McMaster: No statewide emergency order anticipated for Hurricane Isaias

WSAV Hurricane Central

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – South Carolina’s governor said Friday that there are no plans to issue a statewide emergency order for Hurricane Isaias but urged residents, particularly on the coast, to remain vigilant.

“At this point, it does not look like we’re going to reach that kind of a situation,” McMaster said, adding that if conditions change: “We’ll be the first ones to let you know.”

The storm is currently forecast to approach the South Carolina Coast on Sunday but it is too early to determine how close and what impacts would be felt.

South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) Director Kim Stenson admitted that his agency has never encountered a pandemic and hurricane at the same time but said his agency has made plans for two critical areas: transportation and sheltering.

Social distancing protocols will be followed, and masks and hand sanitizers are stocked for shelters if needed.

Stenson said at this time, there are no shelters in the state, but SCEMD will assist local authorities who request them.

“We ask you to stay informed, to stay tuned to official messaging outlets in the state,” McMaster said. “Let’s be safe, but right now we’re hoping this storm will not hit us hard if it hits at all.”

The governor also said that COVID-19 testing sites remain open — none have been impacted by the weather at this time.

SCEMD urges residents to review their personal safety plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens the state:

  • Be sure your emergency supplies kit has enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, chargers, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.
  • Prepare your home for tropical storm conditions by making sure gutters are cleaned, storm drains are clear and any lawn furniture can be secured.
  • Keep your cell phones and mobile devices charged in case of power outages.
  • Gather pet supplies and put them in an easily-accessible container.
  • Know Your Zone. Residents in coastal counties can know their hurricane evacuation zone instantly by visiting scemd.org/KnowYourZone or downloading the SC Emergency Manager mobile app.
  • Stay tuned to local media for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.
  • Follow trusted, verified sources for the latest news and be prepared to follow the instructions of state and local public safety officials.

Officials with SCEMD said the state’s Emergency Response Team remains at Operational Condition Level 2, meaning the state’s emergency operations center is partially activated.

Key state agencies and county emergency managers are making initial preparations for the possibility of any hazardous situations while select personnel from SCEMD’s Operations and Preparedness sections continue to monitor Hurricane Isaias from the State Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia.

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