Hurricane Irma: Pretend the Storm Arrives Tomorrow (9/6/17)

Nothing is official, but it's looking more likely that Hurricane Irma will effect the Charleston area in some capacity. There still a lot of unknowns, but state officials have begun disaster preparations and are encouraging citizens to do the same.

Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency today and during a press conference encouraged residents to act as they would if Irma was coming tomorrow. He encouraged citizens to fill prescriptions, secure outdoor furniture, filling their car's gas tanks, purchase supplies/food/water, make travel plans, and prepare to be gone for several days. You can watch the press conference at the conclusion of this post.

As you prepare, you may find this info helpful:

Forecasts/Advisories

  • Irma is currently a category 5 hurricane with winds reaching 185 mph. As of this publishing, the storm is battering the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
  • Up-to-date information can be found on the National Hurricane Center's website.
  • You can track the hurricane and its possible paths here.

Preparedness

  • Water and gas are the biggest priorities for people right now. Expect stores to sell out of water and plan for long lines at gas stations. Many stores that have sold out of water, are expecting more shipments throughout the week
  • Create an emergency kit
  • Have a family communication plan
  • Create an evacuation plan – where will you go, do they accept pets, how will you get there?
    • Make appropriate plans for your pets!
  • Take a look at SCEMD's Hurricane Guide
  • Check insurance coverage
  • Learn how to secure power, gas, and water utilities now
  • Fill prescriptions
  • Fill vehicles with fuel
  • Secure items in yard (trash/recycling and building openings and utilities)
  • Consult this checklist
  • And this checklist too
  • Learn about evacuation routes here

City Alerts/Information

  • Berkeley Co.
    • Moved to OPCON 4
    • Sandbags available at:
      • Town of Moncks Corner Fire Department: 118 Carolina Avenue, Moncks Corner, SC
      • Whitesville Fire Department: 115 Sunview Avenue, Moncks Corner, SC
      • C& B Fire Department: 509 Royle Road, Ladson, SC
      • Moncks Corner Rural Fire Department: 1201 Edward Dr, Moncks Corner, SC
      • Hannahan City Hall Gymnasium on Yeamans Hall Road
        • Thursday, September 7th 4 pm - 8 pm
        • Friday, September 8th 11 am - 7 pm
        • Saturday, September 9th 9 am - 1 pm
        • Click here for more details
  • Charleston Co.
  • City of Charleston
    • The city will have a limited number of free sandbags available. Distribution will begin tomorrow (Thursday, September 7th) at 8 am. Pick-up locations:
      • Bees Ferry Fire Station at 1985 Bees Ferry Road
      • Milford Street Public Works Operations Complex at 2150 Milford Street
        • Enter the first gate on the right and proceed to the rear of the complex
      • Sand and bags will be available for people to build their own sandbags at two places in James Island locations. Residents should bring their own shovels
        • Dock Street Park, 1433 Patterson Avenue
        • James Island Youth Soccer Fields, 871 Fort Johnson Rd
          • A limit of 10 sandbags per household
  • Dorchester Co.
  • Folly Beach
    • If an evacuation of Folly Beach is ordered, the city will implement these rules:
      • Residents and property owners will need two forms of identification to get back on the Island
      • Island employees must have a city-issued re-entry pass and employee credentials
      • Property managers, real estate agents and brokers must have proof of state license and city business license
    • Residents of the island should plan to get their own sandbags
    • Sign up for alerts here
  • Isle of Palms
    • If there is an evacuation, residents will need a re-entry sticker to get back on the island.
      • To get a sticker, bring proof of residency and vehicle registration to the IOP Police Department/Public Safety Bldg. at 30 J.C. Long Blvd.
      • The city tweeted that 2017 Resident Parking Decals will also serve as Hurricane re-entry stickers
      • They also tweeted that Wild Dunes Resident Stickers will also serve as Hurricane re-entry stickers.
    • The city has run out of sand for sandbags
    • You can register for Alerts or Special Assistance here
    • If you have any questions, call the Non-emergency number: 843-886-6522
  • Kiawah Island and Sullivan's Island

Other

  • Charleston Southern University
    • Campus will close effective 9 pm on Thursday, September 7th. Sports events, campus activities, and campus visits are canceled until further notice. There is a mandatory evacuation for resident students (including those in the Wingate hotel) by noon Friday, September 8th. Click here for more.
  • State law against price gouging during Irma preps now in effect (Live 5 News).
  • A few events have already been postponed or canceled. Click here to see them.

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