Gulf Shores, Orange Beach residents urged to get hurricane re-entry decals

Once a hurricane warning is issued, no more decals will be given.(WPMI)

Officials in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are urging residents to have a hurricane preparedness plan and a way to get back to the island should evacuations be necessary.

Many Gulf Shores residents rushed to get a re-entry decal on Tuesday and folks told LOCAL 15 that they are not taking any chances with a storm of this magnitude.

From our coastal view, it's hard to imagine massive Hurricane Irma barreling toward the southeastern United States.

Hurricane Irma's projections continue to change and residents along the coasts of Baldwin County aren't waiting to find out where it will go.

Gulf Shores resident Fred Peninger was one of many locals who went by city hall to get an annual hurricane re-entry decal.

"It's just staying ahead, staying prepared and not getting caught up in the last minute crowds. We're trying to get decals, getting prepared with water and our evacuation plan. We're just getting our game together," said Peninger.

The re-entry decals will allow Gulf shores and Orange beach residents to get back on the island at pre-determined times should an evacuation be ordered.

For business owners like Vince Von Eberstein, preparing ahead of time for Hurricane Irma is key.

"It's a monster, a monster. I don't believe they've had one that strong in history where its located there. We don't need to wait until it hits the Florida Keys or if it makes its turn or not. We need to be getting ready now," Von Eberstein said.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach city officials have also been stressing the need for re-entry decals and hurricane preparations on social media.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft says they're watching Hurricane Irma closely.

"We've had enough of those hit and we know that when they get that big and they get anything mentioned about the Gulf, we need to start getting prepared," said Mayor Craft.

Re-entry decals can be obtained at Gulf Shores or Orange Beach city hall Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

Anyone wishing to obtain a re-entry decal must show proof of residency or property ownership in the form of a deed, lease or utility bill along with a valid driver’s license for identification.

Once a hurricane warning is issued, no more decals will be given.