Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed May 30 through June 5 to be South Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week. SCEMD, county emergency managers and the National Weather Service urge individuals, businesses and communities to begin preparations ahead of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Advanced preparation and planning saves lives and protects property by lessening the devastating impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes.
Hurricanes and tropical storms not only threaten the coast but all areas of South Carolina. The greatest threat to life and property associated with a hurricane and tropical storm is storm surge. Storm surge and flooding are the most deadly and destructive hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. High winds and tornadoes can cause severe damage to buildings and homes. All South Carolinians should take the time this week to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane by reviewing their family emergency plans, developing a disaster supply kit, reviewing insurance policies and talking with their families about what could happen during and after the landfall of a major hurricane.
Daily topics for 2021 Hurricane Preparedness Week will include:
Sunday - Understanding Hurricane Hazards
Monday - Know Your Zone
Tuesday - Official Start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season - Have a Plan
Wednesday - Build Your Emergency Kit
Thursday - Seeking Safety
Friday - Ways to Stay Connected
Saturday- Prepare Your Pets
South Carolina is one of the most vulnerable states to hurricanes and tropical storms. Six coastal counties border the Atlantic Ocean. These counties have more than 200 miles of general coastline, and another 21 inland counties may be directly affected by these storms. Densely populated coastal areas, especially during peak tourist seasons, coupled with the generally low coastal elevations significantly increase the state's vulnerability.
Recent hurricanes to impact the Palmetto State include Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hurricane Florence in 2018 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 combined with a separate storm system that resulted in historic flooding from the Midlands to the Lowcountry. Although South Carolina was spared from any serious storm effects last year, the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season was the most active on record.
Hurricane Season begins June 1 and lasts through November 30.