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May 31, 2022

A Note from Mayor McCann: June 2022

John McCann

Photography By

M.KAT Photography
Storm Ready June 1 is the official start of the 2022 hurricane season, and I’m knocking on wood that any named storms will graciously pass us by again this year. But we want you to be ready and prepared if, by chance, we find ourselves dealing with storms this hurricane season. Over the year, the […]

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Storm Ready

June 1 is the official start of the 2022 hurricane season, and I’m knocking on wood that any named storms will graciously pass us by again this year. But we want you to be ready and prepared if, by chance, we find ourselves dealing with storms this hurricane season.

Over the year, the town prepares to respond to tropical storms and hurricanes. One way is by building up our reserve funds to handle disasters. After Hurricane Matthew happened upon us in 2016, Town Council assessed a five-year tax mill to generate funds to support our disaster efforts. Property owners contributed to this disaster relief fund through property taxes collected from fiscal year 2018 through fiscal year 2022. The tax collection ends this year after the adoption of our fiscal year 2023 budget. This five-year collection netted us $23.15 million—cash we could access immediately if we needed it for disaster relief efforts.

There are two bonuses to this strategy: We have a pot of money we can use to respond to weather-related disaster, and the elimination of the five mills means lower taxes for Hilton Head Island property owners as we head into our next fiscal year, which starts on July 1.

The town takes great pride in its storm preparation efforts, from participating in training exercises to making sure supplies are stocked in the event they are needed during an evacuation. These annual exercises and preparation steps, led by our emergency manager Tom Dunn, recently helped us earn renewal of our StormReady® designation from the National Weather Service in Charleston, S.C. This renewal became effective in April and will remain in effect through July 2026. Being recognized as “StormReady” not only means that Hilton Head Island continues to meet or exceed the strict standards that have been established by the National Weather Service, but also continues to be a vital partner in promoting a more weather-ready nation.

The StormReady Program is intended to:

  • Reduce fatalities and injuries and minimize property damage through timely distribution, receipt, and effective communication of hazardous weather and flood warnings between the NWS, emergency managers, and the public.
  • Provide detailed and clear recommendations emergency managers can use to establish or improve hazardous weather and flood planning, operations, and public response.
  • Empower Americans to make better decisions before and during weather and flood hazards through community preparedness.

StormReady communities have made a strong commitment to implement the infrastructure and systems needed to save lives and protect property when hazardous weather and flooding strikes. A part of the town’s preparation for hurricanes and other weather disasters is making sure our town and our residents are storm ready. The best way to protect you and your family from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan and develop an emergency kit. On our website, hiltonheadislandsc.gov, we provide helpful information you can use to prepare yourself for any called evacuations. Early preparation is key since there is only one way on and off the island for those of us reliant on vehicular transportation. Now is the time to get ready.

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