Hurricane Preparation

Hurricane Preparation Resources

Planning for an Emergency
FEMA Assistance
Help for Veterans
Important Contact Information


TROPICAL STORM WATCH: Tropical storm conditions are possible, usually within 48 hours.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING: Tropical storm conditions are expected, usually within 36 hours.

HURRICANE WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible, usually within 48 hours.

HURRICANE WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected, usually within 36 hours.

TROPICAL STORM: Sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph

HURRICANE: Sustained winds of 74 mph or higher


Category 1: 74 to 95 mph

Category 2: 96 to 110 mph

Category 3: 111 to 129 mph

Category 4: 130 to 156 mph

Category 5: 157 mph or higher

**Sign up for emergency alerts at**
**Download the SC Emergency Manager mobile app to get up-to-the-minute information before, during, and after a hurricane.**

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Planning for an Emergency

Disaster kits and emergency supplies should be fully stocked by June 1, the start of hurricane season. Once a hurricane warning is declared, most of your preparations should be directed toward your home.

Remember to discuss your family emergency plan ahead of time. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what to do in case of an emergency.

Disaster Kits and Emergency Supplies Checklist:

At least one gallon of water per person for three to seven days
Non-perishable snacks and packaged or canned food for at least three to seven days
Manual can opener
Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes
Bedding for a small space
Prescription medications
Personal hygiene items
Special items and food for infants, elderly or disabled family members
Garbage bags
First-aid kit
Fully-charged mobile phone with charger
Quiet games, toys or reading materials
Eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aid batteries
Pet care items, including food
Flashlight, battery-powered radio and batteries
Extra set of car keys

Home Preparation

Take pictures of your home (both interior and exterior) for your homeowner’s insurance company.
Protect areas where wind can enter. Windows and doors should be secured with County-approved storm shutters. Another option is to board up windows with 5/8-inch plywood. Tape does NOT prevent windows from breaking.
Protect electronics with surge protectors and waterproof coverings.
Bring in lawn furniture or other outdoor items not tied down that could become airborne.
Withdraw cash from the bank and get fuel for your vehicle, generator and other gas-powered tools.

Construction Sites

In the event of a tropical storm warning or hurricane watch, licensed contractors are obligated to secure their work sites. Potentially hazardous objects must be fastened down or removed.


Fill aluminum or plastic containers with potable water once a hurricane warning is announced. Plan for at least one gallon per person, per day for three to seven days. In addition, keep other containers two-thirds full with potable water and place them in your freezer for ice after a storm.
Before filling your water containers, wash them out with soap and water and rinse them well. Next, fill the container with a solution of one tablespoon of unscented household chlorine bleach — the kind used for laundry — per gallon of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour out the solution and rinse the container.

Gasoline Storage and Generators

Store fuel in an approved container, holding five gallons or less, in a cool, dry, ventilated and secure area, away from appliances. Keep it out of the reach of children.
Generators must only be operated outside of inhabited structures in a well-ventilated area away from windows, doors, vents or other openings. They should NOT be operated on the balcony of a multi-unit structure.

What to Bring to an Evacuation Center

Infant and child care items such as formula, diapers, toys, etc.
Personal hygiene items
Comfort materials such as books, magazines, etc.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications
Drinking water
Extra clothing
Special items for elderly or disabled family members
It is strongly recommended to bring portable electronic devices — such as phones, tablets and battery packs — fully charged as there are limited outlets at evacuation centers.

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Help for Veterans

Veterans in need of assistance or in need of their medication should contact the Veteran Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 or go to any VA medical facility for assistance. 

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FEMA Assistance

For in-person assistance from storm related questions, visit your local FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585.

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Important Contact Information

Emergency Assistance
Phone: 9-1-1

SC Department Of Transportation
855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368)

Public Information Phone System (PIPS)
SCEMD's public information hotline

SC Department of Public Safety
Emergency Traffic Network

SC Salvation Army
Phone: (704) 522-4970

SC Department of Insurance
Phone: (803) 737-6160
Phone: (803) 768-3467

Veteran Disaster Hotline
Phone: 1-800-507-4571

Disaster Distress Helpline (for emotional distress)
Phone: 1-800-985-5990
Text: TalkWithUs to 66746

Blue Tarp Roofs (Army Corps of Engineers)
Phone: 1-888-ROOF-BLU

National Hurricane Center

merican Red Cross
Phone: 1-866-438-4636

Phone: 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362)
TTY: 1-800-745-0243

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