ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orange County Emergency Management officials are urging residents to prepare for Hurricane Matthew sooner rather than later.
Wednesday afternoon storm predictions indicated Orange County and eastern neighboring counities would be impacted as early as Thursday evening.
Residents are being asked to check their homes and yards for loose items, which should be secured or moved inside.
“We need to make sure that our residents are prepared to shelter in place for 3 days. Most people will not leave their homes,” said Mayor Teresa Jacobs who urged citizens to make have enough water and non-perishable food.
Jacobs also urge residents in mobile homes and areas prone to flooding, as well as people with medical conditions that require them to have access to electricity, to prepare to move to a shelter.
Sandbags were made available to residents Wednesday morning.
“Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 this morning we had over 11,000 sandbags picked up,” Jacobs said. “To me this is very good news. It tells me people are taking this seriously and that’s the most important thing that we need.”
Sandbags will be available at the following locations from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday (pending weather):
Apopka – 3258 Clarcona Road
Bithlo – 18753 Old Cheney Highway
John Young – 4200 S. John Young Pkwy.
Taft – 11442 Intermodal Way
Three Points- 4631 Young Pine Road
West Orange - 644 Beulah Road
Zellwood - 3400 Golden Gem Road
For Hurricane Matthew updates from Orange County, visit www.ocfl.net/Matthew.