NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) — Under the cover of darkness, lit only by headlights, Pasco County residents made their final preparations for Hurricane Ian. Shovels hit the dirt and makeshift sandbags filled up the night of Sept. 27, less than 24 hours before landfall.

“We didn’t think the storm was going to be as bad,” said David Trtik. “You know, Florida. So we thought it’s just going to go past us.”

Trtik and friend Will Marus filled up about twenty sand bags for their respective homes, each deciding to wait the storm out.

“Just staying in, hunkering down, trying to make sure water doesn’t get in,” Marus said. “I plastic wrapped the door, that was about it.”

The two reverted to Target shopping bags to hold sand. The county said it hit an all time high of 260,000 sandbags distributed by noon. Hillsborough County donated another 125,000, and Pasco County used all of those too.

“It’s kind of weird that like, all of the stores are just like closed right,” Trtik said. “Never seen Walmart closed in my life.”

Neither Trtik nor Marus live in an evacuation zone, but most people they know are staying.

“Most people have been staying, as far as I’m aware,” Marus said. “Even if they live in the flood zones they just plan to ride it out as best they can.”

If you’re one of those people, officials want you to be ready. The Pasco County Emergency Operations Center is fully staffed 24/7 as Hurricane Ian makes its way through the state. Crews are working 12-hour shifts, replacing each other at 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They are sending out alerts and answering phone calls from anyone riding out the storm.

Besides ensuring your generator is outside, not in a garage and properly working, fire officials want to make sure it doesn’t harm anyone.

“One of the major things is making sure they are properly affixed to the house,” said Ryan Guynn with Pasco County Fire Rescue. “So the appliances you are using, we don’t want to back feed any electricity into the power grid. That’s very dangerous for the utility workers.”

If you’ve got a generator, now is the time to make sure it’s ready — any more preparations on September 28 may be too late.

“You’re not going to have time,” Guynn said. “So this is your last chance. This storm is coming.”