ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Preparations for Hurricane Ian are underway across the Southeast, including on our islands and beaches as the storm marches closer to the Florida coast. Officials from local beach communities are urging residents and visitors to begin personal preparations now, but say they shouldn’t panic.

Most remain in a wait-and-see mode as possible impacts across the Lowcountry are unclear. Regardless, the message from officials on Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and the Isle of Palms is to be prepared and be ready for any impacts.

“Everybody just needs to get prepared,” says Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin.

On the Isle of Palms, Police Chief Kevin Cornett says city staff continues to hold meetings while taking a proactive approach to getting ready.

“Clean those ditches out and get some of our pumps in the area if we need them,” says Chief Cornett. “And just start getting our message out to folks that hey; there’s probably going to be some flooding.”

As city staff and beach officials piece together their plans, they’re urging residents to review their storm checklists and kits, secure loose items, and prepare to stay home.

“Know your areas, roadways where you have areas that are more prone for flooding,” says Chief Cornett. “Those are the areas that you’re going to want to stay off of when the rain starts to hit.”

Down the coast, Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin says his city is taking a lot of the same steps. With high winds in the forecast, he says residents should anticipate high tides and possible power outages island-wide, making it important to stock up on supplies.

“When the storm comes, and it’s raining a lot, get you some hot tomato soup and a grilled cheese soup and stay home,” says Mayor Goodwin.

Hurricane Ian is forecasted to weaken by the time it reaches the Lowcountry, but Mayor Goodwin says this week’s storm serves as a reminder and test for what could happen in the coming weeks.

“Hurricane season isn’t over until it’s over, so you know you need to stay alert and be ready to leave if you need to leave,” says Mayor Goodwin. “We’ll see how that goes as it progresses.”

For now officials say they’re watching the forecast and gearing up to ensure they’re ready.

“You know, keep an eye on it, don’t panic, but be ready,” says Mayor Goodwin.

Lowcountry beach officials say they plan to continue monitoring the forecast and Hurricane Ian approaches and making necessary changes to response plans if needed. They’re also urging residents to monitor state and local resources for the most accurate advisories.