Emergency management officials expect active hurricane season

Litchfield Beach, SC - LITCHFIELD, SC (WMBF) - Emergency management officials are now saying they're expecting an active hurricane season.

Emergency management departments and first responders from around South Carolina gathered in Litchfield this week to talk about how they can better prepare for a storm, as well as respond in the aftermath.

Sam Hodge, the director of emergency management for Georgetown County, says this annual conference is important, especially for networking opportunities.

"It's important that we get together on occasion to share ideas and learn what other agencies are doing," said Hodge.

Emergency management officials took classes - learning about public safety, natural disasters and even social media.

"Whether it's on Facebook or Twitter or through our news media, just to make sure the word gets out about any time of emergency situation that happens," said Hodge.

Randy Webster, the director of emergency management for Horry County, says they also talked about how to keep the same level of emergency services in this tight budget year.

"It's very tough for us all to do the things we used to be able to do, in the ways we used to be able to do it," said Webster. "The decisions are going to affect more than just a simple yes or no, because of the money."

Even the conference itself faced budget cuts. Hodge says the South Carolina Emergency Management Division holds it every year, but they couldn't this year because of cutbacks.

Hodge says the South Carolina Emergency Management Association stepped in to help and host the event for the first time.

Officials say the conference is especially important this year with an active hurricane season expected.

Hurricane season starts on June 1.

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