COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is asking residents to participate in a yearlong hurricane evacuation study aimed at helping communities across the state prepare for storms.

Thursday marked the first official day of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season The study is set to be completed in June 2024, SCEMD said.

“This study, with your input, has the potential to guide how we plan for and respond to hurricanes in South Carolina,” SCEMD said. “Previous studies helped develop the state’s evacuation zones, refine planning timelines, and determine the best ways to reach residents with emergency information. This new hurricane evacuation study will help state and local emergency managers adapt to changing communities and populations.”

SCEMD hopes to use the study to identify potential hazards and vulnerabilities and to conduct a behavioral analysis.

The most recent evacuation study was completed in 2013 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Horry County currently has three evacuation zones that were created as a result of the study. The county also provides information on its website about some things people should do to prepare for a hurricane.

Click here to take part in the survey, which is anonymous. Anyone older than 18 who lives in or owns property in coastal South Carolina can answer the survey.

No one outside of SCEMD will have access to survey responses, and the data gathered will be grouped at the census tract and county levels to protect identities.

* * *

Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in West Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.