Horry County Emergency Management's safety tips and advice for after a hurricane.
Once the Governor rescinds the 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.
Re-Entry For Residents & Property Owners
Residents should have proper identification to gain admittance. This identification may include a valid government issued photo identification card showing the location of their property. For out of state property owners with residential or commercial properties within the affected area(s) they must show a valid government issued photo identification card and current documentation to verify the need for re-entry. This documentation can be a utility bill, deed, property tax bill, etc.
Re-Entry For Business Owners & Essential Employees
Business owners/operators would need proper identification to gain admittance. This identification includes a current business license, company photo identification card, lease documents or other official documents showing the location of the property and a valid government issued photo identification card.
Essential staff/employees would need proper identification to gain admittance. This identification includes a valid business or government issued photo identification card and an essential employee authorization letter on official letterhead/stationary provided by the business. This letter should include a request for admittance, the employee’s name and be signed by the business owner/operator.
Safety after a hurricane
Do not touch fallen or low-hanging electrical wires:
- Avoid puddles with wires in or near them
- Do not touch trees, cars or other objects in contact with power lines
- Be especially cautious in the dark
Avoid flooded areas:
- Low lying areas, canals, ditches and streams
- Do not attempt to drive in flooded areas - the depth of the water and the condition of the road is not always obvious
- Moving water is especially dangerous
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers
Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors
Do not confront looters and persons with guns and other weapons – call the appropriate authorities
If you discover bodies - do not touch or move them - call the appropriate authorities
Wash your hands often using clean water and soap
Check your home
- Look for cracks in roof, foundation, walls, etc.
- Check for loose or slippery boards
- Thoroughly check for broken gas lines before turning on gas service
- Thoroughly check for broken or exposed electrical wiring before switching on electrical service
- Check with professional heating/AC company before switching on central air conditioning. Flood water (especially salt water) is corrosive to the compressor/heat pump (outside unit).
- Contact your home owners insurance agent - take pictures for insurance purposes
- Throw out moldy items that are porous (rotten wood, carpet padding, fabric furniture, etc)
- Boil and purify water thoroughly if you suspect it may be contaminated
- Check with local authorities before using tap water
- Use bottled water if possible
Help after a hurricane
Emotional recovery (physical and emotional) is very important:
- Shock, fear and disbelief are frequent emotions right after a disaster
- Anger, moodiness, and depression are normal reactions in the days, weeks and months after a disaster
- Children are especially vulnerable to emotional reactions
- Seek assistance from family, friends and professionals
Contact professional contractors for repairing homes – check references (not everyone offering repair services is qualified or licensed)
Check with local authorities (and radio & TV stations) for disaster recovery assistance services:
- Professional and volunteer agencies
- Temporary housing
- Job loss