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  • Alyssa Brennan

South Carolina prepares for hurricane season

It’s that time of year again: hurricane season, and as usual, concern has risen among people on the coast about what to do in case of emergency.

At the Hurricane Season Town Hall meeting held in Garden City on Aug. 1, 2018, WPDE ABC 15 chief meteorologist Ed Piotrowski, Georgetown and Horry County emergency management directors Sam Hodge and Randy Webster, and South Carolina Insurance Association representative Russ Dubisky addressed many questions and concerns many may have about what to do if a storm strikes us this season.

Many of us worry about losing power in the midst of a storm.

According to the poll done by WPDE, it was the biggest concern of all.

Webster mentions the storm from the 2016 season, Hurricane Matthew, to point out that it doesn’t take a strong storm to cause a power outage and it’s just something to always be prepared for. “At one point during that storm about 80% of the power was out in Horry County, alone,” Webster says.

Although he advises against candles for safety reasons, he recommends having some LED flashlights on hand just in case.

Hodge warns to use caution when using generators during storms because a leading cause of death during them is electrocution.

Another big concern, especially among those who were here for Hurricane Matthew, is flood insurance. This, like power outages, shouldn’t just be a concern during hurricane season, though as they can happen at any time.

“Anywhere you live, you are in a flood zone,” Dubisky says. “It may not be a high-risk area, or a special flood hazard area, but you are susceptible to some flooding if you live in South Carolina.”

Flood insurance is not included in a basic homeowners’ policy, so it does require a separate one. One side effect of hurricanes is storm surge, and any damage done by that will be covered if you take the precaution of purchasing flood insurance.

Be sure to be prepared, stock up on anything you might need in case of emergency, and have a plan. Have a kit of essential supplies ready for you, your family, and pets.

“If you’re ready for hurricanes, you’re ready for about anything else that can come our way,” Webster says.

Sometimes, however, it is much safer to evacuate than to stay for the storm. If there’s an emergency in your home, firemen, police, and ambulances may not be able to get to you. Another thing to think about is how bad the storm surge may be in your area as this is the number one cause of death during a hurricane.

Stay safe and prepared this hurricane season; remember, we are just getting to the peak of it.

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