Charleston County prepares for hurricanes with drill at new emergency center
Don’t let the shiny new building fool you. The Charleston County Emergency Operations Center in North Charleston is ready for hurricane season and can withstand winds of up to 191 mph.
Tips for hurricane preparedness
Check your flood insurance
Have a family communications plan in case you get separated
Create an emergency supply kit with items such as canned foods, at least three gallons of water per person, and other household items
Secure your home
Find out where the nearest shelter is to your home
2013 Charleston County Hurricane Guide
The center ran a full-scale hurricane drill Wednesday to practice protocol for a pre-landfall hurricane. A power outage was also simulated so staff could get accustomed to non-electronic means of communication.
Go to postandcourier.com/hurricane for our comprehensive 2013 Hurricane Guide.
The 38,000-square-foot, $26.7 million facility opened on Palmetto Commerce Parkway in January and has a goal of Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The center’s staff of up to 125 people and various emergency response teams are a hub for communication before, during and after a storm. The new center provides for more technology, such as video conferencing, and allows everyone on the team to work in the center at once.
“We want the people of Charleston County to realize that we are working and trained to handle an emergency situation,” said Cathy Haynes, the center’s emergency preparedness director.
The staff is divided into several teams to address citizens’ called-in questions, from “Where can I go for shelter?” to “When should I evacuate?” They also will use social media to get information out to the public.
The center will act as a liaison to the state Emergency Management Division, volunteer organizations and businesses. It will also coordinate requests for state and federal assistance in case of a disaster.
In case of an emergency before, during or after a disaster, you can call the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center hotline at 746-3900.
Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or email@example.com.