Hurricane Ian is expected to impact East Alabama, per the latest updates.

The storm is expected to reach Florida's panhandle or west coast by Thursday. 

Ian officially became the fourth hurricane in the Atlantic in 2022 on Monday while in the Caribbean. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a State of Emergency for the entire state as of Sunday.

At 1 p.m. on Monday, Ian was located roughly 120 miles northwest of Grand Cayman on a path northwest at 13 mph with winds up to 85 mph.

Alabama's coastal areas were not in the expected impact area at the time, but parts of eastern Alabama lie at the edges of the storm's forecast path as it is expected to move through Georgia. However, weather experts are uncertain about the hurricane's track and intensity that far out. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Mobile Tweeted Monday at noon that it has "increasing confidence" the storm will remain "generally east" of the Alabama Gulf Coast. Nevertheless, there is still a high rip current risk beginning Wednesday, and minor coastal flooding is possible.

According to the NWS, hurricanes are not just a problem for people on the coast. Rain, wind, water and even tornadoes can impact inland residents as hurricanes or tropical storms arrive on shore.

The NWS suggests having a hurricane plan in order to prepare for the impact of a storm. This includes being aware of your evacuation zone if you live in one and having an established evacuation route. 

Those in an evacuation zone should follow instructions from local officials and look for recommendations and updates about the threat to their area.

Whether in an evacuation zone or not, everyone should have ways to receive information. You can get real-time alerts from the NWS by downloading the FEMA app.

The NWS also recommends making sure insurance policies and personal documents (like your ID) are up to date and placing copies in a password-protected digital space, making sure phones are fully charged, gathering supplies and checking with senior and disabled neighbors who might need help preparing.

Homeowners can also declutter drains and gutters, bring outside furniture inside and consider going to a hurricane shelter if the threat is severe enough.

SEE ALSO: Alabama EMAs observing 'National Preparedness Month' in hopes that residents have a plan

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