NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – First responders throughout Charleston County are doing everything they can to stay ready for emergencies, ahead of Hurricane Ian.

“We increase our personnel and increase our resources that we place throughout the county,” said Kim Winn, the Deputy Chief of Operations for Charleston County Emergency Medical Services.

Highwater vehicles are on standby in case Charleston County EMS has trouble accessing hospitals in the flood-prone medical district.

In North Charleston, police were busy handing out sandbags to residents at multiple locations. City leaders said crews were preparing for flooding by cleaning out drains.

“We know our normal flooding areas so that’s why we have additional police out and public works out,” said Delmar Johnson, the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the City of North Charleston.

Johnson said on Wednesday the city was running under OPCON3 which are normal daily operations, however, he anticipated they will shift to OPCON2 within the next day.

“OPCON2 is a little bit more heightened where more of our city resources are being deployed like our police are being put on notice and we’re changing their schedules,” explained Johnson.

He also predicted they will open their Emergency Operations Center on Friday.

Charleston Police are increasing their staffing starting on Thursday morning. Officers said they are hoping to make early road closures in commonly flooded areas.

“The biggest thing is don’t go around any barricades. Don’t drive into any water,” advised Capt. Jason Bruder.

To stay up to date on road closures, click here.