Just after 12 p.m., Florence was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane.

Hurricane Michael: Everything you need to know to prepare for hurricanes 

A hurricane expected to affect the Florida Panhandle Wednesday, according to the Channel 2 Action News.

The latest projection has Michael as a Category 2 storm that will likely go to Category 3.

»RELATED: State of emergency declared for 92 Georgia counties ahead of Hurricane Michael

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 92 Georgia counties, including in Savannah, Augusta, Macon and Columbus. 

The National Hurricane Center says Michael is “still strengthening” and is expected to bring “life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall.”

» Should you evacuate your home? Understand hurricane categories first

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, the storm was approximately 350 miles south of Panama City, Florida, with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. 

To help educate Georgians, Ready Georgia provides a host of tools and info at its website.  It advises evacuation if:

• If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.

• If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelters are particularly hazardous during a hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.

• If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.

• If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

• You should be able to move your valuables within 15 minutes. 

» Hurricane tracker: Where is Hurricane Michael now?

Here are more tips to help you prep for the storms, from the NWS guide:

• Elevation matters: Are you in a flood or evacuation zone?

• Mobile homes: Check tie-downs and prepare to evacuate.

• Landscaping: Always trim trees, shrubbery and dead limbs, especially close to your home.

• Roofing: Inspect it for loose tiles, etc.; and clear loose or clogged gutters and drainspouts.

• Doors: Reinforce garage doors and tracks or replace with a hurricane-tested door; and reinforce double-entry doors with heavy-duty foot and head bolts. Use security dead bolts with a minimum one-inch bolt length.

• Windows: If possible, install hurricane shutters. Alternatively, use five-eighths (or greater) grade exterior playwood secured by two-and-a-half inch screws and/or special clips. 

• Renters need to prep, too: Review your renter's and flood insurance; prepare to relocate to a lower floor

• For pets: Update their vaccinations and have proof; have a current photo; have properly sized pet carriers; pack enough food and water for the duration of the evacuation; and be sure to have proper ID collars. Read more.

The NWS also recommends preparing emergency evacuation kits for functional and medical needs clients, those clients who either require support to maintain their independence or support of trained medical professionals.

The kit should include:

• Medications

• Personal items

• Clothing

• Sanitary supplies

• Contact information, including doctor's contact

• Special equipment, if needed; and a list with style and serial numbers of included medical devices

• Pillow

» Read more: Family emergency supply kit must-haves

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