HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Hurricane Irma's potential impact on the South Carolina coast is still unclear, but local officials say now is the time for residents to know their evacuation zones, create an emergency binder and make a hurricane supply kit.
"We don't want anyone to take Irma lightly. This is not a storm that you can say, 'Oh, it's a 1.' This is a big storm that may or may not come here, but we're likely to get some effects from it," said Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea.
City leaders are urging locals and visitors to prepare for this storm, after believing many were not ready for Hurricane Matthew last October.
"After Hurricane Matthew, we received some information from residents about their zone and we wanted to make sure we were reaching folks and make sure they know which zone they lived in," said Brooke Holden, with Horry County Emergency Management.
Zone A is closest to the coast, from Kings Highway to the ocean. Zone B covers the U.S. 17 Bypass to Kings Highway, and zone C is anything west of the bypass.
The county has put up over 100 signs so far, but has a ways to go before all neighborhoods have them.
"We will continue to post these signs throughout the next few years before it will be complete," said Holden.
Horry County Emergency Management officials are urging people to make an emergency kit and binder with important documents and valuables that may be need.
They said it's also important to make plans for pets.
"Make sure that you have the appropriate accommodations for those pets. There are no shelters in Horry County that accept pets. So make sure you know if your pet is going to go with you should you evacuate," Holden said.
It's also important to make sure pets have all of their shots and the paperwork to prove it. For those who might need to evacuate to a hotel, some will not accept animals if they don't have proof of vaccinations.