Governor Nikki Haley issued an executive order declaring a State of Emergency and asked residents to prepare for a potential evacuation of the South Carolina coast in advance of any impact from Hurricane Matthew.
As state officials continue to monitor weather conditions, the governor will update residents about preparations for Hurricane Matthew, including the need for an evacuation of coastal areas, during a news conference Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Schools and county and state government offices in the following counties will be closed starting Wednesday, October 5, 2016: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Beaufort, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marlboro, Marion, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties.
Many Midlands events scheduled for this week have already been postponed or cancelled.
Residents preparing to evacuate should become familiar with evacuation routes, which are marked with special signs. Consider where you will stay once you evacuate. Options include: a hotel, motel, or friend’s home that is outside the vulnerable area or an American Red Cross shelter. Hotels and motels fill up quickly and out-of-county evacuations take time. Emergency shelters will be announced as soon as they are open.
Fuel cars, keep supplies in vehicles, secure important documents: If the storm approaches South Carolina, individuals and families should fill up their cars with gas. Road maps, nonperishable snack foods, a first-aid kit that includes a supply of your family’s prescription medications, and convenience items such as diapers should be available in the car. Secure important documents in waterproof packaging.
Consider the safety of pets: Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters. Individuals and families should plan to board pets with veterinarians, kennels, or other facilities in non-vulnerable areas. Identification and rabies tags should be attached to the pets’ collars.
If the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane watch, a hurricane will be possible within 48 hours, and residents who live in vulnerable areas should stay tuned. If a hurricane warning is issued, a hurricane is expected within 36 hours. If you live in a highly vulnerable area and are advised to evacuate, you should be prepared to leave immediately. The state urges individuals and families to do the following:
Everyone in South Carolina is urged to continue to monitor the developing forecasts from the National Hurricane Center through local news media and trusted sources online. Pay attention to emergency warnings from local and state public safety officials and take safety actions if instructed to do so.
South Carolina’s Emergency Response Team is operating 24-hours a day from the state’s emergency operations center preparing for hazardous conditions associated with Hurricane Matthew.
For more information visit scemd.org or follow @SCEMD on Twitter and Facebook.