#8: Access Communication Tools

There are many tools you can use to communicate during a weather emergency. Check out those outlined below and get familiar with them before they are needed.



This is the service provided by a large number of public safety agencies and is important to have not just in the case of a disaster.

It allows first responders to access the information you have provided before they arrive to help you. They would know your medical situation, any medications you take, or allergies you may have. In the event of a fire, they would have information such as how to get into your house, where the utilities can be shut off, etc. For other emergencies, it can provide important facts they may need immediately. In addition, it will provide the name and number of someone to contact if the need arises.

For more information and to sign up, go to smart911.com. Also interesting are the pages on “How It Works” and “Frequently Asked Questions.”

Medical ID

This is another very useful tool that is a built-in feature of your iPhone. In the case of an accident, first responders need to know your ongoing medical situation as well as whom to contact. If your cell phone is locked, they can’t access any information that is in it. This feature, which is on the front of the phone on the screen where you put in your password, allows them to access this information. The only information that is there is what you put into the accompanying app. You or someone else can also make an emergency call without going beyond the lock screen on your cell phone.

To find out more about it, click here. For information on devices other than the Apple iPhone, click here. To see a review of privacy concerns, click here.



CodeRED is the method that the Town of Seabrook Island uses to give you severe weather warnings via telephone, text and/or email.

You can choose to receive notifications about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and/or flash floods. Please remember, hurricane notices can be several days out and you should take action before CodeRED announces any imminent danger.

To sign up, go to the Town of Seabrook Island website by clicking here. In the upper right-hand corner, click on Services and then the words “Emergency Preparedness.” in the dropdown box. At that point, there are several buttons. Click on the button that says “CodeRED” and sign up. You can limit the way you receive the information to just phone, email, or text or receive it on all of them. You can also list several telephone numbers.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has a free mobile app that provides helpful hurricane-related information. It monitors weather conditions in your area, suggests tips for preparing your family and home, and offers ways to find help and let others know you are safe. You can download “Hurricane: American Red Cross” in the Apple App store or Google Play by clicking here.

South Carolina Emergency Manager

The SC Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) has a free mobile app that allows users to build emergency plans, keep track of disaster preparedness kits, and create emergency contacts. SC Emergency Manager also has a function to document damage to homes following a storm. You can utilize that information to prepare a package for your insurance company or to share the information with the emergency division.

In the event you are lost and need some type of locator, you can convert your phone flashlight into strobes that give the Morse code signal for “SOS.” The app also allows the phone to create a “very, very, very loud” siren noise.

You can download the SCEMD app by clicking here. Also, follow the official SCEMD account on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay connected.


Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Inc. has a free app called SmartHub. It allows you to report outages from your mobile device, view graphs showing how the weather affects usage, pay your bill, and much more. Simply go to the App Store on your mobile device and look for the SmartHub logo. Once the app is installed, select Berkeley Electric Cooperative as your provider and follow the set-up instructions.


You can subscribe to the TidelinesAlert Twitter feed and activate the notification and sound features to receive special traffic, weather, or emergency alerts via Twitter. This means you can get urgent Tidelines notifications as they are published on Twitter while still maintaining a daily or weekly summary of Tidelines posts via email.

For information on TidelinesAlert, and how to sign up for Twitter, click here. Once you sign up for Twitter, you can also follow the Town of Seabrook Island @SeabrookIslnd87. (Note: the letter “a” is intentionally missing from the word island in the Twitter name.)

unnamed(2) June 2019

Post and Courier Hurricane Wire

The Post and Courier launched Hurricane Wire, a brand new pop-up newsletter and special section to help continue to improve their storm coverage.

Each week they will report what’s brewing in the Atlantic, what the experts are saying this season, some history from past storms, and even provide special maps and data visualizations to help you make sense of it all.

The newsletter will deploy to inboxes on Thursday mornings through November 14, with more frequency during breaking news weather events. Sign up here.

Local Alerts

Town of Seabrook Island: click here for their website.


To access all the Tidelines Hurricane Hints published this year, click here and look for the dropdown menu.

It is never too late to complete some of the suggestions.

In the event of a disaster, our volunteers have devised a plan to cover it as we have in the past. We will work diligently to give you up updates as we receive them.

Other Communication Tools

For a list of the above noted and additional emergency-related resources and apps, please click here.

Remember, be prepared, stay safe.

Tidelines Editors