Preparing for hurricane season amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Hurricane Season runs from the beginning of June through the end of November, and experts are encouraging residents to prepare for what is expected to be an active season.

“We know in the last few years there has been a steep increase in hurricanes and we expect to have another active season this year. I think we are looking at 13-20 named storms that are out there this year,” said Shannon Scaff, director of Emergency Management for the city of Charleston.

Parts of Downtown Charleston like the Battery can get flooded very fast when hurricanes hit.
South Carolina Emergency Management Division (EMD) says with some pandemic restrictions still in place, it’s more important than ever to have a plan for when the storm comes.

Emergency shelters will look a lot different this year because of COVID-19. Masks will be required for everyone to wear regardless of vaccination status while still maintaining our social distancing.

“We have gotten to where we are at about 635 spots that are available in our local shelter this year, of course, we will have that 6 feet social distancing in place and also the masks,” said Scaff.

At home, there are things you can do to make sure you’re ready. Leaders say it is always better to be over-prepared.

Even a category one or two storms can mean up to between 15 and 18 feet of water.

“Of course the category of storms is related to winds but we know in our business the risk is associated with water,” replied Scaff.

Those evacuation warnings will come not just from the city but also from state leaders.

“And be very careful and know about it in advance so you are not caught off guard we want everyone to be prepared and be able to act as their own emergency professional,” said Governor McMaster.

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