COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster urged South Carolinians to remain inside and “be smart” as National Weather Service meteorologist John Quagliariello called Hurricane Ian landfall “imminent.”

In a briefing Friday just before 1 p.m., McMaster and a number of state officials laid out what to expect as Hurricane Ian heads toward South Carolina. 

“This is not as bad as it could have been,” McMaster said at the briefing, adding, “I would ask people: Don’t quit yet. It’s still coming. We are not out of the woods.”

No deaths had yet been reported in the state, as of the press conference. McMaster pressed that the conditions could be life-threatening, particularly if people become “careless.” 

Edward Simmer, the director for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control said being safe meant staying indoors, away from windows and out of floodwater. 

“We’ve had no one die. We want to keep that going,” Simmer said. 

McMaster also said he spoke on Friday morning with President Joe Biden, who promised to assist with whatever the state may need. That included approval of a federal emergency declaration on Thursday.