Hurricane Preparedness

Living in and around Myrtle Beach has many perks. You're only a short drive, or for some of us only a few steps, from the beautiful Atlantic Ocean shoreline. You are able to enjoy a warm climate with an average of 218 sunny days a year. And outside of that, you get to enjoy all the attractions, entertainment and golf that lure millions of visitors to the Grand Strand every year! But from June through November it is important to be vigilant when it comes to the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms. The Grand Strand has been fortunate to have not seen a storm larger than a Category 1 hurricane since Hurricane Floyd back in 1999. But as recent years have shown, even tropical storms and depressions can wreak havoc on coastal areas. And less than two years ago, Hurricane Matthew showed the potential for damage that a Category 1 storm can unleash, washing away the Springmaid and Surfside piers.

While we cannot prevent these storms from making their way into the Grand Strand, we can minimize the damage to our homes and to our way of life by preparing for their landfall. Here are some of the best tips to ensure that if hurricanes make their way towards the Myrtle Beach area you and your home will be prepared to weather the storm.

Ensure Your Property is Safe
Of course when the threat of a hurricane comes to mind, many of us think of homes and businesses affixing plywood over windows to protect them from wind and debris. But when you live in an area prone to these storms, permanent storm shutters are a worthwhile investment. Colonial hurricane shutters are available in a plethora of styles and colors and ensure better overall protection than plywood that could more easily become flung away from your home. Also, these type shutters can be prepared easily by one person in only a few minutes if necessary.

There are plenty of other ways to ensure your home is ready to survive an oncoming storm with minimal damage, including:
  • -Installing check valves in your plumbing to prevent water contamination from backflow during times ofheavy rain and flooding.
  • -Keeping your gutters clutter-free so that heavy rain can be diverted away easily and not overwhelmyour gutter system.
  • -Maintain a stockpile of extra emergency protective supplies including plastic sheeting, plywood, and sandbags, eliminating fighting long lines at stores to afford extra time to prepare.

  • Ensure You and Your Loved Ones Are Safe
    Even if a mandatory evacuation is not ordered, that doesn't mean that the days following the storm will be business as usual. Often times these days are marked by extended power outages and flooding that may make travel over roads difficult or impossible. These are times that preparing for the worst will ensure that you and your loved ones are able to endure the tough days ahead. Many of the supplies necessary are obvious: medical supplies and a first aid kit, non-perishable food and drinking water, preferably at least a three-day supply. But there are many other items that can prove invaluable during these times. A small tool kit and a multi-tool will ensure that any additional preparation or repairs around the house can be taken care of. You might not think about hygiene when prepping for a hurricane, but cleanliness can help prevent the spread of bacteria, so things like hand sanitizer or dry shampoo can come in handy. Make sure to keep all your important documents like insurance cards and ID documents safe by sealing them in waterproof containers. Also, make sure to not forget about your pets and ensure that you have enough food and water to provide for them during this time.

    Know Your Evacuation Route
    No matter the size or scale of storm, there are always residents that will feel the need to ride the storm out. But no amount of personal property or pride is worth potential life-threatening harm to yourself or to your loved ones. It is vital to know your evacuation route out of harm's way and inland further from the path of devastation. For example, evacuees north of Briarcliffe Acres will typically utilize SC 9 North towards I-95, while residents between there and 10 th Ave North in Myrtle Beach will use the SC 22 Conway Bypass in towards US 501. Horry County's emergency management website is a great resource with evacuation routes that cover the entire Grand Strand from Little River to Garden City Beach. We've all heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but that cliche is never more evident than when facing down the prospect of a hurricane threatening your home and way of life. Don't let yourself be surprised by something that is easily prepared for. We may not be able to predict exactly when a hurricane will strike, but we do know that at some point in the future the Grand Strand will be in the path of one. Ensure the safety of your home and your loved ones and take the necessary steps to endure the next storm along the Myrtle Beach area.

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