As Gov. Nikki Haley pushed back possible evacuation times for Horry and Georgetown Counties in a Wednesday morning news conference, some residents already were beginning to leave the Grand Strand. Haley said Wednesday morning that those who ignore an evacuation order may be putting the lives of emergency responders at risk if they have to be rescued later.
However, those staying need to make sure they’re prepared for a storm that could cause serious damage to the Grand Strand.
1. Prepare enough food, water and supplies
South Carolina’s Emergency Management Division advises keeping enough supplies for at least three days. Each person in a home requires at least one gallon of water per day.
Those staying also need to stock up on non-perishable food and batteries, for flashlights and radios. Residents also are advised to have at least a month of any prescription medication ready.
Other items that may be helpful are wipes, extra garbage bags and activities for children. Get cash now, because it may be difficult to access banking services or ATMs if power is out in the area for an extended period. Families with pets need to plan for them as well, and make sure they have an adequate supply of water and food for furry friends.
2. Secure the outside of your home
Patio furniture, grills, doghouses and anything else outside needs to be secured or brought inside the house. Anything that isn’t secured can become a projectile and damage windows or other parts of a home.
Storm shutters and plywood are an option for those who want to cover windows. Garage and porch doors should also be secured so that they can withstand strong winds.
3. Prepare the inside of your home
Turn refrigerators to the coldest setting, so that food will keep for as long as possible if power goes out. Only open the fridge when absolutely necessary, and do not keep the door open.
Electronics or wires sitting on the ground should be raised to a higher level, in case of flooding. Surge protectors can protect computers and other expensive electronics in the case of a power surge.
4. Listen to local media for updates
A radio with an independent power source is the best way to retain contact in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Cellphones and chargers should also be kept handy.
After the storm, flash flooding, downed trees and other factors may make travel difficult, and the evacuation zone may also be blocked off as crucial personnel re-enter.