The U.S. coast guard sector St. Petersburg units are preparing and will respond to impacts from Hurricane Idalia as it begins to make landfall over the next few days.

The coast guard personnel are making certain aircraft, small boats, cutters, and facilities are adequately maintained or secured so they are prepared to respond.

Once the storm passes, and as soon as it is safe to operate, the Coast Guard, will evaluate the need to provide life-saving support in disaster-stricken areas.

“It is essential for mariners and the public to take proper measures before a storm arrives,” said Capt. Michael P. Kahle, coast guard captain of the port.

“Ensure you secure all loose equipment, have a hurricane mooring plan or a safe place to store your trailered boat, and monitor the weather. Do not attempt to ride out the storm on your vessel.”

In preparation for the Hurricane Idalia, the coast guard gave guidance in its official website on the measures to be taken by mariners and the public with respect to safety and preparedness.

People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible.

The coast guard also advices social media not to be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.

It also advices mariners to check the coast guard homeport website for an updated status of local ports.

Any port condition changes by the Captain of the Port in advance of storm systems and hurricanes will be available on the homeport website and announced on U.S. coast guard sector St. Petersburg official unit social media page, as it is mentioned.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued an update on the danger of the tropical storm Idalia.

“There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation from Idalia along portions of the Florida Gulf Coast where a Storm Surge Warning is in effect, including Tampa Bay & the Big Bend. Residents in these areas should follow advice from local officials,” said the NHC in its official twitter account.