APALACHICOLA, Fla. (WMBB) — As Hurricane Ian closes in on Florida, Franklin County officials continue to prepare for the worst.

“Prepare ahead of time,” Franklin County Emergency Management Coordinator Jennifer Daniels said. “Plan like you’re looking at the storm to be coming toward us.”

Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith said the county always prepares for the worst-case scenario.

“We take every one like it’s a Cat 5,” Smith said. “You know as we look at this, as we prepare for it we consider that we’re going to have a Cat 5 and what would we do. And that’s how we prepare.”

Smith said the Sheriff’s Office will update information hourly. He said all deputies will be ready to answer service calls when the storm hits. 

“All the deputies have pick-up trucks, they’re going to have chainsaws,” Smith said. “We’ll have water on board, you know we’ll still be answering calls for service as long as the weather’s not too bad that it keeps us off the roads.”

Smith said preparations have been made to evacuate jail inmates to surrounding counties. He also urges residents to listen to evacuation orders if they are implemented. On Monday and Tuesday, re-entry tags will be given to residents in Apalachicola and Carrabelle.

“We use reentry tags to limit people who are not residents from coming in our county,” Daniels said. “Our supplies like fuel are very limited after something like that. And so this helps us to reserve things like fuel for our local residents.”

County officials are also giving out sandbags in Apalachicola, Carrabelle and Eastpoint. Each household can receive 10 sandbags.