June 1st marks the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season and the Charleston County Emergency Management Department wants to make sure citizens are prepared. Now is the time to gather an emergency supply kit, and put together an emergency family plan.
The 2018 Charleston County Hurricane Guide is available at charlestoncounty.org. Click on the “Are you Ready?” banner on the front page of the county’s website to download, print and share the 2018 Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide. Updated sections of the guide include new evacuation zones (Dorchester County) and additional evacuation pick up locations under the “transportation” section.
“Charleston County Government is committed to ensuring the safety of our citizens and just as we have been preparing for hurricane season, we are asking residents to do the same. Knowing the risks posed by hurricanes, staying informed, and being ready to respond are just a few steps you can take to get ready for hurricane season,” said Emergency Management Director Jason Patno. “As a storm approaches, it may be too late to get ready. Make sure you have a family evacuation and communications plans, update your emergency supply kit, and evaluate your homeowners, and flood insurance policies.”
The County also has an Emergency Management Department smart phone app to keep the public informed before, during and after an emergency. The app is free on all Apple and Android devices. While the app was designed with hurricane season in mind, the operation will be a valuable tool for any natural or man-made disaster.
- To get the app: Go to whichever online app store is appropriate for your phone -- Google Play for Android or Apple for iPhones. In the Search field, type CC EMD; if it does not work type CCEMD without the space.
- To see an overview of the app's features, watch the short tutorial developed by Charleston County:
Patno also strongly encourages citizens to be ready should the South Carolina governor issue an evacuation order. “Know your hurricane evacuation zone, and make plans for where you will relocated should an evacuation be necessary. Everyone should leave town if possible, and is strongly encouraged to make travel plans well in advance. Shelters of last resort will open in response to a hurricane that threatens Charleston County, however space is limited.”
Citizens who do not have transportation should learn where their nearest evacuation pick-up point is located. There are some changes and additional pick-up locations in the 2018 Hurricane Guide. The evacuation pick-up points are noted by blue signs with a hurricane and bus symbol, and are located across the county at many CARTA bus stops and popular areas like schools, churches and shopping centers. In the event of an evacuation order, buses will transport citizens from the pick-up points to the nearest available Red Cross Shelter.
Information in the 2018 Charleston County Hurricane Preparedness Guide includes:
- Hurricane definitions and what to do during tropical storms, watches and warnings
- What to have in your emergency supplies kit
- Preparing your home, family and pets before a storm
- Evacuation information and routes out of Charleston County
- Pick-up locations if you don’t have transportation – look for pick-up point signs posted around the county!
- Rules to know and items to bring if you and your pet need to stay at the pet shelter
- High wind procedures for bridges
- What to do after a storm, including safety measures and handling debris
- A family communications plan form to fill out
- Important phone numbers, including ones that will be activated in the event of an emergency
The S.C. Emergency Management Division also produces a guide for residents throughout the state. Citizens can see the 2018 South Carolina Hurricane Guide at http://scemd.cdn.missc.net/media/1282/2018-hurricane-guide_website.pdf or pick up a free copy beginning June 1 at South Carolina Welcome Centers, Walgreens stores, and some Department of Motor Vehicle offices.
For information on Charleston County Government news and services, the public can:
- Visit our website: www.charlestoncounty.org