends up in the middle of a hurricane over the weekend.


For the team, it's a long process, as they have to fix the metal sheets to the department's windows in between emergency calls. However, they're urging others to follow their example in starting the hurricane preparation process early.

"Don't wait. You know we procrastinate by human nature but when it comes to hurricanes and storm preparation, you can't really procrastinate," said Department Public Information Officer Mike Jachles.

Jachles said that it's the times before and after the storm that his guys end up responding to the most injury calls as people end up hurting themselves in the preparation process.

Among the issues first responders see: falls from ladders and roofs, cuts from shutter edges and other materials, and injuries from falling objects. Jachles said the potential for injury only seems to get worse each day the storm creeps closer.

"With storm conditions moving in: you may have rain, you're gonna have wind, and you may be up on a ladder in an unsafe environment," he said.

So firefighters are urging Central Floridians to prepare ahead, but do it safely and start now. That includes gathering supplies for extended periods without power, preparing your home and property, and having and sticking to a plan throughout the duration of the storm threat.

Even though Dorian is not a certainty at this point, experts advise people to plan for the worst just in case.