MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Even though the projected day for Hurricane Irene isn't until the weekend, it's important that you start working on a plan now.
Inspect your home to see what will need to be protected from a possible hurricane. Know what items are vulnerable to storm surge, flooding, and strong winds. The five critical areas of your home to pay attention to are: The roof, the roof to top of wall connection, shutters, doors, and garage doors.
You should also get your disaster plan ready, which means locate a safe room or place within your community. Determine the best escape routes from your home. If you plan on evacuating, know where you plan to go and exactly how far away it is.
A representative from the Red Cross response says it's important to start now to make sure you're prepared for a minimum of three days after a hurricane hits. "You don't wait for 24 hours out," said Nanci Conley. "It's far better to start now and be prepared for it. And those are the things people need to be doing at home."
The Red Cross has been busy preparing. The Red Cross is currently in Conference Call Mode. This means they are checking in throughout the state for updates, as well as calling on volunteers to make sure they are ready to go if Hurricane Irene hits.
For Horry, Georgetown, and Williamsburg Counties, they will have their web sites updated for local shelter information. The Columbia Region Red Cross will also have a list of shelters available. It's important to remember that shelters are considered last resorts. They will open as soon as possible after an evacuation order has been issued