Hurricane Season is upon us once again, and the Town of Bluffton Emergency Management Division urges everyone to develop a hurricane plan now, before a storm is threatening our area.

Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30. To ensure the public’s safety, here are some important steps to take.

  1. Make sure to have a destination planned in the event an evacuation is ordered. Let someone, with whom you are not traveling, know where you are going and how to reach you.
  2. Take pictures of property before the storm.
  3. Make an inventory of valuable items.
  4. Withdraw cash. Electricity can go out at any time for a long amount of time, making it impossible to use credit and debit cards.
  5. Keep the car fueled in case an evacuation order is given.
  6. Finally and most importantly, make sure to seek information about evacuations, weather updates and when to return to Bluffton from reliable sources. Those sources include the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, Beaufort

County Emergency Management Division and-or local law enforcement and first responders.

Additionally, the Town of Bluffton maintains several different social media platforms, all of which will carry the latest information on storms and recovery. These platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, and the MyPD free smartphone app.

The South Carolina Emergency Management also has a new free smartphone app this year that can help create a hurricane plan and gives details on evacuation routes. The app, as well as the 2018 South Carolina Hurricane Guide are available on the Bluffton Police Department’s homepage at townofbluffton.sc.gov/police-department/home.

Over the past two years, Beaufort County has seen the effects from two hurricanes. As a result of those storms, there have been lessons learned to include a more efficient re-entry process once an evacuation order is lifted. The Beaufort County Emergency Management Division has devised a tier-system plan, allowing certain individuals back into the county at different times, prior to the general public.

To read how the tier-system will work, visit bcso.net/re-entry-pass-system.

The Town of Bluffton Emergency Management Division continues to stress that the public may not return to Beaufort County until an evacuation order has been lifted by county officials, following the governor’s lifting of the order throughout the state. This will occur after roads and neighborhoods are deemed safe for re-entry.

To keep up with the latest conditions, and to find out when the county’s order is lifted and re-entry is allowed, call the storm information hotline, 800-963-5023.

This hotline will be updated regularly, with information specific to various areas of the county, including the Town of Bluffton, Town of Hilton Head, unincorporated Beaufort County, and Sun City Hilton Head, as well as areas north of the Broad.