Bibb EMA director: "It's not a matter of if, but when this storm gets here."

The Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency held a Hurricane Irma press conference at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

Macon-Bibb EMA director Spencer Hawkins explained how the EMA is preparing for Hurricane Irma. He and his organization are working with several other agencies in Macon-Bibb to prepare. 

Hawkins says the track of the storm is still very uncertain, but now is the time for everyone to prepare their emergency kits. The storm is expected to bring strong winds, and possible power outages. 

"It's not a matter of if, but when this storm gets here," Hawkins said.   

The American Red Cross is prepared to house up to 10,000 residents across the state of Georgia at this time, according to executive director Connie Hensler.

Hensler says there are 20 shelters across the state, and as of now, three of those shelters are located in the Macon-Bibb area and may be opening during the weekend. 

As of now, the area is at capacity for hotel rooms, according to Gary Wheat, the President and CEO of The Macon Bibb County Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The county has about 5,000 hotel rooms total. 

Wheat says the website,, will have a list of available hotels throughout the entire state of Georgia. 

The Bibb County School District has already began working with the EMA regarding plans for school, according to David Gowan with the Bibb County School District.

Gowan encourages parents to ensure they are signed up for alerts in the event of possible school closures.

Both Bibb County Sheriff David Davis and Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins stressed the importance of preparing for the storm in Macon as Hurricane Irma and its direction unfolds. 

13WMAZ Staff