If evacuation is not required, experts say to have supplies to carry you through three days. However, you would be well-advised to have supplies for a far longer time period. We are a barrier island and could lose electricity and/or water and sewer for longer than that.
As a reminder, some things to get ready:
- Choose a safe place in your home to stay – away from windows. A small interior room is best.
- Take in your porch and deck furniture, potted plants, yard decorations, bird feeders, barbecue grill— anything that could become a projectile.
- Prepare your windows. Depending on the type of windows you have, refer to your user’s manual to be sure you know how to engage your hurricane windows, use plywood to board up your window or close your storm shutters.
Monitor the local news sources to stay aware of what is happening:
- Tidelines emails and TidelinesAlert on Twitter
- The Town’s CodeRED warning system
- The Town’s website
- The local Live5 weather
- The National Hurricane Center
- The National Weather Service for Charleston
- The South Carolina Emergency Management Division
- NOAA, which will provide impact graphics, storm surge height, storm warnings and watches, etc.
- WEZL 103.5 radio and WIWF 96.9 radio which are participants in the Emergency Alert System.
Please note: The Weather Channel will not have the same level of local reporting that the sources above will have.
Some other helpful hints:
- We may lose electricity, water and sewer services. If that happens, you should voluntarily evacuate before a mandatory evacuation forces you out (and in a direction you don’t want to go). If you make a late decision to evacuate, keep in mind that shelters should be used as a last resort, and most will not take pets.
- Cell phone coverage for voice calls may be out. Try text messaging or switch your data off on your cell phone settings and try to send an email message instead. Let your family members outside the area know what your plans are.
- Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting and keep it closed. Once the electricity is out, your refrigerator will keep foods cool for four hours if left unopened. Thawed food is usually okay if still “refrigerator cold.”
- The loss of power from high winds or other natural disasters could jeopardize the safety of your food. Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. The Department of Agriculture provides a comprehensive publication to provide such guidance. This Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety will help you make the right decisions for keeping your family’s food safe. In addition, here is a summary of important points.
Remember, be prepared; stay safe.