Tropical Storm Florence is still many days away from affecting anyone on the East Coast, but in Charleston, city and county officials are making initial preparations in case of severe weather.

Charleston County said Friday afternoon that the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center was moving to OPCON 4. This initial preparation level indicates that local officials believe there is a possibility for severe weather that may require a higher level of emergency response. The City of Charleston followed suit, indicating that they were also taking steps to prepare. For more info on the different OPCON levels, check out charlestoncounty.org.

City of Charleston’s Emergency Management Director, Shannon Scaff: “While it is still too soon to know exactly what the impact of the storm may be for our area, it is not too soon to begin preparations for yourself and your family. Residents are encouraged to begin those preparations, including gathering emergency supplies, becoming familiar with evacuation routes and coordinating with family members.”

Tropical Storm Florence is currently churning in open waters due east of Miami with little effect to land right now. But experts say they expect the storm to continue to intensify over the next few days, possibly increasing the threat to the Southeast coast.

As of its 11 a.m. update, the National Hurricane Center predicted that the earliest that tropical storm-force winds could reach near the S.C. coast would be Tuesday evening.

Charleston County advises residents to download its 2018 Hurricane Preparedness Guide PDF.

City of Charleston provides some of its own storm updates online as well.

And the S.C. Emergency Management Division has comprehensive emergency prep info.

The National Hurricane Center also has periodic updates everyday.