COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Ahead of Hurricane Irma, residents of Collier County are advised to evacuate the area, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies say they want residents to "strongly consider leaving town for safety," despite the county not having implemented mandatory evacuations.

- Related: Local state of emergency declared ahead of Irma

They say that if you're contemplating whether you should leave or not, you should think about the following:

  • Do you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area?
  • Is your home manufactured, or can it not withstand Category 3-force winds?
  • Can your home structurally handle a storm of this intensity?
  • Are you elderly, have special needs, or do you have health concerns?
  • Do you want to avoid staying at a shelter where there may be limited space?
  • Do you not have somewhere else to stay?

- Related: Southwest Florida residents stocking up on hurricane supplies

The sheriff's office says if you're planning to leave, gas up your vehicle, grab important medications and papers, make plans for your pets, and get going.