With the Carolina coast in the forecast cone for Hurricane Matthew, Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered an evacuation of Zone A, the area closest to the shore. Here’s some tips if you’re planning to evacuate the area.
1. Stock up on gas
Now is the time to fill the tank to be prepared for an evacuation that may last several hours. Lane reversals are not scheduled for Horry County, according to county spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier, and evacuation times have been pushed back to begin Thursday morning.
As evacuations begin, there will be “comfort stations” along main routes with water and bathrooms, Haley said Wednesday morning.
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2. Check your evacuation route
Horry county residents can check their evacuation routes by typing their addresses into a county website.
3. Make a plan with a firm destination point
Haley said in a press conference that many hotels were already booked in the Midlands area. Call ahead and don’t expect that hotels will have openings by time you get there.
There are also several Red Cross shelters in Horry county. Shelters do not accept pets, however, so make sure any family animals are able to come along, whatever the endpoint.
4. Take important documents with you
Be sure to take birth certificates, social security cards, photo ID, and any other identification documents. Any other important paperwork, like insurance information or prescriptions, should be taken as well.
For re-entry procdure, it’s also a good idea to bring a utility bill to show residence.
Re-entry procedures are designed to let crucial personnel back into evacuated areas first. The process will happen in three waves, according to Horry County Emergency Management:
Once the Governor rescinds a mandatory evacuation order; the Emergency Management Director will activate the Re-Entry Plan. Re-entry will be conducted in phases beginning with allowing those with Level I access into the impacted areas to restore essential services and infrastructure. Municipalities may enforce their own identification procedures at jurisdictional access checkpoints if they deem it necessary.
Level I Access
All public officials and personnel having key roles in life safety and the restoration of critical services after a disaster will be allowed to enter the impacted area. All Level I personnel will be required to present and wear in full view an authorized employee identification badge. No personal vehicles will be allowed to enter impacted areas during Level I access, except governmental personnel reporting for official business.
Level II Access
This allows for re-entry of critical support groups, relief workers, State certified (SLED) security officers, healthcare personnel, business owners/essential staff, insurance adjusters and any other person(s) authorized by the jurisdiction to provide services or reduce economic loss. All Level II personnel will be required to present and wear an authorized employee identification badge at the checkpoint.
Level III Access
Residents and business operators shall have access to areas that have been deemed safe by the authority having jurisdiction. When possible, every effort should be made to safely assist these persons to their property if access is limited. All residents and business operators must show proper identification and documentation to enter an impacted area. Residents with special needs shall be assisted back into their dwellings once sufficient support services are available to sustain and assist their recovery efforts.