MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Horry and Georgetown counties both moved to Operation Condition Level 4 as a precaution ahead of Tropical Storm Erika.
"OPCON 4" puts Horry County on "Alert" status, according to a news release from county officials. The Horry County Emergency Operations Center is not active at this time, but the Horry County Emergency Management "will continue to monitor changes in the forecast and take precautions as necessary."
The Georgetown County Emergency Operations Center will have limited activation, and the county's Emergency Management Division will continue to monitor the storm closely and update the public on any potential threats.
"We should have a much better idea about what, if any threat, Erika will pose to Georgetown County by early next week," said Sam Hodge, Georgetown County's Emergency Manager. "In the mean time, we are reviewing operational plans and taking actions to get ready in case the storm does head our way."
According to the WMBF First Alert Weather Team:
Erika is still fighting the battle against dry air and wind shear Friday which is keeping the system weak and disorganized. The center of the storm was located near the coast of Hispaniola but the majority of the thunderstorms are pushed well off to the east. As Erika treks over Hispaniola on Friday, the mountains will continue to take their toll on the system. This could cause the system to dissipate, or at the very least, remain weak. If the system can hold together into the Bahamas, some slow strengthening may occur.
Hodge advises residents to make sure they have emergency plans in place, review evacuation routes, and check emergency supply kits for necessary items. According to the Georgetown County Emergency Management Division, these kits should contain:
· Non-perishable food
· Drinking water (two gallons per person per day)
· Flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs
· First aid kit
· Non-electrical can opener
· Necessary medications and prescriptions
· Needed supplies for any children
· Needed supplies for any pets
· Important documents (insurance policies, photo ID, tax records, bank information, etc.)
· Toiletries and other personal hygiene items
· Cash and credit cards
· Weather radio with extra batteries
For more on hurricane preparation, check out HCEMD's Hurricane page here: http://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/EmergencyManagement/Hurricanes