TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Tybee Island is preparing for Tropical Storm Elsa, but the mayor hopes for a mild impact. 

Mayor Shirley Sessions urges residents to prepare for the storm, but to not panic. Even though she is not too concerned about the storm, the mayor said Elsa’s forecast has the potential to be severe enough to remind people to be safe.

“Use your common sense,” Mayor Sessions said. “That, of course, means making sure you have all of the items that you need — food, water, medicines — so that you don’t have to leave the island. Plan for those things now.”

Aside from securing necessary supplies, Sessions also said to secure any outdoor furniture that could blow away and to make an emergency plan. The city is working with Chatham Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor the storm.

Tuesday’s thunderstorms didn’t deter beachgoers from hitting the waves. But the city could close the water to swimmers on Wednesday if conditions get too dangerous.

“We don’t want to put them at jeopardy,” Sessions said. “We don’t want to put our lifeguards and our firefighters and police, anyone in harm’s way if we can prevent it.”

Swimmers should take note of the color flag flying above the lifeguard stand to determine if the water is safe for swimming. Two red flags mean the water is closed to the public.

The mayor’s biggest concern for the storm is safety and she urges people to watch not only for themselves but for their neighbors.

“Just because this is what we’re anticipating — which really isn’t too bad considering what other areas of our country and coast are experiencing,” Mayor Sessions said. “Just make sure if something should happen at the last minute that we’re not expecting, just prepare.”

If you have an emergency during the storm, call 911 or the city’s non-emergency line at 912-786-5600.