Although Hurricane Dorian presents an imminent threat once it hits land, whether it will become a more serious threat to Alabama still is to be determined.

The hurricane is set to hit Florida by Monday, according to the National Weather Service, which upgraded Dorian to a Category 4 storm late Friday.

The initial impact of the hurricane will hit central Florida and is predicted to move north from there, but it is too soon to tell if it will shift far enough to the west to know how Alabama will be affected, weather officials said Friday.

They expect to know more as the storm proceeds today.

Never too early to get ready

Glenn Richey, an Auburn University supply chain management professor, encourages residents to monitor the storm’s progression, and suggested those with special needs or family members with special needs plan now for possible effects from winds and heavy rain, “especially if they live in at-risk areas.”

“It is never too early to be ready, and even if Dorian doesn’t directly impact us, perhaps it will remind us that the season is on,” he said regarding hurricanes.

Meanwhile, local businesses such as hotels and restaurants are preparing for a possible influx of hurricane evacuees, as with past hurricanes along the Gulf and eastern coasts.

The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center took steps Thursday to welcome guests from the storm zone.

“Due to the recent announcement from the National Hurricane Center regarding #HurricaneDorian we are offering a lowered rate to accommodate anyone displaced by the impending weather. Our thoughts are with those preparing for this storm,” a message on its Facebook page reported.

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