Governor Henry McMaster proclaimed May 29 through June 4 to be South Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division, county emergency managers, the National Weather Service along with all members of the State Emergency Response Team urge individuals, businesses and communities to begin preparations ahead of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The theme for this year’s Hurricane Prep Week is “Know Your Zone, Prepare Your Home, Remember Your Route”:
Know Your Zone
In South Carolina, state and local officials issue hurricane evacuations based on zones in coastal counties. Know your hurricane evacuation zone instantly with the SC Emergency Manager mobile app and Hurricane.sc, South Carolina’s online hurricane guide.
Prepare Your Home
Do a safety check to make sure your home is best able to withstand the effects of a hurricane. Have your roof inspected, double check hurricane shutters and make sure your insurance policies cover the types of damages hurricanes can cause. Make a list and take photos of your belongings as records.
Remember Your Route
Be aware of the closest hurricane evacuation route ahead of the upcoming hurricane season. This will allow for a more efficient and safer route out of the hurricane’s path. Once you’ve learned your route, stick with it and remember it. Rely on the blue hurricane evacuation signs, not GPS.
Hurricanes and tropical storms not only threaten the coast, but all areas of South Carolina. Storm surge and flooding are the most deadly and destructive hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. High winds and tornadoes can cause severe damage to buildings and homes. All South Carolinians should take time to prepare this week by reviewing their family emergency plans, creating a disaster supply kit and talking with their families about what could happen during and after the landfall of a major hurricane.
Daily topics for 2022 Hurricane Preparedness Week include:
- Sunday: Understanding Hurricane Hazards
- Monday: Know Your Zone
- Tuesday: Official Start of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season - Have a Plan
- Wednesday: Prepare Your Home, Build Your Emergency Kit
- Thursday: Remember Your Route, Seeking Safety
- Friday: Ways to Stay Connected
- Saturday: Prepare Your Pets
South Carolina is one of the most vulnerable states to hurricanes and tropical storms. Six coastal counties border the Atlantic Ocean. These counties have more than 200 miles of general coastline, and another 21 inland counties may be directly affected by these storms. Densely populated coastal areas, especially during peak tourist seasons, coupled with the generally low coastal elevations significantly increase the state's vulnerability.
Recent hurricanes to impact the Palmetto State include Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hurricane Florence in 2018 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019. In 2015, Hurricane Joaquin, combined with a separate storm system, resulted in historic flooding from the Midlands to the Lowcountry. Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center expect an above average hurricane season in the range of 14-21 named storms.
Hurricane Season begins June 1 and lasts through November 30.