As Tropical Storm Isaac makes its way through the Caribbean, Florida is preparing just in case the storm strengthens.
The Associated Press reported that forecasters expect Isaac to stay below hurricane force until it’s in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecaster Eric Blake of the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it is "too early to know" the storm's exact course, though projections indicated the storm could make landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi border.
According to The Weather Channel, the Florida State Emergency Operations Center was activated to a Level 2 on Thursday, which is defined as a limited agency activation.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami has issued a hurricane watch for Haiti and a tropical storm warning for Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuban Provinces of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo, Southeastern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands.
At 8 a.m. Friday, Isaac was 220 miles southeast of Haiti with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.
Gulf Power Company is making preparations should Tropical Storm Isaac threaten Northwest Florida.
“We are keeping an eye on the track of Isaac,” said Natalie Smith, Gulf Power spokesperson. “Our crews have extensive experience in hurricane restoration and we will work as fast and as safely as possible. We will also be in touch with neighboring utilities to make sure we can call in extra workers if necessary.”
Residents are urged to prepare and have critical supplies on hand in case of extended power outages.
Santa Rosa County Emergency Management will also be tracking the storm and residents can see advisories on the county's website.