Governor visits Horry County for hurricane prep - WSPA.com

Governor visits Horry County for hurricane prep

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) -

Governor Nikki Haley visited Horry County Monday morning to meet with emergency management officials and discuss hurricane preparation and planning. The Governor makes these visits every year as a way to kick off the season and touch base with all the coastal counties.

Mrs. Haley said the focus of this year's tour of the coastal counties is recovery. The Governor and other officials from across the state also touched on personal responsibility.

"We all have fire plan in our homes," the Governor said. "What we also want to do is make sure every family knows what they're going to do in the case of a hurricane: before, during and after."

Governor Haley was joined by officials with the Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation. Both agencies emphasized not only knowing your zone, but your route.

"Know not only if you have to evacuate, but how you will evacuate, that's critical," said Captain Robert Woods Commander of the SCHP Traffic Management Unit.

Woods also said it's important to stay on your evacuation route to avoid congestion and getting lost.

Governor Haley also visited Charleston and Beaufort and said with the growing size of the coastal population and the expanded evacuation zones it's important for all counties to work together. Representatives from Marion, Marlboro and Georgetown counties were present at the Horry County meeting to coordinate evacuation plans.

According to Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster, these visits are not the only communication between the governor and his department. Apart from a table top exercise on hurricane response earlier in the year, Webster says there's open talk all year.

"You know its not the only time of the year we ever talk. It's not the first time or the only time we ever see her," Webster said. "But it's still a good opportunity to coordinated and just make sure everybody's on the same page."

Webster says the main topic of discussion with the Governor this year is the county's changes to it's "Know Your Zone" policy. According to Webster this is still a major awareness campaign for the county. The only change for Horry County this year is that it's Emergency Operations Center is will remain set up throughout the season. In previous years this command center was assembled after an evacuation order was issued. Webster says this will save the county about four hours in the case of an emergency.

Webster said Tropical Storm Andrea provided the county a good run through of procedures. The storm caused little damage and Webster says he hopes it was the worst we'll see all year, but with a predicted active season he is happy things ran smoothly.

"Its a good warm up. Hopefully that's it for the rest of the year, but the big message is I hope everyone else understands that now's the time to continue to prepare for hurricane season with your family," Webster added. "Plan your disaster kit and know your zone. Those things still come in to play. Next time we may not be as fortunate."

For more on Horry County's hurricane plans and the "Know Your Zone" policy check out their website.

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