AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) — Gold Cross EMS leaders are making preparations ahead of possible severe weather from Hurricane Ian.

“We overstaff for storms and hospitals do as well as much as possible,” said Gold Cross EMS Senior Director of Operations Col. John Smith.

Hurricane Ian could bring heavy rain and high winds to the CSRA this weekend, weather that Smith said could affect response times in an emergency.

“It’s harder to drive an ambulance in high winds. They are obviously tall and don’t handle real well when winds are 45 to 50 mph, so if its get to sustained 50 we will have to really slow our response times down,” Smith said.

High wind speeds could decrease response times and first responders will stay off the roads once wind speeds reach 45 to 50 miles per hour.

“If it’s raining very hard and winds are high, its going to take longer for us to get to you just for visibility purposes and stability of the ambulance. We will keep up with you and our dispatch will stay in touch with you. If things change, we will keep them updated and we’ll update our crews and we’ll get to you just as fast as we can,” Smith said.

Smith said we could see a higher call volume if there are power outages, but EMS will still be ready to respond.

“Our offices have generators so we usually have power, there will be a little more travel difficulties because lights will be out, and we’ll have to be more careful with that and traffic signals will be out. So call volume will increase,” Smith said.