National Preparedness Month Underway As Hurricane Irma Continues to Develop

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- September is National Preparedness Month. On the heels of a devastating hurricane making landfall in the U.S. and another hurricane brewing in the tropics, SCEMD is telling citizens to be ready.

“Disasters don’t plan ahead but you can. It’s absolutely essential for you to take some time now, while we have some time, to walk through what you do if a hurricane were to affect your area,” said SCEMD’s Derrec Becker.
Experts say even if you don’t live in the direct path of a hurricane, your area can still be impacted.
“20 feet of storm surge is what they are projecting for Puerto Rico. That will inundate homes and a large part of the coast, that’s obviously very damaging. If that projection holds and it comes to South Carolina, that will be very damaging to our coast and to our citizens,” said USC Geology Professor Dr. Jean Taylor Ellis.

In case of an emergency, experts say you should keep necessities on hand. “Anything you use every single day, the key is having enough supplies on hand that you can possibly live off of for at 72 hours or at least three days, a week is optimal,” said Becker.

As Irma’s path continues to develop, SCEMD reminds you to stay vigilant.
“Right now, what everybody should in South Carolina is do what exactly what we’re doing at the Emergency Management Division, monitor the storm, run through your emergency plans if you have them- if you don’t, start planning (the hurricane guide is an excellent resource to do that), and just pay attention to the forecast. If a local public safety official or EMD asks you to take action for your personal safety, you will be ready to do so,” Becker said.
With South Carolina being located right off the coast, experts said it is best to remain prepared throughout Hurricane Season. Hurricane season ends November 30th.