McMaster issues state of emergency for possible Hurricane Irma hit
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – Governor Henry McMaster, along with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, issued an executive order Wednesday declaring a state of emergency to prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Irma hitting the state.
The executive order enables all state agencies to coordinate resources in preparation for Hurricane Irma, which is currently a category five hurricane.
“The state of emergency allows one of the best, most experienced emergency response teams in the entire world to begin organizing response efforts,” McMaster said. “South Carolina is fortunate to have time to allow us to prepare for Hurricane Irma’s potential landfall, and it is important that families and individuals in vulnerable areas use that time to review safety plans in case they are needed.”
People in potentially vulnerable areas should review personal safety plans, became familiar with local evacuation zones in coastal counties and locate the nearest hurricane evacuation routes.
This information can be found in the 2017 S.C. Hurricane Guide, which can be found at all Walgreen’s store locations, at all rest areas along the interstate and for download on their website.
Members of the state’s Emergency Response Team will begin reviewing plans and notifying response staff should they be needed.
“It’s too soon to rule out any possibilities,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said. “Hurricane Irma is a dangerous storm and its projected path could put South Carolina in harm’s way. Fortunately, people in South Carolina have time. While we hope we never see a hurricane head our way, we all need prepare for the possible effects.”
The Emergency Management Division has increased operational readiness to Condition 4. OPCON 4 is the next highest response level above normal, day-to-day activities, and emergency managers make initial preparations for the possibility of any hazardous situations.
Select personnel from SCEMD’s Operations and Preparedness sections continue to monitor Hurricane Irma from the State Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia.