Prepare: From Hurricane Watch to Landfall
Start planning now for hurricane season.
As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week, Patch is highlighting what you need to know to stay safe before, during and after a hurricane or tropical storm.
With Beryl's early arrival, coastal residents are already hearing about tropical storm watches and warnings.
A tropical depression is a cyclone with sustained winds of 38 mph or less. A tropical storm has winds up to 73 mph. A storm that reaches 74 mph is at hurricane strength.
A hurricane watch or tropical storm watch means storm conditions are possible in that area within the next 48 hours. Preparations during a watch should include monitoring local media for weather updates, making sure light-weight objects outside are removed from harms way and checking your disaster supply kit.
A hurricane warning or tropical storm warning means violent winds can be expected within 36 hours. Final preparations should include securing your home and windows and monitoring local media for evacuation orders.
Charleston County Emergency Management has a great list of questions to help get homes prepared for a hurricane, including tips on securing doors, windows, the roof and garage doors (a PDF is included underneath the photo above).
Evacuation orders should be taken seriously — a hurricane's threat goes beyond a coastal storm surge and includes inland flooding in low-lying areas and along rivers. It's also important to remember, even if your home is safe through the storm, the power could be out, your water source could be damaged and the roads around you could be impassable for days.
The state's coast has been divided up into evacuation zones based on the severity of the storm and the projected landfall (a PDF of the zones is included underneath the photo above, along with an evacuation route map).
Shelters will be available, but should be a last resort to provide as much room as possible. Remember to include a blanket, pillows and other sleeping needs in your disaster supply kit. The American Red Cross has a map of open shelters that can be used during an evacuation. An animal shelter is available at the North Charleston Coliseum, but only one person is allowed per pet.
Coming on Thursday: After Hurricane Landfall and Re-entry