CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Officials with Horry County Emergency Management say now is the time for residents to act in preparation for the potential impacts of Hurricane Irma.
They recommend stocking up on essential items and putting an evacuation plan in place.
If the Governor gives a mandatory evacuation order, it would go into effect 10:00am Saturday morning.
“It’s time to prepare. We’ve been hearing about Hurricane Irma for a quite few days so absolutely have those preparations in place,” said Brooke Holden with Emergency Management.
Holden says it’s important to be ready before the evacuation order is made official.
“Make sure you have enough fuel in your vehicle, make sure you that you have your medications, should you need to evacuate you know where you’re going, you have your emergency go kit,“ explained Holden, “you have all of those items in a checklist and you check them off as they pertain to you and your family members.”
Should the evacuation go into effect Saturday morning, it’s important to know what your evacuation route is depending on where you live.
“Residents should always know their zones, their evacuation zones, zone A, B or C; so that they know that if the governor issues a mandatory evacuation, they know which zone they live in, they know which information pertains to them and they’re able to act accordingly,” said Holden.
Zone A includes all areas east of U.S. Business 17 (Kings Hwy), up to intersection with U.S. 17 (Kings Hwy) and then all areas east of US 17 (Kings Hwy) to the Northern county line.
Zone B includes all areas south of Hwy 707 and Longwood Drive, including all areas in Longwood Plantation (Blackmoor) to the Waccamaw River and all areas east of U.S. 17 Bypass (Mark Garner Hwy) to U.S. 17 (North Kings Hwy) and all areas east of U.S. 17 (North Kings Hwy) to the northern county line.
Zone C includes all areas between Hwy 701 and Hwy 544, south of Brown’s Chapel Avenue and Hwy 814, plus all areas east of Highway 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) to Highway 90 and all areas east of Highway 90 to U.S. 17 to the northern county line.
Mobile homes, campers and those in flood prone areas are asked to evacuate for all storms.
Horry County announced Thursday afternoon that it will go to OPCON 3 Friday morning at 8:00am, which is when the Emergency Operation Center will go online.
“OPCON 3, that’s the trigger, that’s what will open the Emergency Operation Center,” explained Holden.
OPCON 3 is when the storm poses a significant threat, so emergency management urges people to stay up to date on conditions; but also urges you to seek out information from reputable sources.
“We have seen some misinformation, especially on social media, and we just want our residents to be prepared, we don’t want anyone to be panicked or alarmed; we want you to feel empowered, we want you to feel prepared,” said Holden.
Again officials are urging people to prepare themselves now and have a plan in place moving forward, as Hurricane Irma moves closer to the Carolinas.