It’s Hurricane season: make a plan, build a kit, stay informed.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. So, just like you pack your bags with towels, snacks, toys, and chairs for a visit to the beach, you must think about packing your bag in preparation for any hurricane disaster we could face.
Communities along the coast of South Carolina, including Hilton Head Island, are vulnerable and face the most significant threat from these treacherous storms. As a coastal town, we stay vigilant throughout the season. But before the season begins, our emergency manager, Tom Dunn, leads our staff through training exercises and ensures the town is prepared. Likewise, we encourage our community residents, visitors, and businesses to take the necessary precautions.
The Town has developed comprehensive plans to respond effectively to disasters, including strategies to expedite and ease our recovery efforts by establishing an emergency reserve account to fund these activities and amending our Land Management Ordinance to facilitate a rapid re-establishment of our community following a hurricane or other disaster.
In the event of a potential or actual storm strike, you play a vital role in a successful pre- and post-disaster scenario. Therefore, we want you to be prepared for whatever comes our way. Our message for disaster preparation is simple: make a plan, build an emergency kit, and stay informed. Following these three tips is the best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster.
The town has created a handy pocket guide—the Emergency Preparedness Field Guild—and a more extensive Guide to Emergency Preparedness. Both are available on the town’s website at hiltonheadislandsc.gov and contain helpful information to understand the impact of disasters and how to plan for them.
In your planning, you should assume that essential services such as electricity, water, gas, and telephones may not be available for some time. This is why it is critical for everyone to:
• Learn the threats that we face on Hilton Head Island.
• Know what actions and precautions you should take before, during, and after an emergency.
• Use common sense, follow official instructions, and stay informed.
• Take a first aid and CPR course.
• Build an emergency kit.
• Use our field guide to make an emergency plan based on your needs or situation. It includes helpful checklists and sections for your individualized plan information.
Emergency Manager Tom Dunn also makes himself available to give presentations about emergency preparedness to local businesses and organizations and at community meetings. It is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and learn firsthand about the town’s experiences with hurricanes and our efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from them. If you want to schedule a presentation, contact our Fire Rescue Emergency Management Office at (843) 682-5156.