MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — It’s officially the first day of hurricane season and the Horry County Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross want everyone to be prepared for what is expected to be a busy hurricane season.
The 2020 season was the most active and one of the most expensive on record. This year, forecasters said it’s expected to be an above-average hurricane season.
Thomas Bell with Horry County EMA said the agency has already been prepared way before the season started.
“We got in contact with our local partners, our state partners to make sure we have everything in place we need should a storm impact us this season,” Bell said.
Bell said the policies from the last season are still in place this year but could change if the number of COVID-19 cases fluctuate.
“Especially in those shelters. Those pandemic protocols are still going to be in place for right now. PPE on hand at the shelters whether it’s for the staff or the folks in the shelter,” Bell said.
“We are looking to open 20 shelter locations whenever that is needed so we support the community,” Regional Communications Manager with the American Red Cross Mandy McWherter said.
The American Red Cross is prepared to respond if necessary and urges everyone to be ready too.
“We are working diligently with our partners around the states as well as the counties to make sure that we our shelters locations identified, that our supply stocks are ready to go and certainly that we have our volunteers activated and ready to go when the need arises,” McWherter said.
The American Red Cross is asking for volunteers and with the start of hurricane season, McWherter said it is a great way to help everyone.
“All day, everyday and right now we are looking to stock up in hurricane prone areas like the coastal regions of South Carolina. We are always looking for volunteers,” McWherter said.
Bell added some of the changes in flood zones.
“Flood zones are different than the hurricane evacuation zones. The flood zones right now for Horry county, those proposed zones are up on the county’s website for folks to view. Hurricane evacuation zones are based off of potential storm surge they are not based off the category of storm,” Bell said.