Grand Strand

Horry County E-911 preps for upcoming hurricane season

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) - Hurricane season is quickly approaching, so WBTW talked with the Horry County 911 Dispatch Center about what preparations they take to make sure people get the help they need during a storm. 

Renee Hardwick is the director at the 911 center, and she said there are typically 10-12 people on staff during a normal shift. However, if a hurricane threat is determined, she said they will make arrangements to keep everyone on duty. "We would bring additional staff in and we would keep them here until the threat of the storm is over," said Hardwick. She said they will double the amount of people working and keep the day and night shift working at the same time, so your calls can get answered. 

Hardwick also said if the 911 center increases their staff, first responders will be increasing their staff as well. She said if things get too dangerous, first responders may not be able to respond to you right away, so being prepared ahead of time is always best. 

"People need to be prepared to be self-sufficient," said Hardwick. "Meaning they need to have all their basic needs met if their homes are safe for them to stay in, have their medications, food, and water."

If a storm hits and the power goes out, Hardwick said not to call 911 to report a power outage because they don't have any way of fixing it. "However there are people who have to have electricity because they're dependent upon some type of medical equipment for their life," said Hardwick. "Those are the kind of calls we would need to address." 

Hurricane season begins June 1 and Hardwick said if a storm hits, there will be phone lines available for people to call to get non-emergency help. She also said it's important for people to learn what zone they are in now, so you will know whether or not you need to evacuate. 

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