Florence County officials prepare for hurricane season

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Administrators with Florence County Emergency Management say extensive training and meetings have prepared them for this year's hurricane season.

"We have five schools that we open initially, and that's Wilson High School, South Florence High School, Timmonsville Educational Center, Hannah Pamlico Elementary Center, Lake City Middle," said Kristy Hughes, Natural Hazards Coordinator Florence County Emergency Management.

Hughes says surveys completed by agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers have led to the development of efficient plans and strategies to help bring control in a chaotic situation that a hurricane could create.

Hughes says in this time of preparation, people in each county should begin looking into their specific county's plans of evacuation. Hughes added knowing pertinent information like your zone and evacuation routes will help make an immediate evacuation faster and safer for everyone.

Recent federal cuts have led to the loss of some staff that helps run hurricane shelters.

"Each year you have to tweak the plan a little. We make plans, for plans we have all the back-ups, which is what we do anyway… we plan for just in-case," said Hughes.

Even with the loss in staff, Hughes says the county is prepared to handle the needs of those that may come to Florence for assistance. A "to-go" box comprised of medication and important documents is one of the essential things Hughes says people need to assemble.

For tips on how you can prepare for this year's hurricane season follow the link below.

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