POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Agencies around the state are getting their plans together just in case Isaac heads their way.
In some cases, that means pulling back the help they planned to send to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Polk County had a couple dozen workers, from police to emergency management, ready to lend a hand at the convention. For many of them, those plans are on hold.
“Obviously, Polk County is our number one priority, and my number one priority, so I’ll be here,” said Brad Ruhmann, spokesman for the Polk Fire Rescue.
Due to the tropical storm and its relatively wide cone of uncertainty, Polk County is turning its resources back to Polk County.
They plan to activate the emergency operations center over the weekend, and today they already held closed door meetings to discuss “what if” scenarios.
“People going over there early in the week, we’ve had to pull them back to staff operations over here,” said Pete McNally, Director of Emergency Operations. “Obviously things we’re doing for our home county take precedence over that.”
Of course, plans can change as quickly as Isaac’s forecast.
McNally says as long as there is a threat to Florida, his team will continue to prepare for a hurricane.
One of the big tasks is the coordination of area shelters. It takes roughly 72 hours to fully prepare shelters ahead of a major storm.
Many in Central Florida have also learned some important lessons from past storms.
“A few years back, we didn’t think Charley was going to impact us directly, and it decided to take a sneaky little right turn. It came up and people were out of power for weeks,” McNally said.
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