FIRST ALERT: Hurricane evacuations only needed if you’re at risk

Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Another hurricane season has started and the preparations should be coming to an end.

Hurricane kits should be made, plans should be established and residents should know what to do if the Grand Strand finds itself in another storm track later this year.

When preparing for the season, “Know Your Zone” is a common phrase during this time of year. Evacuation zones are crucial to saving those who live on or within minutes of the Grand Strand.

When evacuations orders are issued, it’s a mass exodus of people leaving beach homes, hotels, condos, and areas within evacuation zones A through C. Traffic is already a struggle on U.S. 501 on a clear summer day, but add in a mandatory hurricane evacuation and traffic issues and backups are bound to happen.

These issues seem to happen both before the storm hits and even returning back home after the storm is long gone.

The Grand Strand is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation and evacuations need to be only for people who have to evacuate.

Residents who do not live in an evacuation zone or a flood-prone area are strongly encouraged to ride out the storm.

Think about it this way: Carolina Forest has 42,000+ people living in it. That area is far away from the beaches to avoid the storm surge from any hurricane and is not located in a flood-prone area.

It’s just one example of a community whose residents could stay at home and ride out the storm and hide from the hurricane-force winds. Each community that can be convinced to stay home means less cars are headed out of town and there is more room at shelters for people who need it.

Red Hill, Longs, Loris, Aynor and even areas of Conway not impacted by river flooding are just some other examples where people could choose to ride out the storm and not evacuate. Each year, people leave when they’re told not to, creating issues for those who are required to evacuate.

When thinking of this topic, remember this. It’s a phrase that sticks out perfectly that is heard during each hurricane season - “Run from water. Hide from wind.”

Evacuations are issued here in Horry County and the Grand Strand to get people away from storm surge. Storm surge is the No. 1 killer when it comes to hurricanes. Roughly half of the deaths during hurricanes come from storm surge alone. Flooding and storm surge is why people evacuate.

“Run from the water, hide from the wind.” Outside of the storm surge and flood prone areas, residents will likely be able to survive even a major hurricane by staying home and taking precautions.

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