As most of you know, we are in the midst of hurricane season in the Lowcountry, and the prime time for storms to head our way is in the coming weeks. I hope this article will be a reminder that preparation is the key to making it through the storm with the best possible outcome.
Please take note of a few reminders:
• Make sure all personal information, contact information, medical information, and important documents (insurance policies, bank accounts, Social Security cards, certificates of birth, death, and/or marriage, pet records, and wills) are up to date and in a secure location.
• Make sure to have at least a two-week supply of prescription medications.
• Make sure to have a spare pair of glasses, cane, crutches, or any other assistance device.
• Make sure to have flashlights, portable radios, and plenty of batteries.
• Make sure to have at least $200 in cash, in small bill denominations.
• Make sure to have all pet supplies and medications, along with any vaccination records.
• Make sure to have a first aid kit for minor injuries.
• Make sure to fill all your gas tanks and cans.
• Make sure to keep a paper copy of all important phone numbers.
• Make sure to take a home inventory of all valuables, either on paper or by taking a video while doing a walk-through of your home.
• Make sure you have a place to stay when you evacuate and make sure you have a backup plan in case plans change due to the storm.
• Make sure when you evacuate, power is turned off to your house at the breaker, and gas and water lines are turned off at the main valve.
If there is an evacuation order, leave!
The town has set the bar on diaster communications, and will continue to do so. In the past, we have provided hourly updates on all social media, and also support the county’s NIXLE site. If you haven’t signed up for Nixle and downloaded the app, please take a minute and do so. You will get the same information from the both the county and the town, and it never hurts to use all social media outlets.
If there is damage after the storm, we will work diligently with our resources to get you back to your home quickly so you can assess any damage.
But it is critical for you to wait until our area has been declared safe.
If you don’t evacuate, there will be a very strict adherence to any curfew set in place by the county. Power, water, internet and other necessary needs for daily living will most likely be turned off or not working, so you are much better off going inland and waiting until the “all clear” to come back.
We have gone through this before, and understand what needs to take place before, during and after any threat of a hurricane.
Lisa Sulka is the mayor of the Town of Bluffton. firstname.lastname@example.org