MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – People in the Florida Keys were stocking up on water and other necessities Tuesday after a tropical storm watch was issued from Monroe County through Miami-Dade and most of Broward counties.
Some local stores in Marathon ran out of water quickly.
"We're hunkering down. We'll be good," Marathon resident Rachel Williams said.
Hurricane Matthew's churning winds forced Williams to make her first hurricane-prep Publix run ever.
"I stocked up on some water, just in case," Williams said. "(I'm) going to go fill up the jeep, next … always be prepared."
"Marathon is a blessed town," Marathon resident Rod Vega said. "Hurricanes go away all the time, but you never know."
As people in the Keys prepare for severe weather, emergency management officials said their thoughts are also with people in the Caribbean who are already dealing with damage left behind by Matthew.
"My prayers go out to Haiti," Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt said. "I think all of us need to remember that there are people suffering as we speak."
All eyes are on where Matthew's eye has already turned and where his sights will go next.
"People need to pay attention to this storm," Senterfitt said.
Senterfitt said he is in constant communication with cities, counties and the state while officials monitor the storm.
"Everybody's talking to everyone. Nobody's being surprised by anything," he said. "The state's already redeploying some resources and getting them in the right place if we need them."
Senterfitt said residents should have a plan of action and be ready to evacuate, if necessary.