Horry Co. preps for 2012 Hurricane Season

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) The start of hurricane season is less than a month away and the Horry County Emergency Management Office is gearing up.

Training starts for Horry County's Emergency Operating Center staff two months before hurricane season. This is when they review the county's procedures in the event of a hurricane and go over any changes. One of this year's biggest changes are the evacuation plans affecting people all over Horry County.

The changes come as a result from the recent the Army Corp of Engineers Hurricane Evacuation Study. According to Alicia Sanders with Horry County's Emergency Management Office, the evacuation area is now larger so it's important everyone is brought up to speed with this new information.

"From our partnership with the Red Cross, to DHEC, to our partnership with DOT, to evacuations with Highway Patrol, all of those things come in to play. We just want to make sure that they don't have any drastic changes that need to be fixed within our plan and to make sure we are all on the same page when we go in to hurricane season," explained Sanders.

Horry County will also be getting ready to launch a new emergency management website designed to be more user friendly.

According to Sanders, when the site first launches it will focus on how to prepare for hurricane season and have important updates to the evacuation area and zones. Eventually, the new website will also have emergency information for other hazards like tornados and lightning.

Sanders says the site will be instrumental to Horry County for spreading the word on the changes to the evacuation areas and zones, which is a top priority right now.

"We're in the finalizing stage. Just to make sure everything is clear cut and to the point," Sanders said.

The county plans on launching the "Know Your Zone" in the next few weeks. The new website is expected to be ready by the start of hurricane season, June 1st.

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