South Strand Moms

Hurricane Season

Happy family. Time for stories. Delighted happy cute mother and son enjoying a book before sleeping and using a flashlight.

It’s Still Hurricane Season and this is what you need to know! Tips for families to be prepared and also have some fun together! A Conversation with the Georgetown County Director of Emergency Services, Brandon Ellis.

Q: What tips do you have for families to prepare in case of hurricane or inclement weather:
A: As we approach the climatological peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season on September 10th, Georgetown County Emergency Management continues to promote the three basics of hurricane preparedness.

1. Make a Plan – Your personal emergency preparedness plan is the first step to ensure that you and your family are ready when disaster strikes. Things to consider when building your personal emergency preparedness plan should include identifying the following:

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and important information?
  • What is my emergency sheltering plan?
  • What is my evacuation route?
  • How will I communicate with and among my family members during an emergency?
By building a solid personal emergency preparedness plan, you ensure that your family’s disaster readiness has a strong foundation.

2. Build a Kit – After an emergency or disaster, you may need sufficient supplies to survive for several days on your own. Your personal emergency preparedness kit can be customized to meet the individual needs of you and/or your family, but we recommend the following basic items:

  • Water (one gallon per person, per day for several days)
  • Non-perishable food (enough for several days)
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting/tarp and duct tape
  • Personal sanitation items (moist towelettes, garbage bags, etc)
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Medications (over the counter and prescriptions)
  • Infant/Childcare Items (diapers, wipes, formula, etc.)
  • Pet supplies (food, leash, water)
  • Cash
  • Important documents (insurance policies, ID records, bank files, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Sleeping bag/blanket
  • Change of clothing
  • Personal hygiene supplies
  • Utensils (plastic or metal)
  • Paper and pencil/pen
  • Books, games, puzzles, and other activities for children

3. Know Your Zone – When the Governor of South Carolina issues a hurricane evacuation order, they will be conducted in accordance with the identified hurricane evacuation zones along the coast. In Georgetown County we have 3 hurricane evacuation zones, and it is vital that you know what evacuation zone you live in so that you can make the appropriate evacuation decision should a storm threaten our coast. In Georgetown County, we have hurricane evacuation zones A, B, and C. These zones are identified on all public street signs throughout Georgetown County by a color-coded band on the street sign pole, just below the actual street sign identifiers (A-Red, B-Yellow, and C-Orange). Residents and visitors may also visit the Know Your Zone tab at gtcounty.org/gcemd where you will be directed to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s Know Your Zone page. Here, you can simply type in your address and the interactive map will identify your hurricane evacuation zone for you.

Q; What are some fun ideas for children or families to stay occupied during a storm
A: Disasters and emergencies can be stressful situations for adults and children. Should we experience a hurricane or tropical storm in Georgetown County, there are things that families can do to relieve some of the stresses associated with these situations. Things such as board games, coloring books, puzzles, toys, and other entertainment items should be a part of your personal emergency preparedness kit, and these items are a great way to occupy the time before, during, and after a storm impacts our area. Always remember, if you live in an evacuation zone that is ordered to evacuate, do so for your safety.
Q; What channels, places, or sites should families know about to stay informed in case of a hurricane or an evacuation?
A: There are numerous resources out there to help residents stay informed in the event of an emergency or disaster situation such as a hurricane. We encourage residents and visitors to follow the direction of local authorities and gain their information from trusted sources. Below are a few resources to keep on hand not only during a disaster but prior to:
  • www.gtcounty.org
  • www.scemd.org
  • hurricane.sc
  • Georgetown County Emergency Management (Facebook and Twitter pages)
  • Georgetown County Government (Facebook and Twitter pages)
  • Local News Media
Q: Any other important information for families to consider
A: We want to continue to stress the importance of having a plan, building a kit, and knowing your zone. Each storm is different and we encourage everyone to never get complacent when dealing with an impending storm. Don’t wait until it is too late; prepare today!

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