"It looks like it's going to make landfall about the same time as high tide, so that would make a potential for much more devastation with the water surge," Kerley said.
About 30 minutes away, Aaron Wolfe is riding out the hurricane with his wife and their two children in Destin.
They spent the day preparing for the worst.
"We're actually going to be on our way to go pick up some sandbags for him at Home Depot. He's already prepaid for them. So I'm going to get those stacked around his back patio and the front door in case there is a storm surge," Wolfe said.
Wolfe said even though the hurricane is putting a damper on beach time, it will make this vacation one to remember.
"I guess I'm a little bit excited. I get excited during certain weather events. Maybe a tad bit like 10-percent but more excited to see what it looks like in person," he added.
The Kerley's are in good spirits too, posting weather reporter on YouTube from the "eye of the storm" and making memories along the way.
Kerley said he isn't sure if he and his family will come all the way back to Chattanooga just yet. They plan to move inland but want to wait to see if gas is available and if there is traffic.