FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - With the onset of hurricane season, emergency management officials say there are some things people living in the Pee Dee should be aware of and start preparing for just as they are.
If a hurricane were to make landfall along the coast of South Carolina, it would not only affect the coastal communities, but the inland ones, as well.
"We can very easily have the same amount of wind damage as a coastal community," said Dusty Owens, the director of emergency management in Florence County.
Officials say since the Pee Dee could potentially see hurricane force winds, residents should take caution and keep up to date with the latest reports.
When it comes to boarded up windows, Owens told WMBF News that residents could do so, but that would be up to them. He said the one thing people should do is make sure the house is sealed, like windows and doors, to make sure the wind doesn't get inside the home.
Flooding could also be an issue if a hurricane made landfall. Officials say they will monitor river levels and alert anyone living in low-lying area and in or around a river if an evacuation were necessary.
The Pee Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross said in the event of a hurricane, they could potentially open 38 shelters across six counties. Right now staff is making sure those shelters are ready when needed.
"We have certain guidelines we have to go by like how big are the hallways, make sure there's no windows, no doorways opened up that could facilitate wind coming through," said Disaster Director T.J. Lesieur.
Officials across the Pee Dee are prepared for that big storm they hope never hits.