Tropical storm and hurricane guide for Savannah and Chatham County: Here's what you need to know

The first storm to threaten Savannah in 2022, Hurricane Ian, is tracking north in the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall somewhere along the coast of Florida is expected Tuesday or Wednesday and the Savannah area is likely to begin to feel effects from the storm on Thursday at the earliest.

Here are some resources for Chatham County residents to consult as the storm moves closer:

Savannah Morning News Storm Tracker

How to track the storm

Storms are slow moving and change track often. Forecasters caution the public that predicting the path of a storm more than three days in advance is an inexact science.

"If you're not in a watch or warning area, then its best to just keep an eye on it," says local hazards expert Chuck Watson, who publishes a storm blog at "Even if you are, you don't have to stress out about it, but that is when you start taking action."

The National Hurricane Center issues key message updates every six hours on their website Additionally, residents can sign up for alerts from the Chatham Emergency Management Agency at

Read more here.

A man walks through Forsyth Park in Savannah after Hurricane Dorian.
A man walks through Forsyth Park in Savannah after Hurricane Dorian.

What to know about the issuing of an evacuation

State or local authorities will issue an evacuation in the event a hurricane is forecast to pass over or near the Savannah area. Contrary to what many believe, there is no such thing as a "voluntary" or "mandatory" evacuation. Those who defy an evacuation order and remain in their homes should note that emergency services may be unavailable to assist them during a storm.

Read more here.

How to evacuate Chatham County during a storm without a car

In the event of a hurricane evacuation, those without a personal vehicle will be able to evacuate from Chatham County on chartered buses.

Read more here.

What to know about evacuations before a storm hits

Hurricane season began June 1 and runs through November. If you do nothing else to prepare for an evacuation, make sure you have some form of transportation away from coastal counties if a tropical storm of hurricane is headed our way.

Read more here.

What to do with your pets if you're having to evacuate

Plan to take your pets with you if an evacuation order is issued. If it’s not safe for you; it’s not safe for your pets. Animals released to care for themselves may become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, or contaminated food or water. If you leave, take your pets; you may not be able to return for them.

Read more here.

What to know about potential flooding in Chatham County

In all, more than 34,000 properties in Chatham are at risk for flooding, Flood Factor shows, a 65% increase over the number of local properties FEMA maps say face a 1% annual chance of flooding.

Read more here.

Listen to a local emergency management expert talk about hurricane prep

Listen to the Difference Makers podcast with Chatham Emergency Management Agency Outreach Coordinator Chelsea Sawyer as she offers tips and tricks for preparing for hurricane season in coastal Georgia.

Read more here.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Hurricane guide Savannah Georgia: What you need to know before a storm