Hurricane Evacuation Tips
Deciding to stay or go when a hurricane is approaching our area is an intense and stressful time. Because the path of the hurricane can change, decisions have to be made at the last minute. This is why having a plan is important. Here are some hurricane evacuation tips to help you plan if you do decide to evacuate.
Know Your Evacuation Zone and Route
Horry and Georgetown Counties divide their coastal areas into evacuation zones…zones A, B and C. It is important to remember that not all parts of each county are in an evacuation zone. Also, evacuation zones are determined by storm surge and not wind. You may be in a western part of our area and not be in an evacuation zone but feel the effects of hurricane force winds. You can always evacuate during a hurricane even if your zone is not told to evacuate.
- Horry County Evacuation Zone Information
- Horry County Interactive Map
- Georgetown County Evacuation Zone Information
Knowing your evacuation route (how you will leave town) is just as important as knowing your evacuation zone. Both Horry and Georgetown Counties have information about evacuation routes on their respective county websites. The sites show how you need to leave the coastal areas based on your location.
Evacuation routes were created so everyone is not using the same main roads to leave town causing a bottleneck. I used backroads the last time I evacuated for a hurricane and did not run into any traffic while friends used Hwy. 501 and got tied up in traffic for hours. Definitely review your evacuation route prior to a hurricane and consider driving it once to get familiar with how you will leave town.
Know Where You are Going to Stay
Once you get out of town, you need a place to stay. The easiest thing to do is stay with a friend or family member that lives inland a few hours away. The other option is to find a hotel. Hotels can be tricky because they do fill up quickly especially if people from other states are also having to evacuate. You may find that you may have to stay farther away than you initially thought. I have had friends stay in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia or even farther away when they evacuated.
The last option when you need to evacuate are local shelters. Space at the shelters will be limited and the accommodations will not be as comfortable as you would find at a hotel or friend or family members’ home. Also, you will not be able to bring pets to most hurricane shelters.
Things to Take with You
When evacuating town, you will need to have some supplies on hand. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you a place to start.
- Snacks and water for anyone leaving and pets. The trip out of town will take longer than normal and having a snack can help.
- A full tank of gas - Gas stations will be busier than normal or they could run out of gas. You may have to try a few before you can fill up.
- Cash - Depending on the severity of the storm, ATMs or banks may be closed or credit card machines could be down once you return to town.
- Important papers - Take hard copies or electronic copies of your homeowners’ insurance policy and flood policy.
- Prescription medicine - Have any medicine you (and your pet) will need to be out of town for the length of your evacuation plus several days when you get back.
- Key to your home - It sounds crazy, but most of us use our garage to get into our house versus coming in through the front door. If the power goes out, you will not be able to use your remote control to get into your garage. Don’t rely on the keypad on your front door either. You know that would be the time the battery died!
I hope 2022 brings an uneventful hurricane season to our area. However, if we do have an active season and you do evacuate for a hurricane, I hope you find these tips useful.
You may also be interested in...
Last Updated on June 19, 2022 by Kathy Rukat Smith The start of hurricane season is right around the corner. […]
Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Kathy Rukat Smith Vacationers and residents alike come out to celebrate the 4th […]