TAMPA (FOX 13) - Homeowners aren't waiting to see which course Hurricane Irma takes and began boarding up their windows Tuesday morning.
People lined up to purchase plywood at large hardware stores like Lowe's Home Improvement and Home Depot; some walking out with one piece, others with a large stack.
"Just getting our family ready and our home ready. Based on where we live, we would probably be the first to have to go," said Dan Penrod, who lives in South Tampa, as he bought several pieces of plywood.
"It's not the sky is falling, but it looks like it might here soon," added David Walker, Jr., whose fourth-generation 1922 South Tampa home has survived a lot of hurricanes. "We've had a lot of near misses. I don't want to be complacent, in which I have afterthoughts of like, 'I sure wish I would have taken more precaution.'"
Walker and his father spent part of Tuesday boarding the home's 30-plus windows.
"It's time to prepare because we don't know where it's going to go," said David Walker, Sr.
"This one looks like it's going to blow like crazy, no matter if it hits us or not. I'm just preparing for a few days without power and hopefully I'm wrong," his son said, adding their family knows firsthand how destructive hurricanes can be. "My sister had her home completely destroyed by Hurricane Hugo and then by Katrina, she lived just east of Biloxi, [Mississippi]."
Experts also urged homeowners to make sure trees are trimmed far enough away from homes and powerlines to keep their homes and neighborhoods secure.
Walker said, as frightened as this storm makes him, he's currently planning on riding it out -- but that could change.
"If it comes directly at us, we're not stupid, we'll get out of its way," he said.
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