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Staying Prepared for Hurricane Season in South Carolina

World Meteorological Society

As the countdown to Atlantic hurricane season begins, South Carolina emergency management offices across South Carolina are sharing vital safety guidelines to empower residents to stay ahead of potential storms.

Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, but tropical cyclone activity can sometimes occur before and after these dates.

South Carolina ranks fifth among the states for having the most hurricane impacts dating back to 1851, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Flooding from heavy rain is the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths since 2013.

Lexington County Emergency Manager Lenard Sparrow emphasized the importance of staying prepared well in advance, stating that preparedness minimizes injuries and damages.

Preparing your home

For homeowners in South Carolina, reviewing insurance policies to understand coverage and make potential modifications is crucial ahead of hurricane season. Not doing so could be costly for families.

Having a checklist prepared for tasks like securing windows, removing patio furniture and other loose items can significantly enhance readiness and safety when a storm is approaching.


Sparrow says common mistakes made by residents are often proactive measures, like boarding up windows and utilizing sandbags if susceptible to flooding. These oversights can leave homes vulnerable to damage and exacerbate the impact of hurricanes or severe weather events.

Consideration should also be given to evacuation plans, especially for those living in mobile or manufactured homes and/or flood-prone areas. Consider planning for any pets as well.

Emergency Kits

Creating an emergency kit is essential for storm preparedness. Ensure it contains a two-week supply of medications, food and water packed ahead of time to avoid last-minute stress.

Sparrow recommends items should include water, non-perishable food, a NOAA Weather Radio, batteries, a first aid kit, medications, personal documents, extra cash, blankets and gas.

Local Updates and Resources

Knowing where to access reliable local emergency information is crucial. Statewide radio and local public radio stations are recommended for timely updates.

South Carolina Emergency Management Division offers an app on Google Play and the App Store to have access additional tools on the go.

Information on evacuation zones and storm surge vulnerability can be found on the app and South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website.

“If you've seen anything happen in the past, they can most likely happen again,” Sparrow said. “Be self-aware. “Fix building structures or homes beforehand to make sure things are safer. That'd be the best thing to do is just to try to mitigate as much as possible.”

For continued coverage during hurricane season and beyond, follow South Carolina Public Radio Emergency Information Network.