BEFORE: Have a family disaster plan ready - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

BEFORE: Have a family disaster plan ready

The time to plan is NOW! (Source: Horry County EMD Guide) The time to plan is NOW! (Source: Horry County EMD Guide)
Have a disaster kit ready. (Source: Horry County EMD Guide) Have a disaster kit ready. (Source: Horry County EMD Guide)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County has a comprehensive guide on planning for a disaster, knowing your evacuation zone, evacuation routes, and re-entry procedures.

The entire guide can be found online here.

The county’s Emergency Management Division says to have a family disaster plan in place. The plan should include the following items:

  • Determine a safe meeting place for you and your family should you become separated. It is also a good idea to have an out of state family contact that all family members can call.
  • Know Your Zone! See an interactive map here that includes evacuation zones for Horry County, evacuation routes for each zone and locations of shelters. Click here for a details.
  • Post emergency numbers near all telephones. Here are important phone numbers from the county’s disaster guide:
    • Horry County Emergency Management: 843-915-5150
    • American Red Cross (Shelters): 843-477-0020
    • Current Road Conditions: 1-888-877-9151 (This is the SC number for questions about traffic and is usually activated after the storm and stays active as long as needed.)
    • Re-entry information: 1-866-246-0133 – Public Information Phone System (PIPS) – This phone line is manned in Columbia and provides information on evacuation, shelters, damage assessment, and re-entry.
    • South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: 843-915-8804 – for special medical needs shelters
    • Aceramiento Hispano de Carolina del Sur: 803-419-5112 – Hispanic Outreach for South Carolina
  • Where will your pets be during the storm? American Red Cross shelters do not accept pets!
  • Learn which evacuation routes you must take and determine where you will evacuate to. Again, the interactive map showing evacuation zones and maps can be found here. A printable version can be found here.
  • Read your insurance policy and know your coverage. Damage caused by flooding is not typically covered by standard homeowner’s insurance.
  • Have a disaster plan that accommodates elderly and/or disable family members.
  • Prepare a disaster kit. See a list of recommended items for the kit here. It is also a good idea to place cash in the disaster kit.
  • Have your vehicle’s oil and fuel levels checked regularly during hurricane season.

The county also advises you take the following actions during the threat of a hurricane:

  • A NOAA weather radio is an excellent source for real-time weather information and warnings.
  • Listen to the radio or television for hurricane updates and public safety information
  • Review your Family Disaster Plan.
  • Go through your Emergency Supply Kit; check the dates on your water, food items and batteries.
  • Familiarize yourself with your evacuation route and decide early when you will leave and where you will go.
  • Keep the fuel tank as full as possible. In an evacuation, gas may not be readily available.
  • Have enough cash for a few days because ATM’s may not work during power outages and stores might not be able to take debit and credit cards. Be sure to have plenty of small bills, as it may be difficult to get change.
  • Fill prescriptions that might be needed and stock up on any necessary medical supplies.

Here are 5 mitigation tips for your home from the county:

  1. Protect Doors and Windows.
    • Mark sure shutters are approved for large missile impact.
    • Gable end vents should be shuttered to keep water out.
    • Garages should be shuttered or braced.
  2. Secure Roof Shingles
    • Look for missing, broken, cracked or loose roofing material. (stay on the ground and use binoculars)
  3. Seal Openings, Cracks and Holes
    • Fill holes with caulk where wires, cables and pipes enter the house
  4. Strengthen Soffits – need to be fastened with stainless steel screws
    • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed
    • Limit yard objects
  5. Test your generator proper operation. Have extra gas or diesel to maintain your generator during and after the hurricane.

Source: www.disastersafety.org

Review the plan for your pets. Call your veterinarian or boarding facility to reserve a place for your pet. Pets are not permitted in American Red Cross shelters. Or click here for a list of pet friendly hotels.

Visit the Horry County EMD web page for even more details, plans, suggestions, tips, and potentially life-saving information in the event of a storm.

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