MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - How safe do you feel in Myrtle Beach? The public had the chance to answer that question Wednesday night.
City leaders took a seat at the virtual table to address your concerns about public safety and outline the precautions being taken to protect residents in the event of an emergency.
The city hosted a virtual public safety forum inside of the Ted. C Collins Law Enforcement Center. The panel included members of the Myrtle Beach Police Department, Myrtle Beach Fire Department, Public Works Department and the Neighborhood Services Department.
Myrtle Beach residents submitted questions to Myrtle Beach police before the forum. The topics addressed ranged from where to receive information on evacuation plans, to seeking shelter for pets during a weather emergency.
Some residents also wanted to know how to be prepared for any possible hurricane emergency. The city’s response? Know your hurricane evacuation zones before the system hits.
“Make sure you’re taking those steps now so your family can be safe before, during and after the storm,” said Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock.
Some families wanted to know where to temporarily place their pets if they have to evacuate.
City leaders advise you to contact local animal facilities ahead of time to see if they’ll house your pet during a weather emergency, as many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
If you plan on taking your pet with you during an evacuation, city leaders advise you to contact the hotel beforehand to ensure the facility is pet friendly.
Prock also addressed an issue they’re seeing along the beaches.
“We do see burglar automobiles periodically," Prock said. "Lock your vehicles and make sure you are taking your valuables with you.”
WMBF News spoke to the police department about safety concerns some residents expressed to our reporters related to crime.
The police department wants those residents to know their safety will continue to be the top priority.
“Every member of this agency, every member of this city, wants our people to feel safe," said Myrtle Beach Police Cpl. Tom Vest. "That’s what we’re here for. If for any reason you don’t [feel safe], we encourage you to talk to us, reach out. Obviously, right now, there are some limitations due to the coronavirus but we want everyone to feel safe living here. We don’t want anybody to get hurt. We want everybody to stay safe.”
City leaders announced a big change this year with the ‘National Night Out’ event. Before the pandemic, the police department and various neighborhoods would come together promoting togetherness and safety in the community.
This year, there will be no group gatherings. Fire and police personnel will drive through various neighborhoods in the city limits of Myrtle beach, waving at the residents and keeping the National Night Out tradition going.
While a specific date wasn’t announced during the public safety forum, the event will take place next month. Organizers for the National Night Out events are recommending all states celebrate the event on Oct. 6, the first Tuesday of the month.
City officials are encouraging residents to utilize three websites while planning for weather-related emergencies: