It’s too early to say if Tropical Storm Erika will impact Florida, but it’s not too early to start preparing for a hurricane.
"A lot will depend on how much Erika can survive," Dennis Feltgen, public affairs officer for the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said. "Whether (Erika) will be in good enough strength to become a hurricane waits to be seen."
There are a lot of possibilities of what Tropical Storm Erika could do, Feltgen said, and it’s impossible to predict if and how it will impact Florida. If Tropical Storm Erika does turn into a hurricane, however, it could impact Florida as early as Sunday.
Erika is currently predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane, the lowest on the scale, he said.
For now, Feltgen said Floridians should pay attention to alerts from the National Hurricane Center and collect emergency hurricane supplies if they haven’t already.
Alachua County Emergency Management Assistant Director Jeff Bielling wrote in an email people planning to stay at home should have a three- to five-day supply of nonperishable food and water, a 30-day supply of needed medications, a battery powered radio, batteries, flashlights and pet supplies.
In the event of a hurricane, Bielling said people shouldn’t drive or walk in flooded roadways, should seek shelter during lightning storms and wind events and have a plan of action should they have to evacuate their residency.
Projected path of Erika by the National Hurricane Center:http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/115524.shtml?5-daynl?large#contents
Alachua County Emergency Management preparation information:http://www.alachuacounty.us/Depts/PublicSafety/em/Pages/EmergencyManagement.aspx
UF Division of Public Safety Hurricane Guide:https://emergency.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Student-Hurricane-Brochure_May-2014.pdf